Today, in a business maneuver that has been brewing behind the scenes for quite some time, Eminem finally announced that he's growing his Shady Records roster. In a not so surprising move, he's bringing Slaughterhouse -- the four rapper supergroup consisting of Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Crooked I, and Detroit emcee Royce Da 5'9" -- into the Shady Records family. All four rappers are lyrical heavyweights on their own and Slaughterhouse is a highly respected name within underground hip-hop circles. Considering that Em's longtime friend, Royce Da 5'9" is the anchor of the group, this is a signing that makes total sense. It could have happened sooner but the only thing that held things up was the paperwork and business end -- arguably the most important part.
In a move that is far more surprising, Eminem also signed Alabama upstart rapper Yelawolf to Shady Records this afternoon as well. Folks might know Yelawolf from his quasi hit single, "Pop the Trunk," and from his internet popularity for being a hungry and tatted Southern rapper with skills. He killed at South By Southwest (SXSW) last year, inked a cover from FADER magazine, and clearly needed the right label situation to help push him to a wider audience. With Slim Shady, a once hungry and tatted rapper from the wilds of Detroit backing him up, I'd imagine the dream situation has arrived for Yelawolf.
"Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse, it's kinda phase two of Shady," Eminem explained in a prepared statement. "It's the new generation of Shady Records, and as we're trying to rebuild our label, it's exciting for hip-hop, and with all of these forces coming together and with what everybody's capable of on the mic, it's gonna be fun."
Here's what the Alabama man had to say today: "I can tell you that when you're willing to give your life up to see a dream through, the reward is great," he said earlier today. "And now that I've become an apprentice to one of the greatest artists in the world, my potential reaches beyond anything I ever imagined. Let's kill this shit."
Both acts should be releasing albums this year, and for the first time in all of these artists' careers, those projects will have the proper push that they deserve.