Before Eminem became the real Slim Shady, he was just another rapper trying find a distinctive style that would help him get in the ear of critics and fans. In a new interview with VladTV, his D12 bandmates say that Marshall Mathers’ work with the group helped him find the attention-grabbing voice we all know today.
Responding to criticisms that the then-young MC sounded like New York rapper AZ on his debut LP Infinite, D12’s Kuniva agreed, saying, “That was the pinnacle of him being polite and cool. He was really a straight up cool cat, but the frustration came out when he started getting the criticism about the Infinite shit, like, ‘It’s kind of soft. You sound like this person/that person.'”
It was that criticism that motivated him to set himself apart — and D12 helped him do that, according to his former bandmates. “Basically the whole thing of D12 is everybody has an alter ego, so try to be the villain, a person completely different from who you are,” Bizarre explained. “That’s when he took the name Slim Shady.”
Watch the full interview below: