Eminem has joined the ranks of some of the world’s greatest entertainers as an inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The bestselling rapper was inducted into the hall of fame by his longtime collaborator Dr. Dre on Saturday (Nov. 5).
The West Coast rap icon signed Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, in March 1998. Since then, the Detroit native has sold more than 200 million albums. During his induction speech, Dre recalled being shocked to learn that music executive Jimmy Iovine wanted him to work with a white rapper.
“That f**ked me up,” the former N.W.A member said of the memory before revealing that other industry figures had attempted to sway him from joining forces with Eminem. “I knew that his gifts were undeniable. Each of us was what the other one needed — and I was willing to bet my entire career on it,” Dre said.
After the speech, Slim Shady took the stage to perform of some of his popular hits, including “Forever,” “Not Afraid,” and “My Name Is.” With his latest honor, the animated wordsmith joins a short list of hip-hop artists who have been inducted into the hall of fame.
“I know that I’m a rapper, and this is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and there’s only a few of us right now who have been inducted in already,” Eminem said in receiving the honor. To date, the only other rappers to be inducted include Run-D.M.C., N.W.A, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
Continuing his speech, Em said: “My musical influences, when they say it takes a village to raise a child, well, it took a whole genre and culture to raise me. They say success has many fathers, and that’s definitely true for me. So whatever my impact has been on hip-hop music, I never would’ve, or could’ve, done this s**t without some of the groundbreaking artists I’m about to mention.” He then went on to name his fellow hip-hop inductees, as well as other hip-hop acts he also believes should be inducted, such as 2 Live Crew.
Earlier this year, Eminem earned his first Emmy alongside Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige for their 2022 Super Bowl halftime performance. The 15-time Grammy Award winner is now only a Tony Award short of becoming an EGOT.