Infinite (Eminem album)
|Studio album by Eminem|
|Released||November 12, 1996|
Infinite is the debut studio album by American rapper Eminem. It was released on November 12, 1996, by Web Entertainment. Recording sessions took place at the Bass Brothers' studio, known as the Bassmint Productions, with the production that was handled by Mr. Porter and Proof. The album features guest vocals from these fellow rappers Proof, Mr. Porter, Eye-Kyu, Three and Thyme; as well as singer Angela Workman on one track ("Searchin'"). The album sold 1,000 copies, and is not available on any online music stores.
Infinite initially received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its lyrical content, while criticizing the album's production. While Eminem's future albums would prove much more successful, the rapper's debut album has still gained some recognition and retrospective acclaim, and is even considered by some to be a "classic" album.
Background and composition
In 1992, Marshall "Eminem" Mathers was initially signed to FBT Productions, which has been run by brothers Jeff and Mark Bass. Eminem also held a minimum-wage job of cooking and dish washing at the restaurant Gilbert's Lodge at St. Clair Shores for some time. In 1996, Eminem's debut album Infinite, which was recorded at the Bassmint, a recording studio owned by the Bass Brothers, was released under their independent label Web Entertainment. Eminem was encouraged by others, who noted he sounded similar to rapper AZ. Mr. Porter produced the entire album, while Proof programmed the drums.
Mathers purposely made Infinite's songs "radio-friendly" in hopes of getting on the air on Detroit radio stations. It features vocals from fellow rappers Proof, Mr. Porter, Eye-Kyu, Three, and Thyme as well as singer Angela Workman (in the chorus of "Searchin'"). Only around a thousand copies of the album were made. Subjects covered in Infinite included his and his grandma's struggles with raising his newborn daughter Hailie Jade Mathers while on limited funds and his strong desire to get rich. After the release of Infinite, Eminem's personal struggles and abuse of drugs and alcohol culminated in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. In 2009, Thisis50.com re-released it as a free download on their website to build anticipation for Eminem's highly anticipated comeback album Relapse.
Eminem recalls: "Obviously, I was young and influenced by other artists, and I got a lot of feedback saying that I sounded like AZ. Infinite was me trying to figure out how I wanted my rap style to be, how I wanted to sound on the mic and present myself. It was a growing stage. I felt like Infinite was like the demo that just got pressed up." Allmusic gave it an "Editor Score" of 2.5 out of 5 stars, without a review. Rob Kenner of Complex gave the album an unfavorable review, saying Eminem "has yet to develop his own distinctive style". Eminem's overall disappointment with the album's lack of success inspired him to develop his famous Slim Shady alter ego present in his later works.
Track listing and credits taken from album booklet.
|1.||"Infinite"||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||4:01|
|2.||"W.E.G.O. (Interlude)" (featuring Proof and DJ Head)||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||0:26|
|3.||"It's O.K." (featuring Eye-Kyu)||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||3:29|
|4.||"Tonite"||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||3:43|
|5.||"313" (featuring Eye-Kyu)||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||4:11|
|6.||"Maxine" (featuring Mr. Porter and Three)||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||3:55|
|7.||"Open Mic" (featuring Thyme)||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||4:02|
|8.||"Never 2 Far"||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||3:38|
|9.||"Searchin'" (featuring Mr. Porter and Angela Workman)||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||3:45|
|10.||"Backstabber"||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||3:24|
|11.||"Jealousy Woes II"||Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter||3:19|
- Sample credits
- "Tonite" contains a sample of "Let This River Flow" performed by Googie and Tom Cappola.
- "Maxine" contains a sample of "Dolphin Dance" performed by Grover Washington, Jr.
- "Open Mic" contains a sample of "Give Me Your Love (Love Song)" performed by Curtis Mayfield.
- "Never 2 Far" contains a samples of "Right on Time" performed by Maze.
- "Backstabber" contains a samples of "Fuckin' Backstabber" performed by Soul Intent, and "Jealous" performed by LL Cool J.
- "Jealousy Woes II" contains a samples of "Say What" performed by Idris Muhammad, "Jealous" performed by LL Cool J, and "The World Is Yours" performed by Nas.
- Bozza, Anthony (2003). Whatever You Say I Am: The Life and Times of Eminem. New York, New York, United States: Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 1-4000-5059-6.
- "Eminem biography". Eminem.com. Interscope Records. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
- Ryon, Sean (April 21, 2012). "Mr. Porter Talks Debut Album "tHe mEmO," Eminem's First Album "Infinite"". Hip Hop DX. IPC Media. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- Infinite (CD liner). Eminem. United States: Web Entertainment. 1996. 0382556977426.
- Padania, Jesal "Jay Soul" (August 12, 2008). "Eminem: Infinite". Rap Reviews. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Ankeny, Jason; Torreano, Bradley. "Eminem – Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
- "Eminem's rare debut album released free online". NME. May 14, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- "Infinite - Eminem". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
- Kenner, Rob (November 12, 2013). "Eminem "Infinite" (1996)". Complex. Retrieved January 2, 2014.