This introduced the character "Slim Shady." Eminem claims to have three characters he uses: Marshal Mathers (his real name), Eminem, and Slim Shady.
The warbley rhythm that forms the backing track is built around a sample of a 1975 song called "I Got The..." by Labi Siffre. Siffre is a gay activist, so before he let Eminem use his song, he insisted that he change the line:
"My English teacher wanted to have sex in junior high. The only problem was, my English teacher was a guy."
"My English teacher wanted to flunk me in junior high. Thanks a lot, next semester I'll be 35."
Eminem's producer Dr. Dre claimed they finished this song in only an hour or two. It was the first time they worked together in the studio, and the pair had an instant connection. Dre told Esquire in 2013: "I put the track on, we had a little bit of idle chitchat, I put on the beat, and maybe five seconds in - I swear to God - he goes, 'Hi, my name is.' That was it. And it's still clicking."
Dre and Em recorded three other songs that day that were also included on the album.
Eminem got so tired of the song that after a while, he only played snippets of it in his concerts, often stopping the song to declare he was sick of it.
The video parodies many popular figures like Bill Clinton and Marilyn Manson. Eminem repeated this technique on many more of his videos.
Before the Slim Shady LP
was released, an uncensored version was available on the Internet. The original lyrics on the dirty version of the song were: "Raping lesbians while they're screaming, 'Let's just be friends." The version on the CD was changed to "Running over pedestrians while they're screaming, 'Let's just be friends.'"
Fred - Elk Grove, CA
The song this samples, "I Got The...," was also used on Jay-Z's 1997 track "Streetz Iz Watching," although Jay used a different part of the song. Chas Hodges played the guitar on the original, and Dave Peacock played the bass. They later formed Chas & Dave, which had a number of hits in the UK across a four-decade career. At the time, they were session musicians.
The group Insane Clown Posse, who has a long-running feud with Eminem, did a parody of this called "Slim Anus" that they played on The Howard Stern Show. As you can imagine, the lyrics were not kind to Eminem.
This contains the line, "My mom smokes more dope than I do." Eminem's mother, Debbie Mathers-Briggs, sued him shortly after the song became a hit, claiming that her son had slandered her on the record. They settled out of court for $25,000.
Eminem recalled his mother sending someone to serve a lawsuit in an annotated comment on Rap Genius. "Right after the first single came out, I did a signing at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square," the Detroit MC recalled. "While I was there, I got served by a court processor. They knew where I'd be, and they had to physically serve me. The guy got tackled. He was stupid. You don't need to physically serve someone anymore, like in the movies. But the guy was being a cowboy. It was some lawsuit from my mother, I think."
Soon after the song was released, the NFL used it in a commercial featuring a guy named Joe who answered the question, "My Name Is..." with "Joe."
Looking back at this breakout song during a 2013 interview with BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, Eminem said: "I understood that 'My Name Is' was funny and that it was a little kitschy. The whole record was tongue-in-cheek. I still do a lot of records like that. That record was almost my anti-pop song. It was my 'hello' and 'f--k you' to the world at the same time. I never understood how that became a pop song."