Eminem's biological father, Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr., died this week, TMZ reports at the age of 67. Family members and neighbors told the news outlet that Mathers Jr. died near Fort Wayne, Indiana after having a heart attack.
Eminem, whose really name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, frequently raps about his father abandoning him, as noted in songs like "My Name Is" and "Cleanin' Out My Closet."
"My f—t father must've had his panties up in a bunch / 'Cause he split, I wonder if he even kissed me goodbye / No, I don't, on second thought, I just f—in' wished he would die / I look at Hallie, and I couldn't picture leavin' her side," he rapped on "Cleanin' Out My Closet."
On "My Name Is," he rapped, "Any by the way, when you see my dad / Tell him that I slit his throat in this dream I had."
As a teen, Eminem, now 46, wrote letters to his father, but they always came back as "return to sender," according to Rolling Stone. He said Mathers Jr. would sometimes call while family members were babysitting, but that he would never actually talk to him on the phone.
Mathers Jr., who was referred to by his middle name Bruce, attempted to reconnect with Eminem in 2001, when he told Mirror, "I desperately want to meet my son and tell him that I love him. I'm not interested in his money. I just want to talk to him. I want him to know that I'm here for him if he lets me back into his life."0comments
Mathers Jr. reportedly moved away to California shortly after Eminem's birth in Missouri and had two other children: Michael and Sarah. Eminem's mother, Debbie Rae, later had son Nathan Samara. During Eminem's childhood, he and his mother moved back and forth between Michigan and Missouri, with the future rapper spending much of his youth in Detroit.
Eminem has not publicly commented on Mathers Jr.'s death.