The Real Slim Shady
by Marcia Alesan Dawkins
August 2013, 206pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39893-3
$41, £31, 35€, A59
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39894-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Eminem—born Marshall Bruce Mathers III—is hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the top 100 “Greatest Artists of All Time” and as “The King of Hip Hop.” He was listed as number 58 in the book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and his lyrics are often condemned for containing foul language and promoting violence, misogyny, and homophobia. Eminem has also publicly supported gay rights, made videos that promote voting and anti-bullying, founded a charity to help disadvantaged youth, and changed the face of the recording industry by seeking “digital reparations” for all artists. Will the real Marshall Mathers please stand up?

Offering a fresh way to look at one of the best-selling hip hop artists of the early 21st century, this book presents Eminem's words, images, and music alongside comments from those who love and hate him, documenting why Eminem remains a cultural, spiritual, and economic icon in global popular culture.

Eminem: The Real Slim Shady examines the rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor who has become one of the most successful and well-known artists in the world. Providing far more than a biography of his life story, the book provides a comprehensive description, interpretation, and analysis of his personas, his lyrical content, and the cultural and economic impact of Eminem’s work through media. It also contains the first in-depth content analysis of 200 of the rapper’s most popular songs from 1990 through 2012.

The book is organized into three sections, each focusing on one of the artist’s public personas (Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers, Eminem), with each section further divided into chapters that explore various aspects of Eminem’s cultural, spiritual, and economic significance. Besides being a book that every fan of Eminem and pop music will want to read, the work will be valuable to researchers in the areas of race and ethnicity, communication, cultural and musical studies, and hip hop studies.


  • Includes never before conducted analysis of 200 of Eminem's most popular lyrics, presented visually with tables and charts
  • Provides an up-to-date, combined discography, videography, and bibliography of the rapper's work
Marcia Alesan Dawkins, PhD, is clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication. An award-winning writer and educator, Dawkins is the author of Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity. She writes frequently on race, diversity, media, religion, popular culture, and politics for several high-profile media outlets, including The Huffington Post, Truthdig, The Root, and Cultural Weekly. Dawkins holds a doctorate from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Share on email
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin