Shady Records

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Shady Records
Shady Records logo.png
Parent companyUniversal Music Group
Founded1999; 22 years ago (1999)
FounderEminem, Paul Rosenberg
Distributor(s)Interscope Geffen A&M
(In the US)
(In the UK)
GenreHip hop
Country of originUnited States
LocationNew York City, New York
Detroit, Michigan

Shady Records is an American record label founded in 1999 by rapper Eminem and his manager Paul Rosenberg, after the highly successful release of Eminem's The Slim Shady LP. Both serve as the label's presidents.

Since its formation, Shady has signed twelve acts and is currently home to four. It has also been part of the business venture in Shade 45 radio station via Sirius Satellite Radio, and had its own dedicated special edition magazine via XXL magazine. Tough times were seen when Eminem, along with the artists were involved in very public feuds with one-time former affiliate Royce da 5'9", Murder Inc. and The Source magazine.

Shady has also seen positive times when being part of the successful international Anger Management tours and, in 2006, released an album showcasing its then-roster on Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. It was also Shady to be contracted for putting together the soundtrack to the Eminem-starring film 8 Mile, which had the lead single "Lose Yourself". The song went on to be the first ever song in the hip hop genre to receive an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Shady's acts over the years have earned RIAA certifications of gold or higher on 12 of its 22 released albums (excluding Eminem's solo releases). Signed acts include Eminem, Bad Meets Evil, Conway the Machine and Westside Boogie, while former acts include D12, Obie Trice, 50 Cent, Stat Quo, Bobby Creekwater, Cashis, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf and Westside Gunn.


2000–2004: Formation, growth and feuds[edit]

Eminem founded Shady Records in 1999.

After Eminem released The Slim Shady LP, he started his own record label in late 1999. Eminem looked for an avenue to release D12, and Rosenberg was keen to start a label, which led to the 2 teaming up to form Shady.[1] Its A&R Marc Labelle has defined the record label as "a boutique label but [with] all the outlets of a major [and] Interscope backing up our every move."[2]

D12 was the 1st to be signed as they had been rapping together since the 1990s, and the members had made a promise that whoever became successful would come back and sign the others.[3] In June 2001, D12 released Devil's Night, peaking at #1 on the Billboard 200.[4] Obie Trice was introduced to Eminem through D12's Bizarre. Eminem signed him in June 2001 as the second Shady act.[5][6] Obie Trice first got public attention via a freestyle skit on the Devil's Night album.

While working on the film 8 Mile, Eminem had a meeting with then underground rapper 50 Cent. Eminem had heard 50 Cent's early mixtapes, taken them to Dr. Dre and offered him the chance to work together on the artist. 50 Cent became the first solo artist signed to Shady and Aftermath.[7] The 8 Mile soundtrack was the second Shady LP to be released.[8][9] The first single was "Lose Yourself", which earned multiple nominations and became a surprise win of an Academy Award for Best Original Song, the first time a hip hop song had ever won the award.[10][11][12] The second single was 50 Cent's "Wanksta", which was released as a buzz track[13] and became popular in 50 Cent's home town.[14] During this time, Eminem had also made a deal with DJ Green Lantern, who released the label's first mixtape, Invasion!, in 2002.[15] He was the DJ for Eminem during the Anger Management Tour.[16]

The third release from Shady was 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin', in February 2003. The album became the fastest selling debut in U.S. history.[17] Next to be released from Shady was Obie Trice's debut album, Cheers, six months later. Despite being commercial successful, the LP was considered overshadowed by 50 Cent's music at the time.[6] In 2003, Shady was involved in several controversies with the likes of the inherited Murder Inc. feud that 50 Cent and G-Unit were involved in,[18] on-going problems with the previous co-owners of The Source magazine, namely Benzino,[19] as well as escalating issues with rapper Royce da 5'9", who was previously a friend of Eminem and D12.[20]

