Eminem’s whole career was built on being an underdog. He's constantly rhymed about being a poor white kid from Detroit trying to make it in the black man’s world of hip hop, not only proving himself but becoming one of the best to ever do it. However, many would say that being a poor white kid from Detroit made him more palatable to mainstream audiences. While the truth lies somewhere in the middle, no where is that more apparent than in the movie 8 Mile, a semi-biographical film about Eminem’s rise in Detroit’s underground rap scene.
Named after the street he grew up on in Detroit, 8 Mile shows Em's struggles coming up in the rap game as a white rapper trying to earn his respect. Despite putting Mekhi Phifer in fake dreadlocks, the movie was critically acclaimed and a financial success, earning almost $250 million at the box office worldwide. In addition, Eminem won the Oscar for Best Original song for “Lose Yourself,” making him the first hip hop artist to win an Academy Award. It is recognized by many as one of the most successful films based on hip hop and its accompanying soundtrack also did considerably well on the Billboard charts, selling more than 3 million copies.
Since 8 Mile, the rapper hasn’t made many noteworthy appearances in film or television beyond playing himself.