Eminem’s rise to the top wasn’t a fluke, and the story can’t be told by just one guy.
Marshall Mathers and his top teammates Paul Rosenberg, 50 Cent and Dr. Dre return to the origins of rap’s biggest ride for a new half-hour-long documentary, Not Afraid: The Shady Records Story.
In the film, released by Complex, Dr. Dre recalls his epiphany — the moment he first heard an early Eminem tape at Jimmy Iovine’s house. “I thought it was incredible. At this time I had no idea he was a white guy. I didn’t find that out until a few days later. I was like, ‘What the fuck is this? I really need to meet this guy.’
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Eminem and Rosenberg, his business partner and manager, discuss how they’d engineered Shady Records with Def Jam in mind. “Their goal was much broader than ours. They always wanted to create this huge company. We always wanted to be boutique,” Rosenberg explained. Though he didn’t drop names, Rosenberg also mentioned some folks at Interscope weren’t keen for Eminem to have a label to operate in case he got “distracted.”
The film covers 50 Cent’s shooting in 2000 (and his Lazarus-like return), D12’s Devil’s Night, Slim Shady’s drug issues, Obie Trice’s surprise arrival, the 2006 death of Proof, the bum-note years, Relapse and Recovery, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf and through to the present day.
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“Eminem is a fucking genius. He and Paul Rosenberg make a great team,” says Dre. “Whatever they decide to do, I know it’s going to big, it’s going to be amazing, and I know it’s going to work.”
Billboard recently caught up with Rosenberg to talk all-things Shady Records, which he co-founded. “Marshall and I are very hands-on. We don’t have a lot of time to be able to work on multiple things,” he explained. “Marshall in particular is not a multitasker when it comes to the creative process. He’s very much one project at a time. I like to be involved in every aspect of the releases as well. We don’t have the capacity, because there’s only two of us, to churn out that much product.”
Watch the film below.