Eminem and Mark Wahlberg Beefed in the '90s, but Are Cool With Each Other Now

“Very cool guy, very talented. And yes, I didn’t give him credit for that a long time ago. I was a hater because he’s a better rapper than me."


Mar. 28 2024, Published 11:51 a.m. ET

Eminem and Mark Wahlberg rapping in different performances
Source: Getty Images

Celebrity beefs are certainly not uncommon, and that's especially true in the world of hip-hop. One decades-old feud between two people who were once part of the world of hip-hop may surprise some, though. Back in the 1990s, Mark Wahlberg and Eminem apparently beefed in a pretty major way.

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Learning this may come as a surprise to some, especially given how little the two celebrities have to do with one another now. Here's what we know about where their beef came from, and why it no longer seems to be an issue between them.

Eminem performing at the 2018 iHeartRadio Awards on March 11, 2018
Source: Getty Images
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What was the beef between Mark Wahlberg and Eminem?

Some fans don't know that Mark was a rapper before he became an actor. He used to be known as Marky Mark, and it was in that era that his beef with Eminem was the most intense.

Eminem even went so far as to call Mark out on the song "Drug Ballad," which was released in 2000.

“Back when Mark Wahlberg was Marky Mark," Eminem once said.

Mark's rapping career took off in the early '90s with the Funky Bunch, and was propelled chiefly by the song "Good Vibrations." Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's second album wasn't a commercial success, and the group disbanded in 1993. He decided to pursue acting full-time a few years later, which was around the same time that Eminem was emerging as a major presence out of Detroit.

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Things really came to a head when the two appeared on the same episode of Total Request Live in 1999 on MTV. On the episode, Eminem seemed to take a jab at Mark and the name of his group.

“Well, why don’t we stand together like a happy fun bunch," Eminem said on the show.

Although it may have been perceived as a slight, Mark didn't make much of it, and the feud sort of petered out in the years that followed as the two pursued different career paths.

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Eminem explained that Mark had been asked not to be called Marky Mark.

Years later, Eminem offered some additional context on his quote from TRL. "Some dude who works for MTV tells us Mark Wahlberg is coming in, says he’d appreciate it if we don’t call him Marky Mark," Eminem explained during an interview for a book about his life, adding that things were tense between the two of them backstage.

For his part, Mark said that his animus toward Eminem came out of jealousy, because he understood deep down that Slim was a much better rapper than he was.

“Very cool guy, very talented. And yes, I didn’t give him credit for that a long time ago. I was a hater because he’s a better rapper than me," Mark said during an interview with GQ.

Although the two may not be close friends today, it seems that they have largely quashed the beef that used to exist between them. Now, both of them can go back to respecting one another from a distance.

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