Eminem details the blueprint for signing artists to his Shady Records label

D12 and 50 Cent are among the acts to have been signed over the years

Eminem has discussed the process he goes through when signing artists to his Shady Records label – and the blueprint for what he wants from those acts.

Shady was formed in 1999 as a joint venture between Marshall Mathers, his manager Paul Rosenberg and Interscope Records. It has signed more than a dozen artists since, most notably D12 and 50 Cent.

Speaking to Complex in a new interview, Eminem discussed the new label’s signing GRIP, and how the blueprint for his signing was the same as for every act who’s ever released music via Shady.

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“We all got excited about GRIP after we heard ‘Snubnose’,” he said. “It was really refreshing to hear a new artist so focused on making a conceptual project and it caught my attention. It’s definitely great when artists we sign connect with a larger audience, and 50 [Cent] is a perfect example of that.

“Obviously we want anyone who signs with Shady to succeed. But first and foremost, we’ve always focused on the raw talent and ability of the artist as an MC. We’ve always been pretty clear on that being the main thing we look for: high level fundamental skills and mechanics are definitely the priority.”

Eminem
Eminem. CREDIT: Gary Miller/FilmMagic

He added: “It’s really important in a creative collaboration for there to be that personal connection for it to succeed. Shady is a boutique label and we don’t sign a lot of artists, so we have a chance to get involved at a deeper level with the ones we do. And I think that goes both ways. I like to be motivated by the artists we sign and I want to feel pushed by their creativity as well.

“The people we sign have a point of view and vibe that made us want to work with them in the first place,” Eminem continued. “Part of our job is to help them get out to a bigger audience but also I don’t like to insert myself where I’m not needed. I am looking to find where and how I can get involved that adds to or builds on what the artist is already doing.”

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In other news, Eminem is set to play FBI informant Richard Wershe Jr. – aka White Boy Rick – in 50 Cent‘s forthcoming Starz drama series BMF (Black Mafia Family). Rick since said he was “honoured” to be portrayed by Marshall Mathers.

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