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Eminem Explains How Jim Carrey Inspired His Classic Album The Eminem Show

What year is it???

Guess who’s back, back again? It’s Eminem, celebrating the 15th anniversary of his classic fourth studio album, The Eminem Show.

To commemorate the occasion, Em’s released a collection of new merch featuring a cassette reissue of the album, shirts, autographed posters with annotated liner notes, and more. So, yes, now’s a perfect time to dust off that old boombox so you can listen to “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” “Without Me,” and “Sing for the Moment” like it’s 2002 all over again.

Last night (May 30), Eminem also took to Instagram to reveal The Eminem Show’s surprising inspiration: Jim Carrey.

“The concept 4 the Eminem show was inspired by The Truman Show because my life felt like it was becoming a circus around that time and I felt like I was always being watched,” the Detroit MC wrote in a handwritten note. “Basically, Jim Carrey wrote my album.”

However odd it may seem, the comparison kind of makes sense. In the 1998 film The Truman Show, Carrey’s character, Truman Burbank, has his entire life broadcast as a reality television show, and has no idea that his life is being manipulated by a director. At the time of The Eminem Show’s release in 2002, Eminem was basically at peak fame, between his musical domination (the album was the best-selling one of the year and picked up the Grammy for Best Rap Album), his acting career (8 Mile was a huge hit and earned him an Academy Award, for “Lose Yourself”), and his general presence in pop culture. Maybe all the exposure was just a bit too much for Em.

In any case, the 15th anniversary of The Eminem Show is a great excuse to revisit the classic joint. And that new intel about Carrey’s influence on the album is a solid excuse to watch this gem: