(AllHipHop News) You are seldom going to find a more successful year for a rapper than Eminem’s 2002. By the end of 2002, Eminem had two of the highest selling albums of any genre that year, with one being a soundtrack released two months before the year ended. Today (April 16th), Eminem, Paul Rosenberg and the cast of 8 Mile discuss the making of the movie.
In Grantland’s oral history of 8 Mile, the members of the cast attest that it was a concerted effort by Eminem and the producers to utilized authentic Detroit rappers in the battle scene. One rapper, Gerald L. “Strike” Sanders, whom played Lyckety-Splyt was a local MC who had so much trouble with the law that before he battled Eminem in the movie, Em had to bail him out:
It was funny because I was on the run from the feds at that time. When we pulled up to the [auditions], we actually thought it was the feds. At that time I was in the streets, carrying guns. My manager was like, “If they try to arrest you, I’ll shoot in the air, you run!” [Later,] Em done bailed me out on my attempted murder case. Proof went to him to get the money for that.
Many secrets about Eminem’s battle rap past were revealed, including that him and fallen friend Proof never battled each other at the famed Detroit Hip Hop Shop. Mekhi Phifer’s character, Future, was inspired by Proof and would have been played by its inspiration if Proof would have shown up to auditions, according to the movie’s screenwriter Scott Silver. While Proof’s presence was not seen on film, it was definitely felt behind the scenes according to Lyckety-Splyt:
It was times where the crowd would try to heckle Em. And you got people saying, ‘Why ya’ll n—-s around the white rapper?’ I got the mark of stitches on my hand to this day that I had from slapping some dude in the face that said, “F*ck the white boy.” Proof hit him, and he swung, and then I hit him!