Near the end of 2003, Eminem and Dr. Dre signed a joint deal with Stat Quo.[21] Stat Quo became the second artist to be signed to Shady and Aftermath. The following year saw the release of D12's second album, D12 World. Also, in 2004, Eminem and Rosenberg began a venture offered by Sirius Satellite Radio that saw the airing of their uncensored hip hop radio station, Shade 45.[1][22] Shady DJ, DJ Green Lantern, was given his own show,[23] whilst 50 Cent's G-Unit DJ, DJ Whoo Kid, co-hosted G-Unit Radio on Saturdays.[24]

2005–2009: Development and Eminem Presents: The Re-Up[edit]

2005 saw the release of 50 Cent's second release, The Massacre, which set a record as the sixth fastest selling album since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking albums in 1991, with 1.14 million albums sold in four days.[25][26] The album was a commercial success, and was only 32,000 records away from being the best-selling album of the year.[27] On "Piggy Bank", a song off the album, 50 Cent insulted several artists, including Jadakiss.[28] The feud between Jadakiss and 50 Cent indirectly led to DJ Green Lantern leaving Shady Records. A few months after the release of The Massacre, Jadakiss appeared on a street DVD, and had DJ Green Lantern on loudspeaker through his phone, without Green Lantern being aware of this. The DJ shared his thoughts on how to deal with the feud. When the DVD was released and Eminem found out about what happened, Green Lantern had to leave Shady Records and Shade 45, and his upcoming album, Armageddon, was no longer a Shady Records-related project.[29] The Alchemist was signed on as the official tour DJ for Eminem on the 2005 Anger Management 3 Tour, replacing the recently ousted DJ Green Lantern.

Issue cover of XXL Presents Shade 45

In August 2005, Eminem and the XXL magazine teamed up to release a special issue titled XXL Presents Shade 45, and was designed to give maximum exposure to Shade 45 as a radio station, and at the same time give maximum exposure to the Shady Records label as a whole, as well as the radio DJ's and G-Unit Records' artists. XXL executive publisher, Jonathan Rheingold, stated that typically magazines based around particular artists were not favorable, but "since Shade 45 is a truly authentic and uncensored rap radio channel, the marriage with the XXL brand made sense," before adding that it's what would interest rap fans.[30] 2005 also saw the signing of Bobby Creekwater to the label, making him the fifth artist and the second Atlanta-based rapper.[31]

In early 2006, Chicago-born Orange County, California-based rapper named Cashis joined Shady Records, after he managed to get his demo heard by Eminem.[32][33] Later in 2006, Obie Trice released his second album, Second Round's on Me. However, the album did not fare as well commercially as his debut, seemingly because of the state of the hip-hop industry.[34] The album saw a change in Obie Trice's style, whose first album was considered to be a little light-hearted. Second Round's on Me was considered to be a more serious, dark album, mainly showing the grittiness of Obie Trice's life and surroundings.[6][35]

In early 2006, there had been talk of Eminem having the label's roster on a mixtape with new material to be presented by DJ Whoo Kid and The Alchemist.[36] This talk went on for several months. In the end, it was announced that Eminem was so impressed with the mixtape material that he had decided to make it an official album, called Eminem Presents the Re-Up. The album had been long anticipated, until it was released in early December 2006. The release had spawned the single "You Don't Know", which featured 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, and the latest signee Cashis.[37]

