Thursday, December 2, 2021

Marshalling a dollar

Eminem’s childhood home for sale for just $1

 

Owned by his mother Debbie Mathers – also known as Debbie Nelson – between 1987 and 1994, the rapper Eminem’s former home in Detroit is for sale with a starting price of just $1.

 

19946 Dresden, Detroit, Michigan, MI 48205
19946 Dresden, Detroit, Michigan, MI 48205
Enimem (AKA Marshall Mathers III)
Eminem (AKA Marshall Mathers III)

Featured on the cover of his 2000 The Marshall Mathers LP album, the hip hop singer’s mother agreed to buy the 767 square foot shack at 19946 Dresden Street for $19,900 in 1987 on the basis of an agreed $3,000 upfront accompanied by monthly payments of $220.

 

In her book My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem: Setting the Record Straight on My Life as Eminem’s Mother, Nelson stated of the house:

 

“I’d already decided it was about time we owned a home. Until then, I’d always rented. The house was at 19946 Dresden Street, on the Detroit side of 8 Mile. The down payment was $3,000. I saved as much as I could to buy the house on a land contract from a lovely senior couple, the Kovaleskis. When we eventually moved after five years, we stayed in touch”.

 

“Years later Marshall claimed that ‘some dude’ had bought me that house. That’s simply not true. I paid for it all myself and Marshall loved it so much that he had a model of it made to take on tour with him. Even though we’d moved a lot, he always said the house on Dresden was his childhood home”.

 

The house featured on Eninem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" in 2000
The house featured on Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” in 2000
It will also feature on his forthcoming "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" cover
It will also feature on his forthcoming “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” cover

In a 2010 interview for SPIN, Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, spoke fondly of his life in Dresden Street and stated that he’d visited in 2009. In the article, journalist Jonah Weiner recounts:

 

“The last time he went by 19946 Dresden, he says, was a year and a half ago, and a side window was boarded up. ‘I didn’t know if there was a fire or what’, he says. ‘It looked like no one lived there’. It is hard, at least for strangers, to get Eminem to do something with his face other than stare impassively, but when I describe my visit, his eyes widen. ‘It’s still there?’ he asks”.

 

“‘It may sound corny, but I’ll go by and try to remember how things were when I was in those houses’, he continues. ‘I’ll go back and remember, like, fuck, man, how life was back then. How much of a struggle it was. As time goes by, you might get content and forget things’”.

 

The then resident, a woman named Sierra, was also interviewed for the feature and recounted that fans “come from all over… take pictures, ask questions”. She also added that she’d been offered as much $72,000 for it but “like[d] it too much to consider selling”. Plainly things did not work out as Sierra planned as the house was subsequently repossessed and boarded up.

 

Estimated by the real estate website Zillow to be worth $33,000, the two storey house is for sale through the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority. It is situated in one of the city’s roughest neighbourhoods but maybe it’d make a suitable shrine for Eminem’s fans especially given he’s using an image of it on the cover of his forthcoming The Marshall Mathers LP 2 album. Perhaps, given his affection for it, he ought to put in a Slim Shady bid.

 

 

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