Throughout his career, Eminem created a large number of rivals in the music industry.
The feud began in 1997, when Eminem was throwing a party to promote his debut EP, The Slim Shady EP. He gave Violent J a flyer which stated "Appearances from ICP... maybe". This angered Violent J, who proceeded to tell Eminem to "fuck off". Eminem then released the diss tracks "Get You Mad" and "Drastic Measures". Insane Clown Posse responded with a parody of his single "My Name Is", titled "Slim Anus". The diss track paints Eminem as a homosexual.
Eminem did continue to insult Insane Clown Posse on various tracks from his album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000), including the songs "Marshall Mathers" and "Ken Kaniff". On "Marshall Mathers", Eminem rapped: "Plus I was put here to put fear in faggots who spray Faygo Root Beer and call themselves "Clowns" cause they look queer Faggot2Dope and Silent Gay/claiming Detroit, when y'all live twenty miles away (fuckin punks)". Eminem also mentioned that he did not need his fellow band members of D12 to defend him from "females when they try to scratch me with...nails." In the song, Eminem attacked the ICP members' street credibility and accused them of being homosexuals.
On the skit "Ken Kaniff", the duo are depicted as graphically fellating Ken Kanniff, a fictional gay character created by Eminem. The gay character instructs the duo to "say my name", to which one member responds, "Eminem", angering Ken Kaniff. The skit closes with Ken Kaniff refusing to allow them to further perform oral sex on him and Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope angry at the loss.
In 2002, Eminem also briefly dissed them on his single "Business" from his album The Eminem Show.
Insane Clown Posse talked about the feud being squashed in an interview with MTV, saying that Proof squashed the conflict in 2005 and had a bowling game. Violent J stated that, "He contacted us and we had a bowling game – it was really cool. We're something different. They could have skipped over us and said forget them, but they included us and said let's squash it."
In an interview with MTV, Violent J stated that they no longer had problems and used the example "If you had beef with someone in high school and you see him ten years later at the reunion, are you still going to have problems with the kid? It's just foolish."
In the early 2000s, Eminem was notified while on the Anger Management Tour that former House of Pain member Everlast had mocked him on a song. Everlast claimed that while passing by Mathers in a hotel lobby, Mathers gave him a "weird look."Everlast's verse from the Dilated Peoples all star track "Ear Drums Pop (Remix)" contained a thinly veiled reference to Eminem ("Cock my hammer, spit a comet like Haley/I buck a .380 on ones that act shady"), and went on to warn "You might catch a beatdown out where I come from" in his recounting of the incident. Taking offense to this, Eminem and D12 quickly began work on a retaliatory song, "I Remember", which ripped Everlast several times in public and with the song.
Everlast responded with the track "Whitey's Revenge," released only on his official website. While the song contained references to Eminem's strained relationships with his wife and mother, it was "Better run and check your kid for your DNA", again referring to Eminem's daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers, that set Eminem off.
Eminem & D12 responded with "Quitter," the second half of which is a take off on 2Pac's "Hit 'Em Up" (a diss song aimed at The Notorious B.I.G.). The track ends with the spoken words, "Fuck him, that's it, I'm done, I promise, I'm done, that's it." It was reported that long-time friends of Eminem, Limp Bizkit, were meant to be featured on the song, but Fred Durst canceled at the last moment. In a TRL interview, Limp Bizkit member DJ Lethal made a statement that if Mathers and Everlast were to fight in real life, Everlast would win. This enraged Eminem, and an insulting track aimed at both Everlast and Limp Bizkit (namely Durst and Lethal) named "Girls" appeared on D12's mainstream debut, Devil's Night. Recently, things seem to have settled, and Eminem has no longer been heard insulting Everlast or Limp Bizkit. It is currently unknown if the dispute is resolved.
