Shady XV is a two-disc compilation that features both new and classic tracks from Eminem and members of his Shady Records label roster. (That would be acts such as 50 Cent, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf and D12.) It was released November 24.
Information about Shady XV trickled out slowly. Fans who caught the last night of Eminem and Rihanna’s Monster Tour in August got a subtle hint that something new might be brewing: Em rocked a t-shirt emblazoned with the words "Shady XV." Then he tweeted a picture of himself wearing it.
On the night of the MTV VMAs, Eminem tweeted a mysterious trailer for Shady XV—and noted the project would arrive on Black Friday. The trailer didn’t exactly reveal what Shady XV actually was, but it did flip through images from Eminem's past, including some D-12 snapshots and a 50 Cent cameo or two.
Eminem’s camp soon confirmed that Shady XV would be the two-disc compilation spanning the greatest hits of Em's Shady Records. Shady XV is about as perfectly titled as you can get, too: It's the fifteenth release from the label on its fifteenth anniversary.
Two weeks before the album's release, Eminem made headlines for a lyric he dropped as part of a promotional cypher featuring himself, Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf. The epic, 19-minute "Shady Cxvher" included Em talking about punching singer Lana Del Rey like he was Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens running back who was suspended for domestic abuse. You can watch the full cypher and read the contentious lyrics here.
Eminem also rolled out a series of short videos to promote the album. The 30-second episodes look like old black-and-white cartoons. Except old black-and-white cartoons don't usually feature clowns juggling chainsaws or little girls wielding machine guns.
The digital series is titled "Shady XV Quinceañera," which manages to be both fitting and hilarious, given that a quinceañera is the celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday. (Just like Shady XV celebrates the fifteenth birthday of sweet, little Shady Records.)
Leading up to Shady XV's release, Eminem also shared a minute-long demo version of his iconic track "Lose Yourself." On his official YouTube page, the rapper revealed that he can't even recall recording it. "I don't remember where I was at when I recorded it," he said. "I don't remember any of the first verse." Dr. Dre had to remind him of the song's existence! Check out the scrapped version by clicking here.
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All of the new music on Shady XV lives on the first disc—12 tracks from Eminem, Yelawolf, Slaughterhouse, D12 and more. Em serves as the executive producer of the entire project. And since Slim Shady is currently the second-highest selling male artist of the modern era (behind only, believe it or not, Garth Brooks), any new music from him comes with huge expectations.
Eminem either anchors or is featured in the majority of Shady XV's new tracks.The first single to debut was “Guts Over Fear” featuring Sia. It hit the air along with the announcement of the album and was included on the soundtrack to the Denzel Washington movie The Equalizer. Em and Sia had previously collaborated on “Beautiful Pain,” and this reunion gives more of the same: Eminem’s ferocious lines almost jarring against Sia's powerful vocals.
On "Detroit vs. Everybody," Em is joined by an all-star cast of Motor City MCs, including Big Sean, Danny Brown, Slaughterhouse & Bad Meets Evil rapper Royce da 5'9'', rapper/producer Trick Trick and fresh face Dej Loaf. You can listen to "Detroit vs. Everybody" here. Sean recently confirmed that the MCs will shoot a music video for the single in (where else?) Detroit.
That first disc also includes some Eminem-free music, including Slaughterhouse's "Y'all Ready Know." The hard-hitting track features Joe Budden, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Royce da 5'9" doing their thing over a production from DJ Premier.
In an interview with Music Times, Em's manager (and Shady Records co-founder) Paul Rosenberg told the story behind Shady XV: “One day we were sitting talking about what we were gonna do this year. We’ve starting rolling out the Yelawolf album, that’s going to continue this year, and Slaughterhouse is still working on their project, so we were like, ‘Alright, we want to get something out this year because it’s the 15th anniversary of the label,’ and then it dawned on us that this would actually be the 15th project we’d be releasing, which just sort of lined up nicely. So we thought it would be a good time to go back and do a retrospective on the ‘greatest hits.’ They’re not gonna all just be hits like, ‘Lose Yourself’ and 'In Da Club,’ these massive songs, but some of the sort of favorites of the fans and ourselves as well. And then also the chance to put out some new music, as well, because we just want to keep releasing stuff. So there’s gonna be a compilation of new music from the artists on the label as well.”
Where the first disc of the monstrous album focuses on new material, the second does exactly what Rosenberg stated: Showcase the best of the artists on the Shady Records label. In addition to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” it will include tracks like 50’s “Wanksta” and “I Get Money,” Slaughterhouse’s “Hammer Dance” and Yelawolf’s “Let’s Roll” featuring Kid Rock. The original demo version of “Lose Yourself” is also included as a special bonus.
When Slaughterhouse member Joe Budden stopped by Fuse, he looked back at all of his favorite Shady Label moments and expressed gratitude for being included on the album. "We're all really happy to be a part of it," he said "I, for one, am extremely blessed to be a part of such a consistent, dominant label with a label head who's one of the greatest MCs who has ever graced the microphone."
With so much music and history behind Shady Records, it really would be impossible to perfectly archive its legacy. So the label also put out a 66-track, three-hour mixtape of previously released material that is now mixed together for the first time. The collection is called Shady Classics and it's available now.
"We figured since there's so many people that are gonna be saying, 'Ah, why didn't this song make it [on the album]? Why didn't that song make it?' We’ll just do something to please everybody," Rosenberg told RapRadar.
Shady Classics includes some of your favorite tracks, including 50 Cent's "Heat," and Dr. Dre's "Say What You Say." Peep the full tracklist here.
On October 13, Eminem confirmed the release date for the album, November 24, sharing the cover art (and his middle finger) via Instagram video. The album cover shows two chainsaws crossed in an "X" above a Friday the 13th-esque hockey mask marked with a "V." See the Instagram reveal below:
1. Eminem, "ShadyXV"
2. Slaughterhouse, "Psychopath Killer" (feat. Eminem and Yelawolf)
3. Eminem, "Die Alone" (feat. Kobe)
4. Bad Meets Evil, "Vegas"
5. Slaughterhouse, "Y'all Ready Know"
6. Eminem, "Guts Over Fear" (feat. Sia)
7. Yelawolf, "Down"
8. D12, "Bane"
9. Eminem, "Fine Line"
10. Skylar Grey, Eminem, & Yelawolf, "Twisted"
11. Eminem, "Right for Me"
12. Eminem, Royce Da 5’9″, Big Sean, Danny Brown, DeJ Loaf & Trick Trick, "Detroit Vs. Everybody"
1. 50 Cent, "I Get Money"
2. D12, "Purple Pills"
3. Eminem, "Lose Yourself"
4. Obie Trice, Kuniva, Bobby Creekwater, Ca$his & Stat Quo, "Cry Now (Shady Remix)"
5. Yelawolf, "Let's Roll" (feat. Kid Rock)
6. Slaughterhouse, "Hammer Dance"
7. 50 Cent, "P.I.M.P."
8. Eminem, 50 Cent, Ca$his & Lloyd Banks, "You Don’t Know"
9. D12, "My Band"
10. Obie Trice, "Wanna Know"
11. 50 Cent, "Wanksta"
12. Obie Trice, "The Setup" (feat. Nate Dogg)
13. 50 Cent, "In Da Club"
14. D12, "Fight Music"
15. Yelawolf, "Pop the Trunk"
Bonus: Eminem, "Lose Yourself" (Original Demo Version)
Stay tuned to Fuse for up-to-date info on Eminem’s upcoming release!