In May 2007, Cashis released the eight-track The County Hound EP in an attempt to have people "fiend" for his music, or garner interest in it. The album was released as a limited edition EP.[38] September saw the release of 50 Cent's third album with the label, Curtis, which was involved in a well publicized competition with rapper Kanye West, who had his third album, Graduation set for release on the same day.[39] In June 2008, Obie Trice departed from the label. A misunderstanding was made where it was believed he was attacking the label and Eminem on a single titled "The Giant" but they were quickly dismissed. In a statement, Paul Rosenberg stated "Shady Records has agreed to allow Obie Trice to pursue his craft in a different forum free from the constraints of the current major label model [...] Eminem will continue to support and work with Obie on many levels of his career [...] He remains a close friend and member of the Shady family."[40] In a 2012 interview, Obie opened up on the topic, admitting having issues with Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine, which was Trice's fault, clarifying "I was kind of reckless, not on time, certain things and [Iovine] didn't want to further the project with me so we tried to work it out but it just didn’t come to a head so I had to do what I had to do," before going on to note that his relationship with the label is great, and he continues to work with Eminem, notably on Bottoms Up, which was to be released originally on Shady Records.[41]

Stat Quo was also released from the label in 2008. Stat felt the root cause appeared to him to be a straining relationship with Eminem stemming from differences relating to the promotion of the album. HipHopDX detailed the events following this point in the situation leading to his release from the label with "Eminem's decision to remove himself from Stat's project, a subsequent, and unexplained, decision made by Dr. Dre to not appear in Stat's video for "Here We Go," and the aforementioned lack of support for the single by parent label, Interscope, Stat began seeking his release from the label."[42] 2009 saw the departure of Bobby Creekwater who had been working on his debut album, A Brilliant Mistake.[43][44]

2010–2014: Shady 2.0 and Shady XV[edit]

Slaughterhouse guest featured Eminem's seventh album Recovery on the bonus track "Session One". On January 12, 2011, Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf appeared on the cover of the XXL magazine with Eminem, then was confirmed that both acts were signed to Shady Records. On March 2, 2011, a track called "2.0 Boys" performed by Eminem, Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf surfaced.[45]

Slaughterhouse, it's kinda phase two of Shady. The new generation of Shady Records. And as we're trying to rebuild our label. But it's exciting for hip-hop [...] Everybody here, as an MC, is competitive. And I think, Yelawolf being in the family, the Shady family, it's gonna make him hear what these guys are doin' and wanna step his own shit up. When I hear these guys, I wanna step my shit up. And when they hear each other, I think it'll be a competitive atmosphere, like, makin' these records. And that's better for hip-hop.

— Eminem, XXL[46]

On April 25, 2011, Eminem and Royce da 5'9" announced plans to team up for a joint EP, slated for release on June 14. The project served as a long-awaited follow-up to their 1999 collaboration "Nuttin' to Do", and featured production from Mr. Porter, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Bangladesh and more. "Royce and I started hanging out again and inevitably that led us back into the studio", said Eminem in a statement. "At first we were just seeing where it went without any real goal in mind, but the songs started to come together crazy, so here we are." Royce also talked about it, and said: "I'm excited to see this project come to fruition considering the long lapse in time between when we worked before and now. We had a blast doing it and we just hope everyone enjoys it while we're working on the 'Monster' that will be the Slaughterhouse album."

Eminem signed rapper Yelawolf to the label in 2011.

In October 2011, Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse, along with Eminem, freestyled over East Flatbush Project's "Tried by 12" on a DJ Premier-hosted BET Cypher segment at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards. Becoming referred to as the "Shady 2.0 BET Cypher", it was considered to be a fan favorite segment of the cipher sessions presented throughout the awards show, with talk spreading across many online social media outlets, and Twitter having popularised trends relating with the terms "#Cypher" and "#Shady 2.0" as it was airing.[47][48][49][50]

The label showcased acts at the 2012 SXSW festival on March 16, 2012, at the Austin Music Hall. The evening was presented by Shade 45 radio host Sway Calloway, the Shady Records artist line up for the evening included Slaughterhouse and 50 Cent, who performed his début album Get Rich or Die Tryin' in its entirety for the first time.[51] Yelawolf was also scheduled to perform but couldn't due to a spleen injury earlier that month.

