Encore (Eminem album)

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Encore (Eminem album) coverart.jpg
Studio album by Eminem
Released November 12, 2004
Genre Hip hop
Length 77:06
Label Aftermath, Shady, Interscope, Goliath
Producer Eminem, Dr. Dre, Luis Resto, Mike Elizondo, Mark Batson
Eminem chronology
The Eminem Show
Special Edition Cover
Singles from Encore
  1. "Just Lose It"
    Released: September 28, 2004
  2. "Mosh"
    Released: October 26, 2004
  3. "Encore"
    Released: November 9, 2004
  4. "Like Toy Soldiers"
    Released: January 24, 2005
  5. "Mockingbird"
    Released: April 25, 2005
  6. "Ass Like That"
    Released: June 7, 2005

Encore (stylized as ƎNCORE) is the fifth studio album by American rapper Eminem, released by Aftermath Entertainment, Shady Records, and Interscope Records. Its release was set for November 16, 2004, but was moved up to November 12 (coincidentally, exactly eight years to the day his debut album, Infinite, was released) after the album was leaked to the Internet. Encore sold 710,000 copies in its first three days,[1] and went on to sell over 1.5 million copies in its first two weeks of release in the United States, certified quadruple-platinum that mid-December.[2] Nine months after its release, worldwide sales of the album stood at 11 million copies.[3]


The album contains several lyrical themes, including Eminem's relationship with his ex-wife, Kim, ("Puke", and "Love You More"), their daughter Hailie Jade Mathers ("Mockingbird"), his childhood ("Yellow Brick Road"), his relationships with his parents ("Evil Deeds"), and opposition to then-American President George W. Bush ("Mosh" and "We As Americans") "Just Lose It" is a parody of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", as well as a Pepsi commercial in 1984. Similar to Eminem's previous album, The Eminem Show, Encore opens with a skit called "Curtains Up", indicative of the start of the show.


In "We As Americans", the line "Fuck money, I don't rap for dead presidents, I'd rather see the president dead" has "dead" reversed in "See the president dead" on both clean and explicit versions of the album. Simultaneously with the original, a censored version was released, from which the profanities, violent and sexual content, as well the drug references had been edited.

"My 1st Single" has a bleep instead of a muted part in the verse "This was supposed to be my first single, but I just fucked that up so... Fuck it let's all have fun let's mingle" like the clean version of "The Real Slim Shady". The word "ass" is left uncensored in "Yellow Brick Road", "One Shot 2 Shot", "Encore" and "We As Americans", but is censored out in "Ass Like That", "Mosh", "Spend Some Time", "My 1st Single", and "Just Lose It", and also in the song "Rain Man", the word "ass" was used twice, but only censored once. The word "goddamn" was left uncensored in "Spend Some Time." In the "clean" version's album booklet, the written lyrics have been removed, however on the songs "Puke", "My 1st Single" and "Just Lose It", lyrics were changed to avoid long censorship. Other profanities on all other songs are blanked out; and the song "Ass Like That" is listed as "A** Like That". The song "Encore/Curtains Down" has the shooting sequence at the end of the track removed on the censored album. Also, on the track "One Shot 2 Shot", the intro to the song is removed and the song starts at the first chorus, with more lines blanked out during the remainder of the track. Also, in "One Shot 2 Shot", during Kon Artis' verse, the word "fuck" was left uncensored. "Yellow Brick Road" leaves the word "goddamn" uncensored once. "One Shot 2 Shot" has the violent content edited, and the word "shot" is blanked throughout the song. However, the original title remains written on the back cover. The bonus disc was also censored for the album's clean version.


The album featured two covers, the first cover features Eminem standing in front of an audience, bowing to the crowd. The tray insert features Eminem holding a gun behind his back. The inlay shows Eminem holding the pistol in his mouth without the jacket of his shirt and tie. The CD itself shows a note written by Eminem saying "To my family & all my friends, thank you for everything, I will always love you. To my fans, I'm Sorry, Marshall" with a bullet underneath the note. The note is also seen in the album's booklet, where Eminem is writing the note. Some pictures show Eminem shooting everybody, which makes a reference to the ending of the album's title track. The second cover features the same audience from the inlay on a black background with a blood splat on the top right. This cover is used for the Shady Collector's Edition.

