Eminem’s father has died. “The Real Slim Shady” rapper’s estranged parent was reported to have passed away earlier this week, per TMZ‘s June 26 report. As the media outlet states, Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. was 67 years of age. Family members told TMZ that the hip-hop icon’s father died of a heart attack – he died near Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Eminem has referenced his estranged father throughout his music. “My Name Is” and “Cleaning Out My Closet” included mentions of Bruce – as fans will know, the 46-year-old used harsh words to describe the man he appeared to bitterly hate. “Cleaning Out My Closet” outlined Eminem’s sensation of abandonment as his father left the dysfunctional family when the rapper was still a child.
“My fa***t father must’ve had his panties up in a bunch ‘Cause he split, I wonder if he even kissed me goodbye. No, I don’t, on second thought, I just f**kin’ wished he would die. I look at Hailie, and I couldn’t picture leavin’ her side.”
Eminem’s parents had him young. His mother, Deborah Nelson Mathers, married Bruce at the age of 15 – Bruce was 22 years old. Two years later, the couple welcomed their son Marshall “Eminem” Bruce Mathers III. The couple parted ways shortly after Eminem’s birth. The youngster was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Bruce left the Midwest for California where he fathered two more children.
As The Vibe reports, Eminem’s father had attempted to make contact with his son decades after abandoning the family. In 2001, Bruce wrote a letter to the rapper – The Daily Mirror-published words suggested this father to be genuinely attempting to make amends.
“I’m not interested in his money. I just want to talk to him. I want him to know that I’m here for him if he lets me back into his life,” the letter said.
The report also included a statement from Bruce’s second wife Teresa Harbin. She confirmed that her husband had not seen Eminem since he was a baby. She added that Bruce’s only connection to his son was via an old photograph.
“Eminem has made it quite clear he wants nothing to do with him at the moment,” Teresa said.
Eminem does not appear to have made a public statement regarding his father’s passing.
The Missouri-born superstar is now the best-selling hip-hop artist of all time. His records outsold all other artists of the 2000s. Fans may not be saddened by this week’s news, but the loss is nonetheless a headline-maker.