Thirteen years ago, Paul Rosenberg appeared in a skit on Eminem's debut album, The Slim Shady LP, in which the "faithful attorney at law" asked the upstart rapper to tone down his lyrics ("because there's only so much I can explain"). Luckily, Em didn't listen then (or to any of the similar skits that followed), and his now-celebrated career span has helped Rosenberg, 40, become more than just his comic foil and business partner.
Rosenberg has made his own moves in the digital space, serving as executive producer of Shade 45, Eminem's uncensored hip-hop channel on SiriusXM, as well as co-founder of hip-hop site RapRadar.com. He also acts as the CEO of Goliath Artists Management and has forged a partnership with Deckstar, a management company affiliated with acts like Steve Aoki and Holy Ghost! But Rosenberg's most high-profile project is the Universal Music Group-affiliated Shady Records, which added Alabama MC Yelawolf and underground supergroup Slaughterhouse to its roster in early 2011 and released Hell: The Sequel, the best-selling debut album from Eminem side project Bad Meets Evil, last June.
The Detroit rapper is still at the center of Rosenberg's power equation -- though with Eminem as the seventh-best-selling artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era (41 million) and Recovery the best-selling album of 2010 (3.4 million), it's not a bad position for the manager to be in. Eminem revealed in June that a new solo album is slowly coming together, and with Slaughterhouse's debut Shady LP and with Yelawolf's sophomore disc on the way, the label has committed to developing its growing stable of hip-hop artists -- and this time, Rosenberg doesn't need to be in any skits. - Jason Lipshutz