Eminem celebrated his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday by performing a six-song set that featured surprise appearances from Steven Tyler and Ed Sheeran.
Marshall Mathers ran through hits like “My Name Is,” “Rap God,” “Forever,” and “Not Afraid.” He also teamed up with Aerosmith’s Tyler on “Sing for the Moment” and Sheeran on “Stan.”
Eminem was introduced by his mentor, Dr. Dre, who spoke of the Detroit rapper’s “undeniable gift.” “His raw, dark, and humorous lyrics coupled with an impeccable cadence stood out from anything I had ever heard before, and he was hungry,” Dr. Dre said of Eminem. “Both of us were. We were two artists in do-or-die situations: he was desperate to find a way to feed his family and I was searching for something to sink my teeth into creatively. Each of us was exactly what the other needed and I was willing to bet my entire career on it.”
“Eminem was able to hold up a mirror to White America while also expressing the pain of living through poverty in dysfunctional families devoid of hope,” Dr. Dre continued. “Eminem brought hip-hop to middle America and offered kids who looked like him a way to connect to it.”
During his own acceptance speech, Eminem commented that, “I’m probably not supposed to actually be here tonight because of a couple of reasons. One of them that I’m a rapper, and this is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And there’s only a few of us right now that have been inducted in already, but there’s only a few of us. Secondly, I almost died from an overdose in 2007, which kind of sucked.”
“And finally, I had to really fight my way through man to try and break through in this music, and I’m so honored and I’m so grateful that I’m even able to be up here doing hip-hip music, man, because I love it so much,” Eminem added.
He then named-checked the many hip-hop artists who paved the way for him. “I know this induction is supposed to be me talking about myself and shit man, but fuck 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,” Eminem said to conclude his remarks.
Below, watch fan-captured footage of Eminem’s performance and transcripts of Eminem’s and Dr. Dre’s speeches (via The Detroit News).
In addition to Eminem, this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class included Dolly Parton, Judas Priest, Carly Simon, and Duran Duran. A recording of the ceremony, which took in Los Angeles, will air on HBO on November 19th.