Eminem won the Grammy Sunday for Best Rap Album for “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” beating out newcomers to cement his role as the most awarded and top-selling rapper ever.
With the win, Eminem has won a record six Grammys for Best Rap Album.
“The Marshall Mathers LP 2” was his eighth studio album, and was considered a sequel to his largely autobiographical “The Marshall Mathers LP” from 2000, which remains the fastest-selling album by a solo artist in the United States.
The now 42-year-old Eminem beat out a field that included Iggy Azalea, who would have been the first solo woman to win in the category. Eminem raised controversy with a recent song in which the rapper — or, he says, a character he is playing — threatens to rape Azalea.
Azalea hit back by charging that Eminem was old and could not think of anything new other than to threaten a young woman.
Eminem did not appear to accept the award, presented at a ceremony ahead of the main televised Grammy gala that features major pop performers.
On “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” Eminem teamed up with veteran producer Rick Rubin, who brought in hard rock elements, as well as his veteran mentor Dr. Dre. The album features the hit “The Monster,” in which Eminem again collaborated with singer Rihanna.
Eminem – who is sober after a long history of substance use – on the album reflected at length on his trajectory into superstardom from his troubled youth in Detroit, where he grew up as Marshall Bruce Mathers III in a largely African American community.
But Eminem also encountered further controversy on the album by using anti-gay slurs. Eminem had for years tried to battle accusations of homophobia, going so far as to perform at the 2001 Grammys in a duet with Elton John, who is gay.
Eminem argued that he supports gay rights but that he uses the slur as a narrative device.
On “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” Eminem also patches up with his mother after a notoriously difficult relationship, including past lyrics in which he hinted at violence against the “selfish bitch.”