By Megan Callahan

Vibe proclaimed him the “Best Rapper Alive” and, his 13 Grammy awards don’t disagree. Adolescents have idolized him, parents have hated him, and last week we celebrated him. Happy belated 40th birthday, Marshall Mathers!

One of the biggest rap and hip-hop icons of our generation is officially over the hill, and now we all feel really fucking old. But Eminem’s impact on our generation is far more important than our self-pity over the aging rapper.

Throughout the years Eminem has been the face of rebellious adolescents. His humor, rhyme schemes, and hooks have drawn in a wide fan base, and his ability to connect with his audience has been a key factor in his success. At the time he emerged on the rap scene, he was poor and dealing with some serious personal issues — but that’s what made him so appealing. He could connect with anyone, because like Mathers, everyone has issues of their own.

His aggressive style and “I just don’t give a fuck” attitude, has been an inspiration for up-and-coming artists across the country.  From Machine Gun Kelly to Kendrick Lamar, those in the hip-hop and rap game today are practically smothered by his presence.

Eminem is one of the elite few who holds legendary rap and hip-hop status, and he isn’t slowing down any time soon.  He is expected to release his eighth studio album in 2013. So maybe the grass on the other side of the hill doesn’t look too shabby for B-Rabbit, now does it?