Eminem and Paul Rosenberg built one of hip-hop's strongest labels when they got together and formed Shady Records. By putting a premium on lyrics, the Shady crew were able to sign artists like 50 Cent, D-12, Obie Trice and Slaughterhouse, while selling millions of records in the process.
Last year, Shady Records celebrated their 15-year anniversary with their Shady XV compilation album, and on Thursday (Mar. 5), the label teamed with Complex.com to released “Not Afraid: The Shady Records Story.” If we're being real, we're fans of anything involving Eminem, but the fact that we were able to learn some new details surrounding the storied label was a bonus.
Here are the 9 things we learned from watching.
Paul Rosenberg Originally Intended To Be Proof And Dilla's Lawyer, Not Eminem's ManagerPaul Warner / Getty Images
Shady Records co-founder Paul Rosenberg met Eminem in 1997 at the urging of Proof. Paul's original plan was to study music law and represent Proof and J. Dilla, but his initial meeting with Eminem would change the course of hip-hop history.
Dr. Dre Didn't Know Eminem Was A White Guy At First
Thanks to a former Interscope Records intern, Eminem's tape ended up in Dre's hands. A few days after hearing the music is when the hit producer learned that Eminem was white.
Eminem Still Has A Ton Of Respect For RedmanJohnny Nunez / Getty Images
Marshall could've worn any shirt he wanted to film this new Shady Records documentary, but he chose to honor one of his greatest rap influences by wearing a shirt with Redman's 1994 Dare iz a Darkside album cover on it.
50 Cent Turned Down $1.3 Million From Universal And Signed With Shady InsteadShareif Ziyadat / Getty Images
Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks couldn't believe that 50 Cent would turn down a $1.3 million record deal, but he clearly made the right move.
Eminem Wrote "Forgot About Dre" Before Dre Made The Music
"He had those lyrics already done. It was kinda a weird thing for me having to make the music fit the words," Dre said in the doc. "This is one of the few times that this has happened in my career."
Jim Jonsin Introduced Eminem To Yelawolf's MusicCooper Neill / Getty Images
Wolf dropped his Shady Records debut, Radioactive, in 2011, and Em reveals that it was producer Jim Jonsin he was the first to play him Yela's music.
Dr. Dre And 50 Cent Only Recorded Together For 7 Days When Making Get Rich or Die trying'
Kinda crazy when you think about it.
Shady Records Is A Boutique Label (That Sells Millions And Millions Of Records)
Because of Shady's massive success it's hard to label the label as anything other than a powerhouse, but Paul Rosenberg likes to think of it as a boutique label. "Call it a boutique label, but it's King Kong's label," 50 Cent said.
"Lose Yourself" Is One Of Dr. Dre's Favorite Songs
Dr. Dre has been involved with creating a ton of classic rap records, so when he says Eminem's "Lose Yourself" is one of his favorite records it has to mean a lot.