Commercial performance[edit]

Encore sold 710,000 copies in its first three days,[1] and went on to sell over 1.5 million copies in its first two weeks of release in the United States,[4] certified quadruple-platinum that mid-December.[2] Nine months after its release, worldwide sales of the album stood at 11 million copies.[5] Critical reception was generally mixed. Most critics and fans alike did note the subpar quality of the lyrics, which were more simplistic when compared to his previous albums. The album made digital history in becoming the first album to sell 10,000 digital copies in one week.[6] As of November 2013, the album had sold 5,343,000 copies in the US.[7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[8]
Blender 4/5 stars[9]
Entertainment Weekly C−[10]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[11]
NME 7/10[12]
Pitchfork Media 6.5/10[13]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[14]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[15]
Spin B[16]
The Village Voice A[17]

Encore received generally mixed to positive reviews from critics.[18] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 64, based on 26 reviews.[19] Josh Love from Stylus Magazine felt Eminem was "dying" with this album, whose concept was "end-to-end mea culpa", full of "clarifications, rectifications and excuses", revising the history of "a man who knows he doesn't have much time left".[20] Scott Plangenhoef, writing for Pitchfork Media called Encore a "transitional record" and "the sound of a man who seems bored of re-branding and playing celebrity games".[13] BBC Music's Adam Webb believed it starts "fantastically" but ends "abominably", writing that it has too many "lowpoints".[21] David Browne from Entertainment Weekly said Eminem "sacrifices the rich, multi-textured productions" of his two previous albums for "thug-life monotony, cultural zingers for petty music-biz score-settling, and probing self-analysis for juvenile humor". He concluded his review by saying that Eminem has become "predictable" on Encore, something that he wasn't before.[10]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine was more enthusiastic in his review for AllMusic, calling the music "spartan", built on "simple unadorned beats and keyboard loops", and the lyrics "plain-spoken and literal".[8] Robert Christgau said Eminem still sounded "funny, catchy and clever, and irreverent past his allotted time", noting that even the bonus tracks "keep on pushing".[17] In Rolling Stone, he wrote that Encore was not as "astonishing" as The Marshall Mathers LP, but praised Eminem for maturing his lyrical abilities while retaining his sense of humour.[14] Steve Jones from USA Today also spoke positively about the album, calling Eminem's producing and lyrical skills as "top-flight" and noting that the record explores "the many sides of Marshall Mathers".[22] The album earned Eminem Grammy Award nominations in three categories at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards: Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the song "Encore", and Best Rap Solo Performance for the song "Mockingbird".[citation needed]

