As long as Eminem has been recording music, he has been on Interscope Records. His deal with the label stems from Dr. Dre’s relationship that has lasted for nearly nineteen years. After Dre left Ruthless Records, he and Suge Knight proposed the idea of Death Row Records to the head of Interscope Records, Jimmy Iovine. A hardcore rock fan, Iovine loved the sound of the music and he gave them a chance.
Dr. Dre would spend the next five years with Death Row until he had enough of the way that his partner, Suge Knight was going around treating people. Right after he finished working on the first 1996 album from Tupac, All Eyez On Me, Dr. Dre would leave Death Row. He would take with him artists that he had been working with during his Death Row days. They made up the roster of Aftermath Entertainment, also distributed by Interscope Records.
The first three years of Aftermath got off to a rocky start and Dr. Dre’s legacy was at stake for a little while. All of this changed when he heard a white rapper from Detroit named Eminem rap for the first time. Dr. Dre listened to his demo and he ended up flying Dre to Los Angeles and the trip resulted in Em signing to Aftermath Entertainment. Before the signing of Eminem, releases from the label failed to cross the platinum mark. However, after Eminem released his debut album, he would sell 9 million copies.
The success of Eminem’s first album led to Jimmy Iovine reaching out to him directly. He granted Em with his own label, Shady Records. Soon, Eminem signed himself to a joint-venture deal with Aftermath. In 2000, he signed D12, a group of his childhood friends to the label and he also signed other Detroit-area rappers to the label. Starting in 2002, Eminem and Shady became the cornerstone of Interscope Records. Later in the year, he would solidify his status as a legend, when he signed 50 Cent.
When Dr. Dre signed Eminem to Aftermath, he put his own rap career on hold. When Eminem signed 50 Cent, he made a similar move. However, unlike his boss, Eminem announced a comeback. After he made the announcement, he acted upon it. The result was Eminem releasing his first album in five years, Relapse. Led by the hit single, “We Made You,” Eminem took over the rap game one more time.
Initially, Eminem had planned to release two new albums in 2009. The first half of the year was supposed to be headlined by Relapse. The second half of the year was supposed to be headlined by Relapse 2. When Eminem recorded the first album, he created enough music for multiple albums. Because of this, he had hoped to package the music that was left off of the initial album to create another album.
However, Interscope Records did not like this idea. They forced Eminem to scrap the album and begin to record another album. To honor the promise that Eminem made to his fans about releasing two albums in 2009, they allowed him to re-release Relapse as Relapse: Refill. This will serve as the official preview of Relapse 2. The fact that Interscope Records forced him to re-record his album enraged Eminem.
For the past few years, Eminem has been growing impatient with the Interscope label. It is possible that he has finally had enough. As long ago as December 2009, there have been rumors of Eminem possibly moving his Shady Records to an independent label. In 2008, he had signed up-and-coming rapper, Charles Hamilton to the label. He was hailed as one of the rappers of the future. But, a feud with Soulja Boy led to him being dropped by Shady/Interscope and Jimmy Iovine allowed his debut album to leak to the internet.
With all of this and some other issues, Eminem may just pack his bags and go the independent route for his future music releases.