Release Date: Dec 5, 2006
Record label: Shady Records
Seemed like drama was always something Eminem craved, but in the year leading up to The Re-Up, the drama was heavy, a really, really bad kind of heavy. He checked himself into rehab, got remarried for a few months to the infamous Kim before that went south, then his best man and best friend Proof is murdered in a bizarre and depressing incident that made all the gangster talk that came previously extra chilling. A mixtape that was originally planned to be released on the underground circuit, The Re-Up has plenty of that serious heat that influenced Eminem to go aboveground with the release.
Philip Larkin didn't often venture his opinions on rock music - like sexual intercourse, it began rather late for him - but he knew enough about fame to write: "When you get to the top, there is nowhere to go but down. The Beatles could not get down." Past a certain point, fame becomes irreversible. For those artists whose success actually rearranges pop music's DNA, fading away is not an option.