The price of fame

Eminem recently expressed that he was afraid of global fame. His biographer, Anthony Bozza, confirmed that the rapper was scared of massive commercial success that has made a global superstar of him. Eminem has made it really big.

Marshall wasn’t prepared to such a rapid ascencion. In less than one year, between 1998 and 1999, Eminem has become famous. Working at Gilbert’s Lodge the year before and signing with the famous Dr Dre the year after, is really disconcerting. If you also consider the high level of pressures that were put on Eminem’s shoulders at the beginning of his career and the numerous controversies that surrounded the release of his albums, this is pretty much to bear for one single man.
In an interview given to Brian Mc Collum from the ‘Detroit Free Press’ on June the 30th 2000, Eminem stated:

‘ Nobody really understands the pressures put on me, to always be good, to always be on point. There are so many pressures that go with my job right now.’

Along with the pressures that came from his label , other pressures came from people who protested against his music. All of a sudden, the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) turned Eminem into the symbol for misogyny and homophobia. Eminem’s career debut has been far from uncontroversial. The dramas that happened in his personal life increased the fact that he was in constant ebullition.
In the same interview, Eminem expressed about his dream come true:

‘You gotta be careful what you wish for. I always wished and hoped for this. But it’s almost turning into more of a nighmare than a dream.’

After the release of his movie ‘8 Mile’, Eminem has earned more respectability among people who used to dislike him. The success of his movie has been determinant to increase his fame.
‘8 Mile’ also helped people to focus an interest on Detroit, who is usually viewed as a dark and annoying industrial city.

Is Eminem really satisfied with his every day life? According to the lyrics of ‘Say Goodbye To Hollywood’, the answer is clearly no. It is sometimes difficult to realize for us, who are not famous, how superstars are forced to live and to behave.
Eminem expresses it in ‘Say Goodbye To Hollywood’:

I don’t wanna quit, but shit, I feel like this is it
For me to have this much appeal like this is sick
This is not a game, this fame, in real life this is sick
Publicity stunt my ass, conceal my fuckin’ dick
Fuck the guns, i’m done, i’ll never look at gats
If I scrap, i’ll scrap like I ain’t never whooped some ass
I love my fans
But no one ever puts a grasp on the fact i’ve sacrificed everything I have
I never dreamt i’d get to the level that i’m at, this is whack
This is more than I ever could of asked
everywhere I go, a hat, a sweater hood, or mask
What about math, how come I wasn’t ever good at that
It’s like the boy in the bubble, who never could adapt, i’m trapped
If I could go back, I never woulda rapped
I sold my soul to the devil, i’ll never get it back
I just wanna leave this game with level head intact
Imagine goin’ from bein’ a no one to seein’,
everything blow up and all you did was just grow
up emceeing
It’s fuckin’ crazy
Cause all I wanted was to give Hailie the life I never had
But instead I forced us to live alienated, so i’m sayin’…

Marshall sometimes feels like being trapped. He has to hide and to protect from the papparazzi, the press, from some freaky fans. To summarize it all, he feels like he has no peace. Wherever he goes, he needs to hide his face. He feels like he’s been deprived from the freedom he had when he was underground. He expresses quite the same in ‘Sing For the Moment’ from the Eminem Show:

But then these critics crucify you, journalists try to burn you
Fans turn on you, attorneys all want a turn at you
to get they hands on every dime you have…

He feels like everybody wants something from him. Even worse: some journalists destroy his public image, fans don’t leave him alone, attorneys are ready to take his money, because he constantly gets sued.
I personaly think that Eminem likes the fame and the love he gets from his numerous fans, but sometimes he doesn’t manage to cope with the pressures that surround him and also with some people’s crazy behavior in front of him. He is perfectly conscious of the fact that he is an easy target for the media who don’t like him.
When he feels exceeded, Marshall wants to quit the game, but he also knows that ‘a normal life is boring/ The superstardom is close to post mortar’ and that he has reached the high level of fame he talks about in ‘Lose Yourself’.

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