The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio inducts some of the greatest musical artists every year, and besides the inductee being a massive influence on music at large, the only eligibility is that 25 years must pass since the release of one’s first record.

While some find decades passing before their name comes up, some, like tonight’s inductee, Eminem, find their rightful position on the Hall of Fame as soon as that threshold is crossed. 25 years ago, the Detroit native released his first major-label album, The Slim Shady LP, produced by Dr. Dre, and tonight he found himself inducted into the HoF by Dre himself.

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In his introductory speech, Dre spoke about how he did not even realise Eminem was white when Jimmy Iovine, who was given the Rock Hall’s Ahmet Ertegun Award tonight, made him listen to a tape by the rapper. 

The former NWA member also said how the two of them began recording the classic song My Name Is, only a few minutes after they met each other. He said, “I put on a beat, he got on the mic and said, “Hi, my name is Slim Shady.” That was it, and that was the beginning of what became an amazing creative collaboration.”

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“While everyone else around me had their doubts, I knew that his gifts were undeniable. His raw, dark, humorous lyrics, coupled with an impeccable cadence, stood out from everything I had ever heard before” Dre said about Eminem, who has by now sold over 220 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musical artists in history.

Dre went on to talk about how Eminem’s music helped young and poor white American kids find someone who was just like them and spoke about their condition in a way that has never been done before.

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In his speech, Eminem thanked a number of rappers who have influenced him and said that he hoped they will too be considered for induction. He went on to talk about his struggles with addiction and how Dr. Dre saved his life by signing him to Aftermath Records.