Whatever You Say I Am by Anthony Bozza
Eminem's rise to stardom was far from easy. After being born in Kansas City and travelling back and forth between KC and the Detroit metropolitan area, Eminem and his mother moved into the Eastside of Detroit when he was 12. Switching schools every two to three months made it difficult to make friends, graduate and to stay out of trouble. Rap, however, became Eminem's solace. Battling schoolmates in the lunchroom brought joy to what was otherwise a painful existence. Although he would later drop out of school and land several minimum-wage-paying, full-time jobs, his musical focus remained constant. Eminem released his debut album, "Infinite", in 1996, but after being thoroughly disappointed and hurt by the response it received, Eminem began working on what would later become the "Slim Shady" EP - a project he made for himself. Featuring several scathing lines about local music industry personalities as well as devious rants about life in general, the set quickly caught the ear of hip-hop's difficult-to-please underground. By presenting himself as himself, Eminem and his career took off. Soon after giving the Rap Coalition's Wendy Day a copy of the "Infinite" album at a chance meeting, she helped the aspiring lyrical gymnast secure a spot at the Coalition's 1997 Rap Olympics in Los Angeles, where he won second place in the freestyle competition. During the trip, Eminem and his manager, Paul Rosenberg, gave a few people from Interscope Records his demo and he made his major radio debut on the world famous "Wake Up Show" with Sway and Tech. Realizing that this was the opportunity of his lifetime, Eminem delivered a furious medley of lyrics that wowed his hosts and radio audience alike.