On March 20, 50 Cent announced that his 50 Cent's fifth studio album would be released on July 2, 2012.[52] This was later delayed to November 13, 2012. Another delay was announced, pushing the release back to January 2013. On March 29, 2012, Yelawolf announced his second release under Shady, tentatively titled Love Story.[53] On May 24, 2012, Eminem announced his eighth studio album, "The Marshall Mathers LP 2", which was then released on November 5, 2013.

When speaking about all future Shady Records releases president Paul Rosenberg said that Eminem's next album would be released post-Memorial Day 2013 and to expect new music from it soon. He also went on to discuss the other acts saying 50 Cent's Street King Immortal would be released in the first half of 2013, with Yelawolf's second album, Love Story, currently being recorded. Rosenberg would also state that all four members of Slaughterhouse would release solo projects prior to them returning to the studio as a group to record their second album under Shady Records. The first album released would be Joe Budden's No Love Lost on February 5, 2013 under E1 Music. The second would be Kxng Crooked's Apex Predator released under Treacherous C.O.B and Empire Distribution.[54] However, Royce and Joell Ortiz of Slaughterhouse would confirm in May 2013 that they had put their solo projects on hold, and had begun working on their third studio album.[55]

On February 20, 2014, 50 Cent announced he left Interscope Records, which included his deal with Shady Records and Aftermath Entertainment, in which he is now signed to Caroline Records.[56]

On August 25, 2014, a press release on Eminem's official website announced an upcoming compilation album by Shady Records, titled Shady XV. The two-disc album is scheduled for release on November 24, 2014, in the week of Black Friday[57] and will consist of one greatest hits disc and one disc of new material from Shady Records artists such as D12, Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil, and Yelawolf. On the same day, August 25, 2014, the first single from the album, titled Guts Over Fear and featuring singer-songwriter Sia,[58] was released.

2015–present: New signees and the disbandment of D12 and Slaughterhouse[edit]

On April 23, 2015, Eminem's Shady Music Publishing announced a deal with Saginaw, Michigan rapper Astray. The deal, according to Eminem's rep, mean the company "are going to work with him on songs." Em's longtime manager, Paul Rosenberg, said this of Astray: "Keep an eye out for him!"[59]

On October 19, 2016, Eminem released an eight-minute freestyle called "Campaign Speech" and announced that he was working on a new studio album.

On March 3, 2017, Shady Records and Griselda Records announced that Shady Records had signed brothers Westside Gunn and Conway to the label both individually and collectively as Hall N' Nash.[60] Following the 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards on October 11, 2017, Shady Records announced that they had signed Compton rapper Boogie.[61] On October 27, 2017, Yelawolf released his third album for Shady Records, Trial by Fire. On December 15, 2017, Eminem released his ninth studio album, Revival.

On April 26, 2018, Royce da 5'9" announced that Slaughterhouse had officially disbanded.[62] On August 12, 2018, while on tour Yelawolf stated Trunk Muzik III would be his final release on Shady Records.[63] On August 31, 2018, Eminem released his tenth studio album Kamikaze without any prior promotion.[64] The song "Stepping Stone" on that album announces that D12 has officially disbanded.[65]

On January 25, 2019, Boogie released his debut album Everything's for Sale.[66] The album was met with critical acclaim. Commercially, it debuted at number 28 on Billboard 200 selling 18,397 album-equivalent units in its first week.

Then on March 29, 2019, Yelawolf released his last album on Shady Records Trunk Muzik III. The album debuted at number 28 on the Billboard 200.

On November 29, 2019, Griselda released their first album on the label, WWCD. The album received generally positive reviews from critics.

On January 17, 2020, Eminem released his 11th studio album Music to Be Murdered By without any prior announcement. Commercially, it debuted at number 1 in 12 countries. In US, the album sold 279,000 in its first week becoming Eminem's 10th consecutive number 1 album in the country. Eminem became the only artist with 10 consecutive number 1 album in United States and United Kingdom.


