Eminem on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction: ‘I’m Probably Not Supposed to Be Here’


Eminem, "Music to be Murdered By" album cover.

Eminem, “Music to be Murdered By” album cover – Story by Anne Erickson, photo via Shady Records

Watch Eminem’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance and acceptance speech

Eminem did it up big for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday (Nov. 5). The Detroit-bred rapper performed a multi-song set at the ceremony that even offered surprise appearances from Steven Tyler and Ed Sheeran.

Eminem performed a slew of hits, including “My Name Is,” “Rap God,” “Forever” and “Not Afraid.” He also joined forces with Tyler of Aerosmith for “Sing for the Moment,” which famously includes an Aerosmith sample, and Sheeran on “Stan.”

Other artists inducted into this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class included Dolly Parton, Judas Priest, Carly Simon and Duran Duran. The filmed ceremony will air on HBO on Nov. 19.

Dr. Dre introduced Eminem, which was a perfect fit, since Dre is the rapper’s mentor. Dre said Eminem had an “undeniable gift” and also commented that he was “able to hold up a mirror to White America.”

“His raw, dark, and humorous lyrics coupled with an impeccable cadence stood out from anything I had ever heard before, and he was hungry, Dr. Dre said of Eminem. “Both of us were. 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.”

Dr. Dre added, “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. Eminem brought hip-hop to middle America and offered kids who looked like him a way to connect to it.”

Eminem had some deep words in his acceptance speech. In it, he said, “I’m probably not supposed to actually be here tonight because of a couple of reasons. One of them 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 that 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. And finally, I had to really fight my way through man to try and break through in this music, and I’m so honored and I’m so grateful that I’m even able to be up here doing hip-hip music, man, because I love it so much.”

Eminem went on to mention the rappers who came before him. “I know this induction is supposed to be me talking about myself and s*** man, but f*** 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,” he said. Below, watch fan-filmed footage of Eminem’s performance of Eminem’s and Dr. Dre’s speeches below.

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Music, Rock News

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