The animus between Canibus and Eminem started when Canibus and Wyclef Jean confronted Eminem and asked him if he ghost-wrote the track "The Ripper Strikes Back" by LL Cool J. Eminem denied that he wrote the track. After he was confronted, he said Canibus was "rude" to him. Two years later, Canibus went to see Eminem on the Warped Tour and apologized to him for his reactions and asked him if he still wanted the track. Eminem agreed, but when he heard the track "Phuck U" from Canibus' album 2000 B.C., he thought the track was directed at him and LL Cool J. Shortly afterwards, Eminem released his 2nd album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) and Canibus decided to continue the "story" of Eminem's single "Stan". He titled the track "U Didn't Care", and it continued to take shots at Eminem. Eminem decided to take more shots at Canibus on his album The Eminem Show (2002) on tracks such as "Say What You Say", "When The Music Stops" and "Square Dance". Even though Canibus did not immediately respond to the tracks, Eminem continued to take shots at him, including a track Eminem was featured on with Xzibit, titled "My Name" from Xzibit's album Man vs. Machine. On November 19, 2002 Canibus responded with the track titled" Dr.C PhD". Over a year later Eminem released the track "Can-I-Bitch". He attacked Canibus in a humorous matter. Since then the hostilities have cooled down, but Canibus tried to provoke a re-ignition of it when he leaked a track titled "Air Strike (Pop Killer)", that featured vocal parts of D12, where Canibus takes shots at Eminem and his deceased friend Proof. D12 member Swift responded to the record publicly, and had the following to say about DZK (another rapper featured on the track). "[He] asked us to do a track with him when he already was teamed up with Canibus without us knowing. They dissed Em, took our verses and added them to the song, so they can bring traffic and make it seem like we were turning on Em... as a desperate attempt to be heard after ducking and dodging Em for 7 years. It was a straight hoe move.
Eminem's conflict with Ja Rule started after 50 Cent signed to Shady Records and Aftermath. Ja Rule stated that he had a problem with Eminem and Dr. Dre of signing someone he had conflict with. On November 19, Ja Rule and Irv Gotti were special guests on Star and Bucwild's morning show on Hot 97 NYC. Irv Gotti had some 'legal documents' stating the order of protection 50 'has on him'. Ja Rule threatened, that if 50 Cent released any diss track, he would take action towards his two producers. However, Dr. Dre was the one who produced 50 Cent's vicious track "Back Down" in 2003 from the album Get Rich Or Die Tryin', which not only called out Murder Inc., but 50 Cent was extremely disrespectful towards Ja Rule's mother, wife and kids. In the song 50 rhymes: "Your Mami, your Papi, that bitch you chasin' your lil dirty ass kids, I'll fuckin' erase them."
Busta Rhymes decided to join the conflict when he was featured on the track "Hail Mary 2003", with Eminem and 50 Cent.
The feud intensified when Ja Rule released a diss called "Loose Change" in which he took shots at 50 Cent and as well Eminem calling him "Feminem" and Dr. Dre as "bisexual" and claimed that Suge Knight knew of Dre "bringing transvestites home". It includes also the lyrics insulting Eminem's mother Debbie, his ex-wife Kim and went on to reference his then 8-year-old daughter Hailie: "Em you claim your mother's a crack head and Kim is a known slut, so what's Hailie gonna be when she grows up?" This angered Eminem greatly, causing him to immediately get his rap group D12 involved, as well as the major part of his label, Shady Records, including Obie Trice, his close friend. They responded together on the track titled "Doe Rae Me" (aka "Hailie's Revenge"). Since then the rift has cooled down.
