Thursday, January 25, 2024

Eminem’s real life powerfully depicted in 8 Mile

It had been many years since I’d seen one of my favorite music-genre movies, and now that my son is a big fan of rap, it was a perfect opportunity to watch Eminem’s 8 Mile again.

As I watched, much like with Prince’s movie Purple Rain, I was wondering what elements had come from Eminem’s real life growing up in Detroit and what parts of the story were fictionalized. A little research reminded me that almost all of this story was truly based on the rapper’s life, including:

The poverty depicted offered a lot of glimpses into the way he was brought up.

The rap battle competitions were truly how Eminem often spent nights out with his friends. He did eventually shine, like in the movie, and it was not easy for him to become a big star because he had been pretty shy about his abilities.

He did truly struggle with romantic relationships as a young man, just like the one depicted with actor Brittany Murphy (who died of pneumonia in 2009, seven years after the movie was released).

Romantic relationships weren’t Eminem’s only struggle. The one depicted with his mom in the movie was real, and I definitely remembered a lot of that in the news coverage on how his mom was a mess and picked really lousy people to hang out with.

He had real-life problems with his friends as well, with betrayal playing a significant role.

And of course the struggles he had attempting to be a white rapper also happened too. It made him struggle with his identity and place in the world for a long time.

All this is to say that 8 Mile really is the story of Eminem. And a great story it is.

5 out of 5 stars

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