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"People are not going to believe it, but The Eminem Show is his best record yet—no question about it."
——Paul Rosenberg, manager
EMINEM’S RAP SHEET
Slim Shady Returns With New Album, Film
Welcome back, Em. Things have been really dull since you’ve been gone.

Rap superstar Eminem has been awfully quiet lately—except for the occasional $100k settlement with the guy who kissed his wife, or getting sued by a French composer for copyright infringement.

But the artist known variously as Marshall Mathers and Slim Shady is ready to return with a vengeance—as well as a brand-new album and biopic.

His new Interscope album, The Eminem Show, will hit streets June 4 (moved back from its original 5/28 date), with first single "Without Me" being described as in the vein of such smashes as "My Name Is" and "The Real Slim Shady." It’s Em’s first solo effort since The Marshall Mathers LP bowed May 23, 2000, with a record-shattering 1.8 million in sales on its way to a current OTC total of 8.7 million.

The video for "Without Me" was shot in L.A. recently by Joseph Kahn (Britney Spears, DMX, Moby’s new "We Are All Made of Stars"), and features Dr. Dre along with Shady Records artists D12 and new signing Obie Trice, all of whom also contribute to the album. In the clip, Eminem reportedly dresses up as Osama bin Laden and does a take-off on The Sally Jesse Raphael Show. It’s slated to debut next Monday (4/29) on an episode of MTV’s Making the Video.

"Without Me" goes to radio on 4/26, while Eminem and D12 will perform on Saturday Night Live 5/11, hosted by Kirsten Dunst. A summer tour is also planned with Ludacris, Papa Roach, Xzibit and X-ecutioners, running July 24-Sept. 12.

Dr. Dre produced four tracks on the new record, with Eminem behind the boards for a majority of the rest; Dre also appears on one song with Em ("What You Say," the b-side to the single), while Nate Dogg makes a cameo on "Till I Collapse." "Cleaning Out My Closet," heard on the trailer to Universal’s upcoming Eminem biopic, 8 Mile, is also on the album.

The movie, named after a street in the rapper’s Detroit hometown, hits theaters Nov. 8. Produced by Oscar winner Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind) and directed by Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys), the film boasts Em playing a young Detroit rapper named Jimmy Smith Jr., "who struggles with his anger through music." It co-stars Kim Basinger as his notorious mom (spurring tabloid rumors of an on-set romance), Britanny Murphy (the "I’ll never tell" girl from Don’t Say a Word) as his wife and E.R.’s Mekhi Phifer, along with Dr. Dre and Xzibit.

There will be a separate soundtrack release, which will include "three or four new Eminem songs," according to manager Paul Rosenberg, between gulps of chicken soup. "People are not going to believe it, but The Eminem Show is his best record yet—no question about it. It’s the most consistent from beginning to end, and shows more growth than either of the other two."

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