Current acts[edit]

Act Year signed Albums released Description
Eminem Founder 11 Rapper from Detroit, Michigan, he co-founded the label alongside Paul Rosenberg in 1999 after releasing The Slim Shady LP, Eminem has gone on to become the best selling artist in hip hop music. Released his eleventh album Music to Be Murdered By on January 17, 2020
Bad Meets Evil 2011 1 Duo from Detroit, Michigan composed of rappers Royce da 5'9" and Eminem. Released their debut EP Hell: The Sequel on June 14, 2011.
Conway the Machine 2017 1 Rapper from Buffalo, New York. Originally signed to the label as Griselda alongside Westside Gunn, both individually and collectively on March 3, 2017.[67] Released their debut album WWCD on November 29, 2019.[68]
Westside Boogie 2017 1 Rapper from Compton, California. Signed to the label on October 11, 2017.[69] Released his debut album Everything's for Sale on January 25, 2019.

Former acts[edit]

Act Years on the label Albums under Shady Description
D12[70] 2000–2018[71] 2 Group from Detroit, Michigan composed of rappers Eminem, Bizarre, Mr. Porter, Proof and few other members. They were the first group to be signed to the label. Released their second and final album D12 World on August 27, 2004 and has remained mostly inactive since Proof's murder in 2006. On August 31, 2018, Eminem released a song titled "Stepping Stone" on his tenth studio album Kamikaze announcing that D12 has officially disbanded.[70]
Obie Trice[72] 2001–2008 2 Rapper from Detroit, Michigan. He was the second act ever to be signed by Shady Records. Released his second album Second Round's on Me on August 15, 2006. He left the label in 2008, and is currently signed to his own record label Black Market.
50 Cent[56] 2002–2014 5 Rapper from Queens, New York. Released four albums under Shady, Aftermath and Interscope Records. He left the label in 2014, and is currently signed to Caroline and Capitol. On March 31, 2017, he released his Best Of greatest hits album to fulfill his five-album contract with Interscope.
Stat Quo[73] 2004–2008 Rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. He parted ways with Shady in 2008 and has continued his career in the entertainment industry by earning production and writing credits as well as release studio albums and launching a record label Blood Money with rapper The Game.
Bobby Creekwater[74] 2005–2009 Rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. He left Shady in 2009.
Cashis 2006–2011 1 Rapper from Los Angeles, California. Released his debut EP The County Hound EP on May 22, 2007. He announced his departure on the intro of his 2011 mixtape. However he is still signed to the label as a songwriter.[75]
Slaughterhouse[62] 2011–2018 1 Supergroup composed of rappers Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Royce da 5'9". Released their album Welcome to: Our House on August 28, 2012. On April 26, 2018, Royce da 5’9” announced that the supergroup has disbanded.[62]
Yelawolf 2011–2019 4 Rapper from Gadsden, Alabama. In August 2018, Yelawolf announced he would leave the label following the release of Trunk Muzik III.[76]
Westside Gunn 2017–2020 2 Rapper from Buffalo, New York. Originally signed to the label as Griselda alongside Conway the Machine, both individually and collectively on March 3, 2017.[67] Released their debut album WWCD on November 29, 2019.[68]


The following is the list of all albums released through Shady Records and distributed by Interscope Records. Any additional record label involved are specified.

