|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Distributor(s)||Interscope Geffen A&M
(In the US)
(In the UK)
Universal Music Group
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||New York City, New York|
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 second studio album The Slim Shady LP (1999). Both serve as the label's presidents.
Since its formation, Shady Records has signed ten acts and is currently home to five. 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 its record co-founder, Eminem, along with the artists were involved in very public feuds with one-time former affiliate Royce da 5'9", record label Murder Inc. and The Source magazine. The label 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 the label 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 take the first ever Academy Award for Best Original Song given to a song in the hip hop genre.
The label's acts over the years have earned RIAA certifications of gold or higher on 11 of its 17 released albums (excluding Eminem's solo releases). Signed acts include Eminem, D12, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf and Bad Meets Evil, while former acts include Obie Trice, Stat Quo, Bobby Creekwater, Cashis and 50 Cent.
2000–2004: Formation, growth and feuds
After Eminem released The Slim Shady LP, he started his own record label in late 1999 with his manager, Paul Rosenberg. Eminem looked for an avenue to release his Detroit-based rap group, D12, and Rosenberg was keen to start a label, which led to the two teaming up to form Shady Records. Its A&R Marc Labelle has defined the imprint as "a boutique label but [with] all the outlets of a major [and] Interscope backing up our every move."
D12 was the first 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. In June 2001, D12 released Devil's Night, peaking at number one on the Billboard 200. Obie Trice was introduced to Eminem through D12 member Bizarre. Eminem signed him in June 2001 as the second Shady Records act. 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-small-time New York 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 artist signed to Shady Records and Aftermath Entertainment. The 8 Mile soundtrack was the second Shady Records album to be released. 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. The second single was 50 Cent's "Wanksta", which was released as a buzz track and became popular in 50 Cent's home town. During this time, Eminem had also made a deal with DJ Green Lantern, who released the label's first mixtape, Invasion!, in 2002. He was to DJ for Eminem during the Anger Management Tour.
The third release from Shady Records was 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin', in February 2003. The album became the fastest selling debut in U.S. history. Next to be released from Shady Records was Obie Trice's debut album, Cheers, six months later. Despite having been a commercial success, the album was considered overshadowed by 50 Cent's music at the time. In 2002 and 2003, Shady Records was involved in several controversies with the likes of the inherited Murder Inc. feud that 50 Cent and G-Unit were involved in, on-going problems with the previous co-owners of The Source magazine, namely Benzino, as well as escalating issues with rapper Royce da 5'9", who was previously a friend of Eminem and D12.
Near the end of 2003, Dr. Dre and Eminem signed a joint deal with Atlanta rapper Stat Quo. Stat Quo became the second artist to be signed to Shady and Aftermath, after 50 Cent. 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. Shady Records DJ, DJ Green Lantern, was given his own show, whilst 50 Cent's G-Unit DJ, DJ Whoo Kid, co-hosted G-Unit Radio on Saturdays.
2005–09: Development and Eminem Presents: The Re-Up
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. The album was a commercial success, and was only 32,000 records away from being the best-selling album of the year. On "Piggy Bank", a song off the album, 50 Cent insulted several artists, including Jadakiss. 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. 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.
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. 2005 also saw the signing of Bobby Creekwater to the label, making him the fifth artist and the second Atlanta-based rapper.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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." 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.
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." 2009 saw the departure of Bobby Creekwater who had been working on his debut album, A Brilliant Mistake.
2009–present: Shady 2.0 and SHADYXV
It has been reported that hip hop supergroup Slaughterhouse will be joining Shady Records with member Royce da 5'9" confirming talks between both sides then later stating that the deal should be done in April or May. The group guest featuring 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.
|“||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
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."
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.
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. 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 fifth studio album would be released on July 2, 2012. 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. 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. 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.
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 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, was released.
On April 23, 2015, Shady Records' A&R Riggs Morales discussed a potential signing deal for PREF1X, a rap star located in Sacramento, California. 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!" 
|Act||Year signed||Albums under Shady||Description|
|Eminem||Founder||7||Rapper from Detroit, Michigan, he co-founded the label in 1999, Eminem has gone on to become the highest selling artist in hip hop.|
|D12||1999||2||Group composed of rappers Eminem, Bizarre, Mr. Porter, Kuniva, Swifty McVay and Fuzz Scoota. As a group, they knew each other pre-success from the Hip Hop Shop, in Detroit, Michigan, and were the first group to be signed to the label.|
|Slaughterhouse||2011||1||Supergroup composed of rappers Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Kxng Crooked and Royce da 5'9". Released their album Welcome to: Our House on August 28, 2012.|
|Yelawolf||2011||2||Rapper from Gadsden, Alabama. Released his sophomore album, Love Story, on April 21, 2015.|
|Bad Meets Evil||2011||1||Duo composed of rappers Royce da 5'9" and Eminem. Released their EP Hell: The Sequel on June 14, 2011.|
|Act||Years on the label||Albums under Shady||Description|
|Obie Trice||2001–2008||2||Rapper from Detroit, Michigan. He was the second act ever to be signed by Shady Records. He left the label in 2008, and is currently signed to his own record label Black Market Entertainment.|
|50 Cent||2002–2014||4||Rapper from Queens, New York. Released four albums under Shady and Aftermath. He left the label in 2014, and is currently signed to Caroline and Capitol.|
|Stat Quo||2003–2008||—||Rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. Like Obie Trice, he parted ways with Shady Records in 2008, and is currently signed to Sha Money XL's record label Dream Big Ventures.|
|Bobby Creekwater||2005–2009||—||Rapper who, like Stat Quo, is also from Atlanta, Georgia. He left Shady in 2009.|
|Cashis||2006–2011||1||Rapper from Orange County, California. Released one EP on the label. He announced his departure on the intro of his 2011 mixtape. However he is still signed to the label as a songwriter.|
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||The Marshall Mathers LP
(released with Aftermath)
|Eminem||The Eminem Show
(released with Aftermath)
|Various Artists||8 Mile|
|50 Cent||Get Rich or Die Tryin'
(released with Aftermath)
(released with Aftermath)
|50 Cent||The Massacre
(released with Aftermath)
|Eminem||Curtain Call: The Hits
(released with Aftermath)
|Obie Trice||Second Round's on Me||
|Various Artists||Eminem Presents: The Re-Up|
|Cashis||The County Hound EP||
(released with Aftermath)
(released with Aftermath)
|50 Cent||Before I Self Destruct
(released with Aftermath)
(released with Aftermath)
|Bad Meets Evil||Hell: The Sequel||
(released with DGC and Ghet-o-Vision)
|Slaughterhouse||Welcome to: Our House||
|Eminem||The Marshall Mathers LP 2
(released with Aftermath)
|Various Artists||Shady XV||
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 Paul Rosenberg and Eminem announced they would be expanded 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.
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- Eminem's Next Album Due 'Post-Memorial Day': Exclusive | Billboard
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- Shady Records Issues Statement On Obie's Departure
- Stat Quo To Release 300-400 Unreleased Dr. Dre Tracks
- Bobby Creekwater
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