Infinite (Eminem album)

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Infinite
Infinite by Eminem US cassette album.jpg
Artwork for original official U.S. cassette release
Studio album by Eminem
Released November 12, 1996
Recorded 1995-1996
Genre
Length 37:54
Label Web Entertainment
Producer
Eminem chronology
Infinite
(1996)
Slim Shady EP
(1997)Slim Shady EP1997

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 fellow rappers Proof, Mr. Porter, Eye-Kyu, Three and Thyme, as well as singer Angela Workman on the track "Searchin'". The copies were made on cassette and vinyl, and Eminem sold them out of the trunk of his car in Detroit. It is not officially available on any online music stores. However, on November 17, 2016, five days after the 20th anniversary of the album, Eminem posted a remaster and remix of title track, made by the Bass Brothers, to his Vevo channel, made available digitally for the first time.

Infinite was a commercial failure, selling around 1,000 copies. Retrospectively, the album received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its lyrical content while criticizing the album's production.

Background[edit]

I was driving in my car back in '95 or '96 and heard him on the radio. It was like, "Whoa, who is this?" He was doing an open mic with [WJLB-FM programmer Lisa Orlando] in Detroit. And I was like, "Wow, who is this kid? I've gotta get him over to the studio." That's when I called out to the radio station and asked, "Put me on the phone with the guy."
- Mark Bass, 2016[1]

In 1992, the rapper initially signed with FBT Productions, which has been run by brothers Jeff and Mark Bass. Eminem also held a minimum-wage job cooking and washing dishes at Gilbert's Lodge restaurant at St. Clair Shores for some time.[2] The album was recorded in 1995.[3] In 1996, Eminem's debut album Infinite was released under their independent label Web Entertainment.[2] Eminem was encouraged by others, who noted he sounded similar to rapper AZ.[4] Mr. Porter produced the entire album, while Proof programmed the drums.[5]

Composition[edit]

Eminem purposely made Infinite's songs "radio-friendly" in hopes of getting on the air on Detroit radio stations.[5] Featured vocalist are fellow rappers Proof, Mr. Porter, Eye-Kyu, Three, and Thyme as well as singer Angela Workman (in the chorus of "Searchin'").[6] Only around a thousand copies of the album were made.[7] Subjects covered in Infinite included his and his grandma's struggles with raising Hailie Jade Mathers, Eminem's newborn daughter while on limited funds and his strong desire to get rich.[2] After the release of Infinite, Eminem's personal struggles and abuse of drugs and alcohol resulted in an unsuccessful suicide attempt.[8] 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."[4]

In May 14, 2009, Thisis50.com re-released it as a free download on their website to build anticipation for Eminem's comeback album Relapse.[3][9][10] On November 17, 2016, a remix of the album's title track "Infinite" was released in commemoration of the album's 20th anniversary, followed by a documentary about the making of the album on the same day.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[11]
RapReviews.com 5.5/10[12]

It is not known exactly how many copies the album sold. Eminem stated in The Way I Am that it sold "maybe 70 copies".[9] However, other sources state the album sold a few hundred copies[1] or even 1,000 copies.[13] 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.[14] Retrospective reviews of the album are mixed. AllMusic gave it an "Editor Score" of 2.5 out of 5 stars, without a review.[11] Rob Kenner of Complex gave the album an unfavorable review, saying Eminem "has yet to develop his own distinctive style".[15]

Track listing[edit]

Track listing and credits taken from album booklet.[6] All production was handled by Denaun Porter of D12.

Infinite
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Infinite" 4:01
2. "W.E.G.O. (Interlude)" (skit performed by Proof and DJ Head)   0:26
3. "It's O.K." (featuring Eye-Kyu)
  • Mathers
  • Porter
3:29
4. "Tonite"
  • Mathers
  • Porter
3:45
5. "313" (featuring Eye-Kyu)
  • Mathers
  • Porter
4:11
6. "Maxine" (featuring Mr. Porter and Three)
  • Mathers
  • W. Strong
3:55
7. "Open Mic" (featuring Thyme)
  • Mathers
  • Porter
4:02
8. "Never 2 Far"
  • Mathers
  • Porter
3:38
9. "Searchin'" (featuring Mr. Porter and Angela Workman)
  • Mathers
  • Porter
3:45
10. "Backstabber"
  • Mathers
  • Porter
3:24
11. "Jealousy Woes II"
  • Mathers
  • Porter
3:19
Total length: 37:54

Sample credits

  • "Infinite" contains a sample of "Hot Wind" performed by Les Baxter.
  • "Tonite" contains a sample of "Let This River Flow" performed by Googie and Tom Cappola.
  • "313" contains a sample of "A Secret Place" performed by Grover Washington Jr.
  • "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, and "World Go Round" performed by Naughty By Nature.
  • "Never 2 Far" contains a sample of "Right on Time" performed by Maze.
  • “Searchin’” contains a sample of “The Dude” performed by Quincy Jones.
  • "Backstabber" contains samples of "Fuckin' Backstabber" performed by Soul Intent, "Jealous" performed by LL Cool J, and "Get Down" performed by Craig Mack.
  • "Jealousy Woes II" contains samples of "Say What" performed by Idris Muhammad, "Jealous" performed by LL Cool J, and "The World Is Yours" performed by Nas.

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from album booklet[6] and Discogs.[16]

  • Eminem – vocals, production
  • Kevin Wilder – mixing, recording
  • Robert "Flipside" Handy – mixing, recording
  • Mr. Porter – production
  • Jeff Bass – executive production
  • Mark Bass – executive production

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Reeves, Mosi (November 17, 2016). "Eminem's 'Infinite': Producers Revisit, Remix MC's Inauspicious Debut". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 4, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c 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. 
  3. ^ a b Rodriguez, Jayson (May 13, 2009). "Eminem's First Album, Infinite, Now Available For Download". MTV. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Eminem biography". Eminem.com. Interscope Records. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Ryon, Sean (April 21, 2012). "Mr. Porter Talks Debut Album "tHe mEmO," Eminem's First Album "Infinite"". HipHopDX. IPC Media. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Infinite (CD liner). Eminem. United States: Web Entertainment. 1996. 0382556977426. 
  7. ^ Padania, Jesal "Jay Soul" (August 12, 2008). "Eminem: Infinite". Rap Reviews. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ Ankeny, Jason; Torreano, Bradley. "Eminem – Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 30, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b Michaels, Sean (May 14, 2009). "Eminem's rare debut available for free download". The Guardian. Retrieved September 4, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Eminem's rare debut album released free online". NME. May 14, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Infinite - Eminem". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Eminem :: Infinite :: Web Records". RapReviews.com. 
  13. ^ "Eminem Total Albums Sold". Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  14. ^ James, Andy (November 18, 2016). "How the Failure of 'Infinite' Turned Eminem Into Slim Shady". DJBooth. Retrieved September 4, 2017. 
  15. ^ Kenner, Rob (November 12, 2013). "Eminem "Infinite" (1996)". Complex. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Eminem – Infinite". Discogs. Retrieved July 20, 2017.