Eminem's rap collective D12 has released two albums on the label.
Obie Trice released two albums on the label, before leaving Shady in 2008.
Artist Album Details
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: May 23, 2000
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.[77]
  • RIAA certification: Diamond[78]
D12 Devil's Night
  • Released: June 19, 2001
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.[79]
  • RIAA certification: Platinum[80]
Eminem The Eminem Show
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: May 26, 2002
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.[81]
  • RIAA certification: Diamond[82]
Various Artists 8 Mile
  • Released: October 29, 2002
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.[83]
  • RIAA certification: 4× Platinum[84]
50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin'
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: February 6, 2003
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.[85]
  • RIAA certification: 9× Platinum
Obie Trice Cheers
  • Released: September 23, 2003
  • Chart position: #5 U.S.[86]
  • RIAA certification: Gold[87]
D12 D12 World
  • Released: April 27, 2004
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.[88]
  • RIAA certification: 2× Platinum[89]
Eminem Encore
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: November 12, 2004
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.[90]
  • RIAA certification: 4× Platinum[91]
50 Cent The Massacre
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: March 3, 2005
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.[92]
  • RIAA certification: 6× Platinum
Eminem Curtain Call: The Hits
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: December 6, 2005
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.[93]
  • RIAA certification: 7× Platinum[94]
Obie Trice Second Round's on Me
  • Released: August 15, 2006
  • Chart position: #8 U.S.[95]
Various Artists Eminem Presents: The Re-Up
  • Released: December 5, 2006
  • Chart position: #2 U.S.[96]
  • RIAA certification: Platinum[97]
Cashis The County Hound EP
  • Released: May 22, 2007
  • Chart position: #106 U.S.[98]
50 Cent Curtis
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: September 11, 2007
  • Chart position: #2 U.S.[99]
  • RIAA certification: Platinum
Eminem Relapse
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: May 15, 2009
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 2× Platinum[100]
50 Cent Before I Self Destruct
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: November 9, 2009
  • Chart position: #5 U.S.[101]
  • RIAA certification: Gold
Eminem Recovery
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: June 18, 2010
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 3× Platinum[102]
Bad Meets Evil Hell: The Sequel
  • Released: June 14, 2011
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.[103]
  • RIAA certification: Gold
Yelawolf Radioactive
(released with DGC and Ghet-o-Vision)
  • Released: November 21, 2011
  • Chart position: #27 U.S.[104]
Slaughterhouse Welcome to: Our House
  • Released: August 28, 2012
  • Chart position: #2 U.S.
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: November 5, 2013
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 4× Platinum
Various Artists Shady XV
  • Released: November 24, 2014
  • Chart positions: #3 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Gold
Yelawolf Love Story
(released with Slumerican)
  • Released: April 21, 2015
  • Chart positions: #3 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Gold
Various Artists Southpaw
  • Released: July 24, 2015
  • Chart positions: #5 U.S.
Yelawolf Trial by Fire
(released with Slumerican)
  • Released: October 27, 2017
  • Chart positions: #42 U.S.
Eminem Revival
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: December 15, 2017
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.[105]
  • RIAA certification: Gold[106]
Eminem Kamikaze
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: August 31, 2018
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.[107]
  • RIAA certification: Platinum[108]
Boogie Everything's for Sale
  • Released: January 25, 2019
  • Chart positions: #28 U.S.
Yelawolf Trunk Muzik III
(released with Slumerican)
  • Released: March 29, 2019[109]
  • Chart positions: #28 U.S.
Griselda WWCD
(released with Griselda)
  • Released: November 29, 2019[67]
Eminem Music to Be Murdered By
(released with Aftermath)
  • Released: January 17, 2020[110]
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Gold
Westside Gunn Who Made the Sunshine
(released with Griselda)
  • Released: October 2, 2020
Conway the Machine God Don't Make Mistakes
(released with Griselda)
  • To be released: 2021[111]

Shady Films[edit]

Early on, Shady Records helped release DVDs such as, Eminem's All Access Europe on June 18, 2002 and 50 Cent's 50 Cent: The New Breed on April 15, 2003. On September 25, 2013, co-founders Eminem and Paul Rosenberg announced they would be expanding Shady Records, with Shady Films. The deal is a joint venture with Ben Silverman's LOUD channel, in partnership with Electus. Shady Films will continue to produce the web series Detroit Rubber, which is soon to begin a second season, as well as Elliott Wilson's CRWN interview series. They are also to expand their content development and production by featuring new programming with Shady Records artists such as, Slaughterhouse.[112]


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