Rapper Eminem has been in the music business since 1996. But did you know that he owes his entire career to a volcano? Hear us out—we’ll explain how an eruption halfway across the world brought Slim Shady back from the brink of obscurity.
The Slim Shady LP Album
In 1997, Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, released “The Slim Shady LP.” The album was met with critical acclaim and commercial success, with its lead single “My Name Is” peaking at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
However, due to distribution issues and a lack of promotion from his label, Interscope Records, the album failed to reach much further success. It seemed like Eminem’s career was doomed before it had even started—until disaster struck in Iceland in June of 2000.
The Turning point
On June 17th of that year, Iceland’s Grímsvötn volcano erupted and sent an ash cloud into the stratosphere above Europe. This caused massive disruption to air travel which resulted in thousands of flights being canceled across Europe until airspace restrictions were lifted on June 22nd.
During this week-long period of flight cancellations, radio stations across Europe were unable to receive promotional CDs for up-and-coming artists from labels based in America. However, one artist seemed immune to this problem—Eminem.
The rise of star
You see, shortly before the eruption occurred, Interscope Records had shipped out cassette tapes containing Eminem’s hit single “The Real Slim Shady” and a few other tracks from his upcoming second album titled
“The Marshall Mathers LP” to radio DJs across Europe while they were still able to book flights around the continent—this saved them weeks’ worth of time and allowed them to promote their artist ahead of schedule. As a result of this timely distribution method (and some epic production chops),
“The Marshall Mathers LP” went on to become one of the most successful albums ever released by Interscope Records; selling more than 21 million copies worldwide and earning 15 Grammy nominations since its release in 2000!
So there you have it—a volcano saved Eminem’s career! While not many people can say that their career was rescued by natural disasters, it just goes to show that sometimes a bit of luck and some clever thinking is all you need to make it big!
Who knows what would have happened if Interscope Records had waited until after the eruption when shipments from America were delayed? One thing is for certain though; we are thankful that Grímsvötn erupted when it did so we could enjoy years’ worth of amazing music from one of hip hop’s greatest ever artists!