The feud began when Benzino gave The Marshall Mathers LP a mic rating of 2/5 Mics, despite the fact that the album received overwhelmingly positive reviews. The low rating greatly angered Eminem who felt his album deserved more. In 2003, Benzino, a rapper who had secretly co-owned The Source for some time, released a diss single titled "Pull Your Skirt Up" which insulted Eminem. The track attacked Eminem's "street cred" (although Eminem has never claimed to be "... reppin' the streets," a line Benzino includes in the song) and accused him of being a tool of the music industry. In the same year, The Source attempted to tarnish Eminem's image by digging up an old tape from his time as a young rapper in Detroit where he insulted black women and used the word "nigger.". The song, called "Foolish Pride" was recorded in the late 1980s when Eminem had been "dumped" by his African-American then-girlfriend. Eminem responded with 2 tracks titled "Nail in the Coffin" and "The Sauce". Benzino would later release more tracks. As a result of the conflict, Shady/Aftermath ads were pulled from the magazine. XXL, which had featured negative coverage of Shady/Aftermath artists since Eminem included the lines "Okay, let me give you motherfuckers some help/Here – DOUBLE-X-L! DOUBLE-X-L!/Now your magazine shouldn't have so much trouble to sell/Ah fuck it, I'll even buy a couple myself" on "Marshall Mathers," stepped in to fill the void, accepting Shady/Aftermath ads and doing a 180 in its coverage of its artists. Currently, XXL leads The Source in circulation, and Benzino's actions are generally perceived to have severely tarnished the image and credibility of the magazine.
The music video for "Just Lose It" generated controversy by parodying singer Michael Jackson's child molestation trial, plastic surgery and an incident in which Jackson's hair caught on fire while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984. It was banned on the BET channel, after complaints from Benzino and others (but was later reinstated, as critics of the ban argued that Nelly's "Tip Drill" video could be seen). Both were only seen on BET: Uncut. However MTV did not drop it, and the video became one of the most requested on the channel. A week after the release of "Just Lose It", Jackson called into the radio show of Steve Harvey to report his displeasure with the video. "I am very angry at Eminem's depiction of me in his video," Jackson said in the interview. "I feel that it is outrageous and disrespectful. It is one thing to spoof, but it is another to be demeaning and insensitive." The singer continued: "I've admired Eminem as an artist, and was shocked by this. The video was inappropriate and disrespectful to me, my children, my family and the community at large." Many of Jackson's supporters and friends spoke out about the video, including Stevie Wonder, who called the video "kicking a man while he's down" and "bullshit", and Steve Harvey, who declared, "Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass back."
Eminem has written several songs referring to a relationship with pop singer Mariah Carey, although she denies the claim. She says that they hung out but nothing sexual or intimate occurred. Eminem has referenced her on many songs that include "Superman", "Jimmy Crack Corn", "Bagpipes From Baghdad", and "The Warning". While "Superman" was released in 2003, Carey released a song entitled "Clown" on her Charmbracelet album, released in 2002, which makes similar references in line with her 2009 hit "Obsessed".
Eminem's "Bagpipes From Baghdad" from his album Relapse may be his most well known reference to Carey due to the controversy it caused. The song disparages Carey and husband Nick Cannon's relationship. Cannon responded to Eminem by saying his career is based on "racist bigotry", and that he would get revenge on Eminem, joking that he may return to rapping. Eminem later stated that the couple misinterpreted the track and it was wishing the two the best. Cannon also stated that there were no hard feelings, and that he just had to express his feelings about the song.
In 2009, Carey released "Obsessed" in which she sings about an obsessed man who claims to be having a relationship with her. Cannon claimed that the song was not an insult directed at Eminem. However, Eminem responded in late July 2009 by releasing a track titled "The Warning". It contained samples of voice mail recordings which Eminem claimed were left by Mariah Carey when the two were together. Eminem also hinted that he had other evidence of their relationship in his possession. A little over a year later in September 2010 Nick Cannon responded with the song "I'm a Slick Rick" which in Slick Rick's flow he takes shots at Eminem.
After the release of The Marshall Mathers LP, popular electronic music artist Moby began speaking out against the album's lyrics, citing references to misogyny and homophobia as unacceptable. Eminem responded back with a line dissing Moby in "Without Me", the lead single off his next album The Eminem Show. Moby kept quiet until 2004, when he praised Eminem for his courage in bashing then-U.S. President George W. Bush in the song "Mosh", a track from Encore. The feud has since died.