One of the major surprises at the BET Awards on Tuesday night was, of course, Eminem's return to the stage, teaming up with Busta Rhymes and adding a new verse to the "Touch It" remix.
Eminem has recently spoken out on behalf of his fallen friend, Proof (see "Eminem Breaks Silence On Proof; Rapper's Lawyer Denies He Shot First"), and announced plans to star in a remake of the TV show "Have Gun — Will Travel" (see "Eminem Reloading His Movie Career With Bounty-Hunter Role"). Aside from that, though, he has kept quiet, grappling with personal issues like his second divorce from his wife, Kim, and his treatment for addiction to sleeping medication (see "Eminem Shares: New Video Addresses Stint In Rehab, Family").
We haven't seen him rock the mic since last year's Anger Management Tour, and certainly haven't heard any new verses. So what gives?
According to Em's reps, Slim Shady wrote his new rhyme specifically for the awards show out of love for Busta. And even though there are no official plans to release a new "Touch It" remix with Em's verse, the audio from the BET Awards is all over the Net and will undoubtedly be popping up on mixtapes in the next few days.
"Eminem is one of my favorite artists," Busta said Wednesday night in Los Angeles. "To be able to have him on the same stage with Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Rah Digga, Papoose, Lloyd Banks, Will.I.Am, Kelis and Spliff Star for my performance was one of the biggest highlights of my career."
As for what other new rhymes Em has been writing, his label says he is only confirmed to be in the studio with Obie Trice for Trice's new LP, Second Round's on Me, which is due August 15 (see "Eminem Denies Retirement Rumors; Currently Hard At Work On Obie Trice LP"). Eminem will serve as the album's executive producer, and he made some beats and raps on the LP as well.
DJ Whoo Kid, however, told MTV News recently that Em and the rest of the Shady Records family have been in the studio recording freestyles and will have a new mixtape out in a matter of weeks.