Release Date: Nov 12, 2004
Record label: Aftermath
Eminem took a hiatus after the release of his first motion picture, 8 Mile, in late 2002, but it never seemed like he went away. Part of that is the nature of celebrity culture, where every star cycles through gossip columns regardless of whether they have a project in the stores or theaters, and part of it is that Marshall Mathers kept busy, producing records by his protégés D12, Obie Trice, and 50 Cent -- all hit albums -- with the latter turning into the biggest new hip-hop star of 2003. All this activity tended to obscure the fact that Eminem hadn't released a full-length album of new material since The Eminem Show in early summer 2002, and that two and a half years separated that album and its highly anticipated sequel, Encore.
· Try our Eminem pop quiz Much has happened to Marshall Mathers in the two-and-a-half years since his last solo album, The Eminem Show. He has been embroiled in a vicious war of words with another superstar rapper. He has been investigated by the CIA. He has been compared to Hitler, after a 16-year-old tape of him advising listeners to "never date a black chick" was discovered.