Encore provoked some controversy over anti-Bush lyrics and lyrics that parodied and targeted Michael Jackson, who was upset about Eminem's depiction of him in the video for "Just Lose It".[23] On December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service admitted it was "looking into" allegations that Eminem had threatened the President of the United States, George Bush,[24] after the song "We as Americans", as an unreleased bootleg, circulated with the lyrics "Fuck money, I don't rap for dead presidents. I'd rather see the president dead." This line was eventually used as a sample in Immortal Technique's single "Bin Laden", which featured Mos Def and Chuck D. The incident was later referenced in the video for his song "Mosh" as one several news clips on a wall, along with other newspaper articles about other unfortunate incidents in Bush's career. The song eventually appeared on the album's bonus disc, where the lyrics were extensively censored.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Curtains Up"       0:46
2. "Evil Deeds"   Marshall Mathers, Andre Young, Mike Elizondo, Mark Batson, Chris Pope Dr. Dre 4:19
3. "Never Enough" (featuring 50 Cent & Nate Dogg) Mathers, Young, Elizondo, Curtis Jackson III, Nathaniel Hale Dr. Dre, Elizondo 2:39
4. "Yellow Brick Road"   Mathers, Luis Resto, Steve King Eminem, Resto (add.) 5:46
5. "Like Toy Soldiers"   Mathers, Resto, Marta Marrero, Michael Jay Margules Eminem, Resto (add.) 4:56
6. "Mosh"   Mathers, Young, Elizondo, Batson, Pope Dr. Dre, Batson 5:17
7. "Puke"   Mathers, Resto, King, Brian May Eminem, Resto (add.) 4:07
8. "My 1st Single"   Mathers, Resto Eminem, Resto (add.) 5:02
9. "Paul" (skit)     0:32
10. "Rain Man"   Mathers, Young, Elizondo, Batson, Pope Dr. Dre 5:13
11. "Big Weenie"   Mathers, Young, Elizondo, Batson, Pope Dr. Dre 4:26
12. "Em Calls Paul" (skit)     1:11
13. "Just Lose It"   Mathers, Young, Elizondo, Batson, Pope Dr. Dre, Elizondo 4:08
14. "Ass Like That"   Mathers, Young, Elizondo, Batson, Pope Dr. Dre, Elizondo 4:25
15. "Spend Some Time" (featuring Obie Trice, Stat Quo & 50 Cent) Mathers, Resto, Obie Trice, Stanley Benton, Jackson, King, Gary Wright Eminem, Resto (add.) 5:10
16. "Mockingbird"   Mathers, Resto Eminem, Resto (add.) 4:10
17. "Crazy in Love"   Mathers, Resto, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Roger Fisher Eminem, Resto (add.) 4:02
18. "One Shot 2 Shot" (featuring D12) Mathers, Resto, Ondre Moore, Von Carlisle, Denaun Porter, Rufus Johnson Eminem, Resto (add.) 4:26
19. "Final Thought" (skit)     0:30
20. "Encore / Curtains Down" (featuring Dr. Dre & 50 Cent) Mathers, Young, Elizondo, Batson, Pope, Jackson Dr. Dre, Batson 5:48
Total length:
  • "Love You More" and the original version of "We As Americans" (titled "We Are Americans") appear on the Straight from the Lab mixtape released in 2003
  • Dr. Dre has cameo appearances in "Rain Man", "Just Lose It", "Ass Like That", "Mockingbird" and "Like Toy Soldiers"
  • This is Eminem's first album, other than Infinite (1996), to not have a Ken Kaniff or Steve Berman skit. They both reappear in Relapse (2009).
  • "Curtains Down" is a skit at the end of "Encore", which Eminem shoots everyone at his concert and shoots himself and a robotic voice saying "See you in hell, fuckers." is used. Some of the pictures in the booklet make reference to this.
  • The robotic voice heard on "Em Calls Paul" and in the "Curtains Down" skit is Eminem speaking with an electrolarynx.


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[26]

  • Mike Elizondokeyboards on tracks 2, 3, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 20; guitar on tracks 6, 11, 13 and 20; sitar on track 14
  • Steve King – guitar on tracks 4, 5, 7, 15, 17 and 18; bass on tracks 4, 5, 7 and 17; mandolin on track 4; keyboards on track 11
  • Luis Resto – keyboards on tracks 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 20
  • Mark Batson – keyboards on tracks 2, 6, 10, 11, 13 and 20; bass on track 14
  • Che Vicious – programming on track 20


Chart (2004–05) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[27] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[28] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[29] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[30] 8
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[31] 1
Czech Republic Albums (IFPI) 1
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[32] 2
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[33] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[34] 4
French Albums (SNEP)[35] 1
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[36] 1
Greek Albums Chart[37] 3
Hungarian Albums Chart[38] 24
Irish Albums (IRMA)[39] 1
Italian Albums (FIMI)[40] 6
Japanese Albums Chart[41] 3
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[42] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[43] 2
Polish Albums (OLiS)[44] 9
Scottish Albums (OCC)[45] 2
South African Albums (RISA)[46] 1
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[47] 3
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[48] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[49] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[50] 1
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[51] 1
US Billboard 200[52] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2004) Position
US Billboard 200[53] 96
Chart (2005) Position
US Billboard 200[54] 2


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[55] Gold 20,000*
Australia (ARIA)[56] 6× Platinum 420,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[57] Platinum 30,000*
Belgium (BEA)[58] Gold 25,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[59] Platinum 40,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[60] Gold 21,780[60]
France (SNEP)[61] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[62] Platinum 200,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[63] Gold 10,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[64] Gold 10,000*
Ireland (IRMA)[65] 5× Platinum 75,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[66] Platinum 250,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[67] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[68] 5× Platinum 75,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[69] Platinum 40,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[70] Gold 20,000*
Portugal (AFP)[71] Silver 10,000^
Russia (NFPF)[72] Platinum 20,000*
South Africa (RISA)[46] Platinum 50,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[73] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[74] Gold 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[75] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[76] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[77] 4× Platinum 5,343,000[78]^
Europe (IFPI)[79] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


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