Eminem's childhood home in Detroit was damaged in a fire on November 7, further scarring the vacant property pictured on the cover of the rapper's recently released eighth album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. According to the Detroit Free Press, the city's fire department arrived on the scene at 6:20 p.m. on Thursday, as flames were eating away at a boarded-up, second-floor window of the two-story bungalow. Firefighters were able to put out the blaze, but not before portions of the top floor sustained damage. The Detroit Fire Department didn't have any information as to what caused the fire.
Back in September, the house — which originally appeared on the cover of Em's 2000 masterpiece, The Marshall Mathers LP — was listed as being owned by the Michigan Land Bank, a government program that manages empty properties across the state, including 11,000 in Detroit. Located just south of 8 Mile at 19946 Dresden Street, the single-family home was recently put up for auction, with minimum bids starting at $1. Public records indicate that Eminem's mother, Deborah Nelson, bought the space in 1987 for $19,900. The property then changed hands 10 or so times before being foreclosed upon in 2001.
In a brighter bit of news for Eminem, the "Rap God" just received some high praise from the Zombies' Rod Argent, who is very pleased with how the 41-year-old MC sampled the Zombies' "Time of the Season" for his MMLP2 track "Rhyme and Reason." Speaking with Rolling Stone, Argent said, "I actually loved it. I loved the way he takes words and phrases from the original record and then spins off of the particular phrases. It kicks him off onto an avalanche of funny wordplay and invention. It's very amusing. It's a waterfall of words, and the associations just keep coming."
Another artist associated with Eminem's newest full-length has also made headlines as of late. Sia, who appears on the MMLP2 Deluxe Edition bonus track "Beautiful Pain," pledged to donate her proceeds from the track to benefit homeless LGBT youth. Sia's announcement came after the singer-songwriter, who identifies herself as queer, was criticized for working with Eminem, who has a long history of being labeled as homophobic. A blogger with the Huffington Post tweeted at Sia on November 1, saying he was "incredibly disappointed" in her for taking part in the collaboration.
Sia quickly responded by tweeting, "I know personally that [Eminem] is not homophobic, but a performance artist. I would never work with someone I believed to be homophobic."
Eminem has been on a media blitz in support of MMLP2 over the last few weeks, performing (and not technically lip-syncing) on Saturday Night Live, closing out the first-ever YouTube Music Awards after being crowned Artist of the Year, answering fans' questions on SiriusXM, and getting BET to resurrect their canceled Rap City franchise for a one-night-only TV special, in which he reminded everyone that he's pretty much the best at freestyling.