By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
No one can argue with the amazing popularity of rapper Eminem. Still, his meteoric rise has been fraught with as much controversy as success. In his climb to the top of the charts, he's managed to anger gay and women's groups, the media, fellow musicians ('N Sync, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Insane Clown Posse), hell, even his own mother. But instead of dwelling on Uncle Em's colorful past, we prefer to gaze into our crystal ball to see what the future holds for this much-maligned talent.
March 2001:Following the success of The Slim Shady EP and The Marshall Mathers LP (and the hit single “The Real Slim Shady”), Eminem releases a bizarre country concept album called The Real Slim Whitman. The first true merger of rap and yodeling, the record features X-rated hip-hop versions of “Rose Marie” and “Indian Love Call.” The hybrid confounds and alienates Eminem's primarily sixteen-year-old male audience, selling only twelve copies. As a result of the negative commercial response, plans for the second and third parts of what was originally to have been a trilogy -- including The Real Slim Dunlap and The Real Slim Pickens -- are scrapped.
December 2001: In an effort to win over an ever-growing legion of critics, Eminem releases a Christmas album. The collection, titled White Rapper Christmas, finds the controversial artist putting his unique personal stamp on a handful of beloved holiday classics, including “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, Bitch,” “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (Bitch Had It Comin')” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen -- Except for Those Fag Bitches in the Insane Clown Posse.”
May 2002: In a shocking move, Eminem ditches his long-time mentor/producer Dr. Dre and enlists the help of novelty-song kingpin Dr. Demento. Together they write and produce what is to be Eminem's opus. Titled Polka Party, it features the hit singles “Eat It,” “Like a Surgeon” and “I Lost on Jeopardy.” Unfortunately, Weird Al Yankovic had already written and recorded the exact same material nearly two decades earlier. An incensed Yankovic sues Eminem for plagiarism and copyright infringement to the tune of $300 million. Though he hires an expert legal dream team to defend him, Eminem blows his chance to win the case when he publicly chastises the jury as a “bunch of bitches, fags, and dykes.”
March 2003:On both a personal and professional downslide, Eminem spends most of the next year drunk, high, and engaged in a series of very embarrassing public incidents. He reaches his low point when he's thrown out of Hollywood's Troubadour nightclub after becoming verbally abusive to a waitress. Much to his surprise and horror, the waitress turns out to be none other than former teen-pop princess Christina Aguilera (who tearfully retired from the music biz in 2001 to escape the taunts of the ruddy-faced rapper). Aguilera, buoyed by years of pent-up hatred, proceeds to kick the living shit out of Eminem. After trouncing her onetime nemesis, Aguilera proudly tells Rolling Stone: “I feel, um, vindicated and, like, really, really super.” To celebrate her newfound redemption, she immediately goes out and gives oral sex to Fred Durst and Carson Daly.
September 2003: Financially ruined, artistically shamed, physically beaten, and an industry pariah, Eminem is forced to join a traveling all-star troupe of fellow light-skinned rappers. The combo, dubbed White Out (featuring Vanilla Ice, Snow, and Marky Mark -- Wahlberg signing on after his successful film career ends when he accepts the lead in a disastrous remake of Myra Breckinridge), spends the remainder of the decade performing at Indian casinos, opening for a Burton Cummings-less version of the Guess Who. Eminem once again sabotages his own success when, just as the white-rapper revival of 2010 is about to catapult the quartet back into the spotlight, he's booted out of the group for referring to his bandmates as a bunch of “untalented bitch-ass fags.” Eminem eventually reconciles with his estranged mother and moves back into her home in suburban Detroit where he will spend the remainder of his life before dying of complications from rickets at the tender age of 43.