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The rapper plays at the launch party for the DVD release of his box office smash '8 Mile'...

EMINEM took to the stage in his native DETROIT last night (March 13) performing in front of just 600 people at a launch party for the DVD release of his box office smash ‘8 MILE’.

In the film, Detroit club the Shelter is the focus of action – it is there that rap battles take place leading to the film’s climax.

Last night, Shelter was reproduced in Detroit’s St Andrew’s Hall and, following a two hour competition pitting local talent against each other, Eminem and D-12 took to the stage for a brief set.

Performing for less than ten minutes, Eminem worked through the film’s Oscar-nominated main track ‘Lose Yourself’.

He was followed by [a][/a], another Detroit local and who also pops up in ‘8 Mile’. Actor Mekhi Phifer, who plays Eminem‘s best friend in the film, also appeared.

Security around the event was intense. Police blocked off the road leading to the venue and security guards swarmed round protecting Universal’s prized asset. Eminem spent the evening in a curtained off VIP room.

The media attention was frenzied. Television and press had gathered from around the US and Europe. D-12’s Proof, Eminem‘s right-hand man onstage, compared the attention to that Eminem finds in London when he is constantly tailed.

He also told the Detroit Free Press that has faced his move up to international superstardom with a Zen-like serenity.

“I see a very patient man now,” he said. “A man who thinks in layers — like a chess game, looking ahead.”

Detroit mayor’s office was delighted by the attention Eminem‘s film has brought to Detroit.

“This is huge for the city of Detroit,” said Jamaine Dickens, spokesman for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. “This is what Eminem has brought to this city — a spotlight.”

Eminem returns to the stage in his hometown later this summer. He’ll play two massive outdoor shows at Ford Field in the city on July 12 and 13.