Eminem was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday night (November 5). The Detroit rap legend was welcomed into the Rock Hall by his mentor, Dr. Dre, who revealed he was shocked when he first learned Eminem was white.
“Over 20 years ago, Jimmy Iovine, who is also one of tonight’s inductees and one of my best friends, played a demo tape for me from a guy who called himself Eminem,” Dre said. “The first thing I said when I heard it was, ‘What the fuck did he just say?’ I loved it so much that I couldn’t stop listening to it.
“A few days later, Jimmy called me and said, ‘You know he’s a White guy, right?’ Fucked me up!” the Aftermath mogul continued. “Looking back, I don’t know why it didn’t cross my mind. He certainly didn’t sound like a Black rapper, especially because of what he was saying. I guess it was my ignorance at the time, thinking that if you’re a really good rapper, you must be Black.”
Despite pushback from his team at the time, Dre recalled how he knew Eminem’s “gifts were undeniable.”
“We were two artists in do-or-die situations: he was desperate to find a way to feed his family and I was searching for something to sink my teeth into creatively. Each of us was exactly what the other needed and I was willing to bet my entire career on it.”
“Eminem was able to hold up a mirror to White America while also expressing the pain of living through poverty in dysfunctional families devoid of hope,” Dr. Dre continued. “Eminem brought hip-hop to middle America and offered kids who looked like him a way to connect to it.”
During his own acceptance speech, Eminem called Dr. Dre “the man who saved my life.”
“This shit is crazy,” he began. “I realize what an honor it is right now for me to be up here tonight, and what a privilege it is to do the music that I love, and the music that basically saved my life.
“Where’d the man, where did Dre go? The man who saved my life, ladies and gentlemen, Dr. motherf-ucking Dre. So I’m going to try to make this as quick and painless as possible. I’m fucking stuttering and shit, I mean Jesus Christ.
He joked about almost dying from an overdose in 2007, and gave a lengthy shout out to a list of artists who influenced his career, including Tupac, LL Cool J, Ice-T, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Big Pun, Run-DMC, and many more.
“I know this induction is supposed to be me talking about myself and shit man, but fuck that. I would not be here without them. I’m a high school dropout man, with a hip-hop education, and these were my teachers. And it’s their night just as much as it is mine,” Eminem said to conclude his remarks
Eminem’s mother, Debbie Mathers celebrated her son’s historic achievement with a heartwarming video message. The rapper has often dissed his mother on records in the past, but that did not deter her from being proud of her son.
“Yes, I want to say, Marshall, I could not let this day go by, and congratulate you on your induction to [Rock & Roll] Hall of Fame,” she said in a video which was shared by her friend. “I love you very much, I knew you would get there. It’s been a long ride, I am very very proud of you and also I’m very proud of Hailie Jade. I wanna tell you Hailie, great job on your podcast. God bless you guys, love you very much.”
Eminem celebrated his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by performing a six-song set that featured hits like “My Name Is,” “Rap God,” “Forever,” and “Not Afraid.” He also teamed up with Aerosmith’s Tyler on “Sing for the Moment” and Sheeran on “Stan.”
In addition to Eminem, this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class included Dolly Parton, Judas Priest, Carly Simon, and Duran Duran. A recording of the ceremony, which took in Los Angeles, will air on HBO on November 19th.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on Nov. 19 on HBO.
Read Eminem’s full speech below.
I realize what an honor it is right now for me to be up here tonight and what a privilege it is to do the music that I love — the music that basically saved my life. Where’d the man — where did Dre go? The man who saved my life, ladies and gentleman, Dr. mortherfucking Dre. So I’m going to try to make this as quick and painless as possible. I’m fucking stuttering and shit, I mean, Jesus Christ.
So I’m probably not supposed to actually be here tonight because of a couple of reasons. One, I know that I’m a rapper, and this is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and there’s only a few of us right now who have been inducted in already. But there’s only a few of us. Secondly, I almost died from an overdose in 2007, which kind of sucked because — Hailie, plug your ears — because drugs were fucking delicious. And I thought we had a good thing going, man, but I had to go and fuck it all up and take too many. Ok, Hailie, you can…
Ok, so… Hold on, I lost my motherfucking’ spot. Paul, did I say — I said drugs were delicious, right? And finally, I had to really fight my way through, man, to try and breakthrough in this music. And I’m so honored, and I’m so grateful that I’m able to be up here doing hip-hop music, man, because I love it so much. And they say you don’t work a day if you love your job. This part, I’m not crazy about, but okay.
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 shit without some of the groundbreaking artists I’m about to mention.
And this is a list, man, I put this list together yesterday, and I kept adding to the shit, and adding to the shit, so if I forget anybody, I apologize, but these were my teachers right here. 2 Live Crew, Tupac, Third Bass, the Alliance, Apache, Audio Two — Milk Dee, what up? Awesome Dre, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Big Pun, Big L, Biz Markee, the Notorious B.I.G. of course. Black Moon, the Boogie Monsters, Brand Nubian, Brother J from X Clan, Buckshot, Casual from Hieroglyphics, Chill Rob G, Chubb Rock, Chuck D and Public Enemy. Cypress Hill, D-Nice, Dana Dane, De La Soul — now I’m a bout a third of the way done. Def Jef, Del the Funky Homosapien, DJ Quik, Dr. Dre, of course. Dres from Black Sheep, Ed O.G., EPMD, the Fat Boys, Fat Joe, Fu-Schnickens, Gang Starr, Geto Boys, Heavy D, House of Pain, Ice Cube, Ice-T, the Intelligent Hoodlum, JJ Fad, Jaz-O, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Just Ice, K-Solo, Kid and Play. I’m a tenth of the way done!
King Sun, King Tee, Kool G Rap, Kool Moe Dee, KRS-One, Kwame, Lakim Shabazz, Large Professor, Leaders of the New School. The old man, where’d I just see him? The one and only LL Cool J — love you bro. Lord Finesse, Lords of the Underground, Mantronix, Masta Ace, MC Breed, MC Late, MC Shan, Melle Mel, Merciless Ameer, Mobb Deep, Monie Love, Nas, Nwecleus, Onyx, Organized Konfusion, Outkast, Andre 3000, Paris, Pharcyde, Queen Latifah, Rakim, Redhead Kingpin, Pete Rock and CL. I’m almost done.
Redman, Roxanne Shante, Run-D.M.C., Salt-N-Pepa, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh. Snoop Dogg, Souls of Mischief, Special Ed, Stetsasonic — now I’m down to the S’s. Super Lover Cee and Casanova Run, the D.O.C., the Roots, Black Thought, the Skinny Boys, Tony D, Too $hort, Treach from Naughty by Nature, A Tribe Called Quest, U.T.F.O., Whodini, Wise Intelligent and the Poor Righteous Teachers, Wu-Tang Clan, and YZ.
Those were my rock stars, man. And I just want to say those are just a few of the names that I hope will be considered in the future for induction. Because without them, a lot of us wouldn’t be here. I know I wouldn’t. So, that’s all I have to say, man. I know this induction is supposed to be me talking about myself and shit, man, but fuck that. I would not be here without them. I’m a high school dropout, man, with a hip-hop education, and these were my teachers. And it’s their night, just as much as it is mine. So thank you.