After being thoroughly disappointed and hurt by the response
Infinite received, Eminem began working on what would later become the Slim
Shady EP -- a project he made for himself. Featuring several scathing lines
about local music industry personalities as well as devious rants about life in
general, the set quickly caught the ear of hip-hop's difficult-to-please
"I had nothing to lose, but something to gain," Eminem says of that point in his life. "If I made an album for me and it was to my satisfaction, then I succeeded. If I didn't, then my producers were going to give up on the whole rap thing we were doing. I made some sh*t that I wanted to hear. The Slim Shady EP, I lashed out on everybody who talked sh*t about me."
By presenting himself as himself, Eminem and his career took off. Soon after giving the Rap Coalition's Wendy Day a copy of the Infinite album at a chance meeting, she helped the aspiring lyrical gymnast secure a spot at the Coalition’s 1997 Rap Olympics in Los Angeles, where he won second place in the freestyle competition. During the trip, Eminem and his manager, Paul Rosenberg, gave a few people from Interscope Records his demo and he made his major radio debut on the world famous Wake Up Show with Sway and Tech. Realizing that this was the opportunity of his lifetime, Eminem delivered a furious medley of lyrics that wowed his hosts and radio audience alike.
"I felt like it's my time to shine," Eminem says of that performance. "I have to rip this. At that time, I felt that it was a life or death situation."
Eminem would soon record the underground classic "5 Star Generals." This record helped establish him in Japan, New York and Los Angeles. It also helped him earn a spot on the inaugural Lyricist Lounge tour, which took him to stages from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.
Set to take the hip-hop world by storm with his unique lyrical approach and punishing production, Eminem and his The Slim Shady LP are sure to have listeners captivated.
"I do say things that I think will shock people," he says. "But I don't do things to shock people. I'm not trying to be the next Tupac, but I don't know how long I'm going to be on this planet. So while I'm here, I might as well make the most of it."