Last week, Drake released a high-profile hip-hop album to a ton of fanfare and a day full of fan-friendly, headline-grabbing events. This week, we're seeing more of the same, but this time we're seeing it from industry veteran Eminem. His Recovery hit the streets on Monday (June 21), and it already comes armed with a lot of positive buzz and a chart-topping single in "Not Afraid." And while at least one of Drake's big events (a free concert at New York City's South Street Seaport) was shut down due to crowd control issues, Eminem's two big events went off without much of a hitch.
There were two huge events. First, Eminem teamed up with Jay-Z to hit the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater to tape a series of performances for an episode of "The Late Show With David Letterman," which will air on this Friday's (June 25) episode of the CBS late-night show. As the sun set over Manhattan, Em and Hova busted out "Not Afraid," Jay's "On to the Next One" and the team-up track "Renegade" (which happens to contain some of the more savage verses of both of their careers). An intimate crowd of about 100 people (and Diddy) crowded onto the roof to catch the show, and hundreds more gathered on the street around the theater to catch a glimpse of the two as they exited.
Following that, Slim Shady headed downtown to New York's Bowery Ballroom, where he took the stage in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (June 22) to spit some rhymes at the Red Bull EmSee: The Road to 8 Mile freestyle rap battle. Eminem freestyled for a while over the beats to Drake's "Over" and Lloyd Banks' "Beamer, Benz or Bentley" before moving into "On Fire" and "Won't Back Down" (one of the harder tracks from Recovery). He ducked out after those songs, leaving the crowd of 600 pleading for an encore. But Eminem stands by a singular show business rule: Always leave them wanting more.