11.19.2014 / 07:49 PM


Eminem, Rosenberg, Mr. Porter, and Royce da 5’9″ talk life, Shady, and 15 years of lessons learned with Metro Times. Read more after the jump.

Marshall Mathers III is, arguably, the greatest American wordsmith of the 20th century. He is easily the greatest of the first 15 years of the new millennium. He bends words to rhyme with each other when they shouldn’t. He takes truths that are horrifying, and with his uniquely Michigan sense of humor, finds the funny in the fatalistic. His is the ability to take the world by the balls and spit passion in its face, and we end up squirming and looking at the world a little bit differently as a result. We love him for it.

Eminem, as Mathers is more commonly known, has an attitude and rhymes that are often labeled misogynistic or vulgar, yet to the keen listener, are a reflection of what we all see, for better or worse. He’s not gonna paint a pretty picture, or subscribe to positive mantras when the world is infuriating.

What’s more, he has achieved a level of fame and respect unparalleled for a white American hip-hop artist in the black community. He’s attained a status among African Americans that cannot be purchased or forced. The respect he receives is hard-earned, genuine, and rare. No one in hip-hop will knock him: He is the best.

To top off his achievements in the rap world, he does something that most in hip-hop and entertainment simply do not: He uses his fame to showcase other talent. Often, Detroit-born and -raised talent. He provides a platform for that local talent to shine alongside him, as if to say “Look here and listen: these people matter, too” — something unique in an industry flavored with beefs and ego.

And indeed, Mathers’ people do matter. On Shady XV, a two-disc celebration of the 15th anniversary of Shady Records, founded in 1999, Mathers gives nods to where he’s been and to the current landscape of Detroit rap. And through him, that landscape is popping: Dej Loaf, Trick Trick, and Danny Brown, among many others, all make appearances on the anthology.

Shady XV, you see, isn’t Eminem’s greatest hits — it’s music released on Shady Records. One disc of old Shady music, with a little bit of the root from every era of the record company on it, and one of new music, with artists on the Shady label “having a grand old time at the opera,” as Paul Rosenberg told MT.

Read the full article here.

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