Legendary rapper Eminem was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this weekend by his mentor and contributor—Dr. Dre.
In the annual ceremonial event, the rapper born Marshall Bruce Mathers II was inducted by the legendary producer who declared that from their earliest meetings that he believed in the Detroit rapper, saying, “I knew that his gifts were undeniable,” Dre affirmed, per Billboard. “Each of us was what the other one needed — and I was willing to bet my entire career on it.”
He added that Eminem, “brought Hip-Hop to middle America” and as he did so in the early 2000s, he became one of the best-selling rappers of all time.
Eminem was celebrated by a montage of his luminary musical peers including Adele, Elton John, Rihanna and more who all praised his deft lyrical ability and showmanship.
Em then took to the stage and performed a handful of his hits including his first single, “My Name Is,” as well as “Not Afraid,” and “Forever.” He was joined by several guests including Steven Tyler of Aerosmith on “Sing for the Moment” and Ed Sheeran on “Stan.”
During his speech, Eminem thanked a litany of Black Hip-Hop artists many of whom have not yet been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He said, per Vulture, “I realize what an honor it is right now to be here up here tonight, and what a privilege it is to do the music that I love,” he explained. “Music basically saved my life … I’ll keep this as painless as possible. I’m fucking stuttering and shit. I’m probably not supposed to actually be here tonight because of a couple of reasons. One, I know that I’m a rapper, and this is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There’s only a few of us who have been inducted already.”
His list of thank yous were in the dozens including rappers who are mainstream and underground.
“Those were my rock stars man, and I just want to say, like, those are just a few of the names that I hope will be considered in the future for induction. Because without them, a lot of us wouldn’t be here. I know I wouldn’t,” the Detroit native said per The Detroit News.
He added, “So that’s all I had to say, man. I know this induction is supposed to be me talking about myself and s–t man, but f— that. I would not be here without them. I’m a high school dropout man, with a hip-hop education, and these were my teachers. And it’s their night just as much as it is mine. So thank you.”
Eminem added that he also was thankful to be present considering that he almost died of a drug overdose in 2007 following the murder of his friend and collaborator DeShaun “Proof” Holton. He has been sober since 2008 and frequently shares his sober anniversaries on Instagram.