Detroit MC Marshall Mathers (a.k.a. Eminem) released his debut 12" as one half of the two man crew, Soul Intent, and soon after released his '96 debut album, Infinite, featuring members of his crew, The Dirty Dozen.
After being featured in The Source's Unsigned Hype column in '98, Eminem further made his name by dropping verses on indie singles by artists like Shabaam Sahdeeq and OldWorlDisorder. By the time he released his "Just Don't Give a Fuck" 12" and Slim Shady EP, Eminem was an underground sensation.
Eminem's solid reputation as a lyricist earned him the respect of the powerful Dr. Dre, who signed him to his Aftermath label. Eminem's debut on Aftermath, The Slim Shady LP, hit No. 2 on the Billboard album charts within weeks of its release thanks to the breakthrough success of the single "My Name Is."
Eminem received two awards at the 42nd Annual Grammys: Best Rap Solo Performance for "My Name Is" and Best Rap Album for The Slim Shady LP. He also records as one of the newer members of the New Jersey-based Outsidaz crew.
Eminem's latest, The Marshall Mathers LP, was released in May 2000, causing his popularity and infamy to rise in equal measure. Never a stranger to controversy, his appearance at the 2000 MTV Music Awards and his nomination for several awards at the 43rd Annual Grammys -- including Album Of The Year and Best Rap Album for Marshall Mathers -- angered Gay and Lesbian organizations like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, who condemned his lyrics as homophobic and misogynist. With the date of the Grammys drawing nearer, GLAAD and associated groups vowed to protest. as they had earlier at the MTV Awards. The Grammys, in the meantime, announced that Eminem would perform with Elton John at the February 21 awards ceremony.