The two latest signings to Eminem's Shady Records are moving ahead on their first projects for the resurgent label.
Alabama rapper Yelawolf tells Billboard.com that he's "done" with "Radioactive," his follow-up to 2010's "Trunk Muzik O-60." But that doesn't mean he's finished. "I saw Em at the party for his [Lipton] Brisk Super Bowl commercial," Yelawolf says. "I was sitting with him and was like, 'Hey man, I did an album.' 'You did an album? I want to hear it.' The next day we got up in the studio and he was hyped, man. But of course we're going to get back in the studio and he's gonna produce some stuff, touch some stuff up."
Yelawolf says he won't "spill the beans" about what kind of touch-ups will be done to the album, but he describes the set, recording in Las Vegas, as "more organic than 'Trunk Muzik.' It's still raw in a way and still keeping the core there, but it's less regional and more worldwide sounding. It just feels bigger."
Songwriting was also a priority for the set, says Yelawolf, who worked on tracks with Jim Jonsin and Diplo, among others. "We've done songs for years that we felt like, 'Man, we can't put this on a mixtape. So we finally have an outlet to make an album the way we envisioned it. It's more musical and more song-based. Instead of flexing on some MC shit so much, it's to the point."
Yelawolf expects to have "Radioactive" finished and ready for release this summer.
The all-star Slaughterhouse, meanwhile, is "about six songs" into its first Shady album, the follow-up to 2009's "Slaughterhouse" album and an EP released earlier this year, both for E1. "We were out in L.A. for the Grammys and did three or four sessions," says the group's Detroit-based MC Royce da 5'9". Since then, he adds, the group -- which also includes Crooked I, Joe Budden and Joell Ortiz -- have been e-mailing ideas back and forth for additional tracks, which he says are "real personal, talking about something in particular, things we've been through -- something a lot of critics can't do, so we're excited to show 'em we can."
Royce says that despite being apart, "eventually we'll get together in a central location and just vibe together with [Eminem] in the studio. It's not as hard as you think it would be; everybody is pretty busy but the guys in the group are real good about putting stuff to the side and making the group first. We all can agree this is the most important thing in our careers."
And Eminem, according to Royce, is "very involved" in the Slaughterhouse project. "He's very excited," Royce notes, "and I'm always excited when I see his level of excitement, because he doesn't get excited about a lot. I love seeing him happy, and this project definitely makes him happy." But, he adds, Slaughterhouse doesn't plan to rush the album, either.
"The first album we were kind of behind the eight ball," says Royce, who will release a solo album, "Success is Certain," this spring. "We had to complete the album in a matter of six days. With this album there's no time constraints. We've got a good budget. I don't think we've carved out a direction yet, but it's coming along."
Shady's new kids may not be the label's only release this year. A new 50 Cent album, "Black Magic," is anticipated, as well as a set from Chicago rapper Cashish. And there's talk of a third album from D12, though nothing is confirmed yet.