OAK PARK, MI (AP) — Eminem, who grew up on both sides of 8 Mile Road, is helping revitalize the highway he made famous in a hit song and film.
The rapper, born Marshall Mathers III, has autographed 30 bricks from the recently demolished Detroit Artillery Armory on 8 Mile in Oak Park. One brick was auctioned last month, and the rest are to auctioned on eBay within the next month.
Proceeds will be split equally between Eminem's charity, the Marshall Mathers Foundation, which helps troubled youths, and the Eight Mile Boulevard Association.
The association, a coalition of 13 cities, Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties and several businesses, asked Eminem to sign the bricks. It plans to use its share of the auction proceeds for revitalization efforts along 8 Mile.
"He's identified with 8 Mile Road, and he's famous," association president Barry Brickner told the Detroit Free Press for a Thursday story.
The bricks are painted gold and are covered with a clear sealant on the side bearing Eminem's autograph, said Tami Salisbury, the association's executive director. The bricks will be packaged with DVD copies of the "8 Mile" movie.
R. Miles Handy, supervisor of Wayne County's Redford Township, submitted the winning bid of $300 for the first brick, which says "Save 8 Mile Slim Shady 2005."
"Here's a kid who lived close to 8 Mile, now is one of the largest entertainers in the country," said Handy, 40. "I think it's a pretty nice piece of history."
Eminem was born in St. Joseph, Mo., and grew up in Detroit and Warren — cities divided by 8 Mile Road — as well as Roseville and St. Clair Shores. After attaining hip-hop superstardom, he lived in Sterling Heights and Macomb County's Clinton Township and now lives in Rochester Hills in a 29-room, 15,000-square-foot mansion for which he paid $4.8 million.
On the Net:
Eight Mile Boulevard Association: http://www.eightmile.org