Before he met Dr. Dre. Before he joined Interscope. Before he recorded as Slim Shady. Before he made 8 Mile. Before he became the best-selling rapper in history.
Before all that, Eminem was a 24-year-old white-rapper nobody selling his debut album Infinite out of his car trunk in Detroit. The press run of 500 vinyl records was put out by Web Entertainment’s Jeff and Mark Bass (a.k.a., the Bass Brothers). There were 250 records for the media/radio (with the “Eight Mile” address on the label), and 250 for the general public (with no address). Infinite was initially considered a commercial failure. A flop. There were limited sales to begin with, and then many of the surviving copies were discarded anyway.
A few months later, the very day after getting evicted from his home, Eminem competes in the 1997 Rap Olympics in L.A. and wins 2nd place. He’s got no f***ing money and no f***ing place to live, but he’s got a cassette for his new Slim Shady EP that catches the ear of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Dre brings Eminem into the studio and gets a new sample going on the drum machine. Within seconds, Eminem comes out with “HI! MY NAME IS! (What?) MY NAME IS! (Who?)”
“That was it,” Dre said at Em’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction, “and that was the beginning of what became an amazing creative collaboration…While everyone else around me had their doubts, I knew that his gifts were undeniable. His raw, dark, humorous lyrics, coupled with an impeccable cadence, stood out from everything I had ever heard before…Each of us were exactly what the other one needed. And I was willing to bet my entire career on that…Little did I know he was going to be one of the bestselling artists of all time.”
Proudly presented here is the finest known—and finest possible—example of Eminem’s rookie record. First of all, it’s factory sealed. Best of luck finding another sealed copy anywhere. It’s also one of the media/radio pressings with the desirable “Eight Mile” address. It’s also sourced from none other than Em’s long-time manager Paul Rosenberg. Oh, and one more damn thing. It’s autographed by Eminem himself in his alter-ego, “Shady.” Wait, we’re still not done yet. It’s slabbed by Audio Media Grading (AMG) as a high-grade Excellent (E) 8.
AMG’s label references all the essential details: “(1996) Eminem – Infinite (Web Entertainment – WEB 714V) / First Pressing Limited Edition of 250 / Radio and Press Release With Address / F.B.T. Productions / Recorded and Mixed at Bassment Sounds Inc. / Collection of Paul Rosenberg / Signed by Eminem ‘Slim Shady.'” Among the producers, musicians, rappers and friends who also had a hand in Infinite’s release are: Mr. Porter, Proof (d.2006), Eye-Kyu, Three, Thyme and Angela Workman.
Encapsulated as Excellent (E) 8 by AMG. LOA from Beckett (for autograph).
Please note that a portion of the proceeds from this auction item will benefit the Marshall Mathers Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to providing assistance to disadvantaged and at-risk youth primarily in Detroit, Michigan and its surrounding communities.