The average rapper wouldn't be able to grace the pages of Rap Pages, VIBE, Rolling Stone, Spin, The Source, URB and Stress and go on a national tour months before their major-label debut album is released. Then again, Eminem isn't an average rapper. He's phenomenal.
Dr. Dre was so impressed after hearing Eminem freestyling on a Los Angeles radio station that he put out a manhunt for the Michigan rhymer. Shortly thereafter, Dre signed Eminem to his Aftermath imprint and the two began working together.
"It was an honor to hear the words out of Dre's mouth that he liked my sh*t," Eminem says. "Growing up, I was one of the biggest fans of N.W.A, from putting on the sunglasses and looking in the mirror and lipsinking to wanting to be Dr. Dre, to be Ice Cube. This is the biggest hip-hop producer ever."
But like many other rappers, Eminem's rise to stardom was far from easy. After being born in Kansas City and traveling back and forth between KC and the Detroit metropolitan area, Eminem and his mother moved into the Eastside of Detroit when he was 12. Switching schools every two to three months made it difficult to make friends, graduate and to stay out of trouble.
Rap, however, became Eminem's solace. Battling schoolmates in the lunchroom brought joy to what was otherwise a painful existence. Although he would later drop out of school and land several minimum-wage-paying, full-time jobs, his musical focus remained constant.
Eminem released his debut album, Infinite, in 1996. Desperate to be embraced by the Motor City's hip-hop scene, Eminem rapped in such a manner that he was accused of sounding like Nas and AZ.
Infinite was me trying to figure out how I wanted my rap style to be, how I wanted to sound on the mic and present myself," he recalls. "It was a growing stage. I felt like Infinite was like a demo that just got pressed up."
After being thoroughly disappointed and hurt by the response Infinite receive
|ENCORE is multi-platinum recording artist EMINEM's first full album of new material since 2002's "THE EMINEM SHOW," which spawned the hit singles "Without Me" and "Cleanin' Out My Closet." That album went on the sell over 19 million albums worldwide. He followed up in November 2002 with Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture ‘8 Mile’, which featured the Academy Award winning song "Lose Yourself" and sold almost 9 million copies worldwide. Earlier this year, Eminem’s group D-12 released D-12 World (global sales over 3 million) and scored hits with "My Band" and "How Come".
ENCORE, Executive Produced by DR. DRE, features guest performances by 50 CENT, D-12, NATE DOGG, OBIE TRICE, and STAT QUO.
BONUS DISC: This two disc set includes a bonus CD with three previously unreleased EMINEM songs.
"...includes some of the most exhilarating songs Eminem has ever recorded... The New York Times
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: Eminem (rap vocals); D12, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Nate Dogg, Obie Trice, Stat Quo (rap vocals); Steven King (guitar, mandolin, keyboards); Mike Elizondo (guitar, sitar, keyboards); Luis Resto, Mark Batson (keyboards); Che Vicious (programming).|
|Audio Mixers: Eminem; Tony Campana; Steven King.|
|Photographer: Anthony Mandler.|
|While Eminem has revealed levels of depth far beyond his Slim Shady persona, few could have anticipated 'Mosh,' the second single from his 2004 release, ENCORE. This song, by one of music's most controversial artists, features Em focusing his rage like never before, ultimately calling on the youth of America to rise up and vote. While his brilliantly scathing tirade against President George W. Bush didn't lead to the politician's defeat, it certainly captured the country's attention and attempted to raise listeners' political awareness. It also effectively increased the already huge stature of the expectation-defying Detroit rapper only a few weeks before his highly anticipated fourth record's release.|
|ENCORE is far from a letdown, as Eminem's twisted mind continues to produce razor-sharp rhymes, whether examining the world (the aforementioned 'Mosh'), venting his spleen ('Puke'), exploring his soul ('Like Toy Soldiers') or just being plain silly ('My 1st Single'). While Em's inclination toward the shocking is well documented, other than 'Mosh,' the record is relatively toned down; he even apologizes for racist comments made on a 1993 underground tape. However, that's not to imply that the proceedings are low-key; ENCORE burns with the fire of a master lyricist letting his words loose on whatever crosses his mind.|
Producer: Mike Elizondo; Eminem; Mark Batson; Luis Resto; Steven King; Dr. Dre; Mike Elizondo; Eminem; Mark Batson; Luis Resto
Engineer: Tony Campana; Mike Chav; Steve Baughman; Steven King
Associated Artists and Works
|Kid, DJ Whoo|
|Lounge Brigade (The)|
|Release Date : 11/12/2004|
|Original Release Date : 2004|
|Catalog ID : 000377272|
|Label : Aftermath|
|Number of Discs : 2|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00602498646731|
- 4 stars out of 5 - "[I]t showcases a phenomenally gifted musician and lyricist doing all the things he does best."
- Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - "Marshall Mathers brings the pain in ENCORE."
- "Captivated by hip-hop, Marshall crosses tracks both literal and metaphorical..." - Grade: B
- Ranked #26 in Spin's "40 Best Albums of the Year" - "[H]e will remain America's finest reality show: crass, oddly tender, riveting."
- 4 stars out of 5 - "ENCORE defeats expectations by both embracing...maturity, and being his most adolescently outrageous, gut-bustingly funny effort since THE SLIM SHADY LP."
- 3 stars out of 5 - "[I]t's a lean, mean beast....There's precious little accompanying Mater's virtuoso, syllable-crammed raps."