How Has Eminem Risen to the Top?Written by Jeff Schuman II
How is it that a little white boy from Kansas City has become most well known rapper in world? Starting from nothing and eventually moving up to a multi-millionaire, Eminem over past seven years has been in eye of public everywhere you look. He has essentially entered a black man’s business and gone to top over course of a few years, but how?
On October 17, 1972 Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born in St. Joseph, MO by his 15 year old mother Debbie. Six months later his father was gone and this began struggle for Marshall and his mother; one that was just beginning. Throughout course of his childhood Marshall and his mother moved numerous times into different houses from Kansas City to Detroit. The maximum time spent in one house was only 3 months, which caused Marshall to attend many different schools making it difficult to cope to different surroundings and make friends. Every new school he attended he was bullied as he was new kid. This was something that he could not change as he was never stationed in one school for a long period of time. At age of 12 he and his mother finally settled in a house in Detroit. He would later use bullying to his advantage fueling him to get back at all his bullies through songs.
By age of 4 Marshall was already beginning to rap and put words together rhyming them. At school he was rather successful considering circumstances, but it was lunchtime that he enjoyed as he often battled schoolmates through freestyles. At age of 14 Marshall began to get serious about rapping and felt that he had a shot in business. When he got to ninth grade he failed it three times before eventually dropping out as he felt school was not for him.
When he turned 17 he came up with name M&M for himself by combining first letters of his first and last name, which later was changed to Eminem. Now that he didn’t have school as a distraction, he focused solely on rapping with goal of making it to top. He faced constant struggle on way to stardom as he was continuously rejected by most rappers because of his race, despite his true talent. This grew anger inside of him that he uses in his music today. Knowing that it wasn’t going to be easy and that he would have to work, Marshall forced himself onto radio shows and freestyle battles to prove everybody wrong. He eventually got a first album titled “Infinite”, but it only sold 1,000 copies. It wasn’t until 1997 that Marshall would make a name for himself.
Duke Ellington Starring in “The Evolution of Jazz”Written by David Kunstek
Duke Ellington Starring in “The Evolution of Jazz”
Duke Ellington is considered to be one of greatest figures in history of American music. Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington was born in Washington D.C. on April 29, 1899. His parents were James Edward and Daisy Kennedy Ellington. They raised Duke as an only child, until his sister, Ruth, was born when Duke was sixteen years old. Duke, even as a teenager had a great talent for music. In beginning of his musical life, Duke began to take a promising interest in a new type of music that would later be called jazz. Choosing to base his career on a new idea may not have been smart, but Duke did take this chance and in turn became one of most famous musicians in America. Duke's first job was at a government office. He was a clerk who received minimum wage and was barely getting by. He would arrange dance bands for weddings and parties for extra money. His mother taught him how to play piano. Sometimes he put this knowledge to use and played at a few of dance parties and weddings. After Duke's first job, he became more interested in painting and arts. For a few years he painted public posters. Duke then decided to put together his own band. At this point in his life things started to change for better for Duke, but not for long. In those days, this new music was just beginning to develop and would later be given name of jazz. In that time it was considered to be low and vulgar because it was music that grew directly out of Black culture. In those early years, segregation was at one of its all time worst points in history. I think that is why Duke Ellington was one of most important individuals to growth and development of jazz. During Duke's long career, new music slowly spread out of bars and saloons, to dance and night clubs and then eventually onto concert stage. In time, jazz became a universally recognized form of art and has been said that it is only real form that has originated from American soul. By 1960's Duke traveled globe so many times that he became known as unofficial ambassador to United States. Duke's band had played in Russia, Japan, Latin America, Far East, Middle East, and Africa. Duke, himself, was an elegant man. When white people looked down on black man and his music, Duke managed to bring dignity to every one of his performances. Once, jazz historian Leonard Feather described Duke as, 'an inch over six feet tall, sturdily built, he had an innate grandeur that would have enabled him to step with unquenched dignity out of a mud puddle.' Duke's private life was something of an enigma. Although he had many friends he never really told them everything about himself. He would often guard his privacy probably because he had so little of it. When he was alone though, he would almost always be arranging next tune for band to play, and was always thinking or preparing something for band to do in next performance. Duke attracted some of greatest musicians to join his band. Because of this it has been said that many of Duke's pieces are almost impossible to exactly duplicate without personal style of original musicians. One of strange things that was known about Duke was that his school music teacher, Mrs. Clinkscales, who played piano, was always inspiration for him to just sit down and start tinkering around with a few notes that usually became big hits. In his band two, probably most famous musicians were trumpeter Whetsol and saxophonist Hodges. As band became more and more popular, saxophonist Hodges became highest paid performer in United States. The 1920's became known as 'the Jazz Age' because jazz had hit its first great burst of popularity. At that time Duke then added a young drummer named Sonny Greer. A few years after Greer was hired, Duke's band hit a very rough spot. They were often stuck in street with no money and nowhere to go. Duke and his band often were stuck doing crude recordings just for a few dollars to buy a meal. In autumn of 1927, luck had crossed paths with Duke again. The manager of Duke's band, Irving Mills, had heard that prestigious cotton club was looking for a new band and immediately Irving began campaigning for Duke. Duke and his band opened on December 4, 1927 to meet a mad rush of spectators who eagerly awaited to hear Dukes newest pieces. Duke's band became very prosperous and they had their own spot on Cotton Club floor with special lighting and accommodations. At year of 1928 band consisted of Bubber Miley, Freddy Jenkins, and Arthur Whetsol on trumpet, joined with Tricky Sam Nanton, and Juan Tizol on trombone. Johnny Hodges, now on alto sax, with Barney Bigard doubled on tenor sax and clarinet, and finally Harry Carney at seventeen years old joined on bari sax. Carney was known as one of first people in a band ever to use bari sax as a solo instrument.