[artist id="502642"]Eminem[/artist] has been dropping crumbs about his upcoming Relapse album, his first studio effort since 2004's Encore, for so long, he might consider changing the title to Slow Leak. Slim Shady recently told Billboard that the album, due in the spring, will be a throwback to his early collaborations with mentor [artist id="1061"]Dr. Dre[/artist].
"Me and Dre are back in the lab like the old days, man," Eminem reportedly said in an e-mail to Billboard. "Just him banging away on tracks and me getting that little spark that makes me write to it. I don't have chemistry like that with anyone else as far as producers go — not even close. Dre will end up producing the majority of the tracks on Relapse. We are up to our old mischievous ways. ... Let's just leave it at that."
While there's still no release date for the LP, Em confirmed that Dre put his own long-awaited album, Detox, on the backburner to help his protégé.
New tracks from Relapse have been popping up here and there for months. A freestyle, "I'm Having a Relapse" dropped in October, and last week a song called "Crack a Bottle," which is believed to have been produced by Dre, was being advertised on DJs Big Mike and Neptune's 4th Quarter Pressure Part 2 mixtape. It's unclear if either song is destined for the album, but the Detroit MC said he was disappointed by the "Bottle" leak.
"It wasn't close to finished, and it even has me doing guide vocals for Dre as a suggestion of how he could lay his verses down," he told Billboard. "It's like someone catches you peeping in your window before you got the Spider Man costume all zipped up! Nobody is supposed to see that. We are gonna finish it up, though, and get it out there how it's supposed to be."
And, despite what [artist id="1161216"]Swizz Beatz[/artist] told MTV a few weeks ago about a song he was referring to as "Stan Part 2," Em said that no such song is in the offing. "I haven't worked with Swizz on this album," he said. "There isn't a 'Stan 2,' and there won't be. ... Stan drove his car off a bridge and I'm not writing a song as Stan's ghost. That would just be really corny."
Em also said that working on his recently released best-selling autobiography, "The Way I Am" — written with journalist Sacha Jenkins — while recording the album has required intense focus. "For me, writing an album is an entirely different process from making this book," he said. "The album requires a certain focus of mine that I can't really explain — let's just say it's all I can really do while I'm doing it. With the book, the process was much more spread out, like, 'Let's get you together with Sacha for a few hours next week. Let's go through these photos and artwork, etc.' The book was a lot more of a focus here-and-there thing as opposed to music, which totally consumes me every second."
In addition to the delayed Dre album, another record that has been pushed back, 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct, is getting back on track, according to Em, and is now slated for a February 4 release. "He's still working on it and getting back together with me and Dre next week to finish up," Shady said of 50, who recently referred to his benefactor as being like "my grandmother" due to his sage advice and support. "I have a couple of tracks on there with him. It's sick."