|Eminem||Interscope/Geffen Records||[1999 - ]|
Shady Records was founded over 1999-2000 by Eminem and his manager Paul Rosenberg, under distributing label, Interscope Records. After Eminem released his second studio album, The MArshall Mathers LP, he was granted his vanity label, where upon he recruited his own local Detroit posse, D12. Shady Records became one of the largest sponsors of Detroit's underground hip-hop scene.
The label has signed seven acts over the years and is considerably successful, having RIAA certifications gone gold or higher on seven of its ten albums which have been released under it. Signed acts include D12, 50 Cent, Stat Quo, Bobby Creekwater, and Cashis, whilst former acts include DJ Green Lantern and Obie Trice.
Early Business [2000- 2004]
After Eminem released The Marshall Mathers LP, he started his own record label in late 2000 with his manager, Paul Rosenberg. Eminem looked for an avenue to release his Detroit-based rap group, D12, and Rosenberg was keen to start a label, which lead to the two teaming up to form Shady Records. D12 had come around as the first to be signed as they have been rapping together since the 1990s, and the members had made a promise that whoever became successful would come back for the others. Eminem was the first to achieve this success, and kept to his word. By June 2001, D12 released Devil's Night to commercial success, peaking at number one on the Billboard 200. Next to be signed to Shady Records was Detroit rapper Obie Trice. Obie Trice was introduced to Eminem through D12 member Bizarre. Eminem was impressed and signed him in June 2001, as the second Shady Records performer. Obie Trice first got public attention via a freestyle skit on the Devil's Night album.
Whilst working on the film 8 Mile, Eminem had a meeting with then small time New York rapper 50 Cent. Eminem managed to get a hold of 50 Cent's early mixtapes and liked what he heard. Eminem took this to Dr. Dre and offered the chance to work together on the artist. Dr. Dre also liked what he heard, so he took the opportunity, and 50 Cent became the first artist signed to Shady Records and Aftermath Entertainment. The 8 Mile soundtrack was the second Shady Records album to be released, and went on to be successful. The first single to be released was "Lose Yourself", which achieved many nominations and also became a surprise win of an Academy Award for Best Original Song, as it was the first time a hip hop song had ever won this award. The second single was 50 Cent's "Wanksta", which was released as a buzz track and became popular in 50 Cent's home town. During this time, Eminem had also made a deal with DJ Green Lantern, who released the label's first mixtape, Invasion! in 2002. He was to DJ for Eminem during the Anger Management Tour, and by the end of 2003, DJ Green Lantern became the fourth signee of Shady Records.
The third release from Shady Records was 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin', in February 2003 (which was also released under Aftermath Entertainment). The album became the 2nd fastest selling debut in U.S. history,after Eminem's "Marshall Mathers LP". Next to be released from Shady Records was Obie Trice's début album, Cheers, six months later. Despite having been a commercial success, the album was considered overshadowed by 50 Cent's music at the time. In 2002 and 2003, Shady Records were involved in many controversies with the likes of the inherited Murder Inc. feud that 50 Cent and G-Unit was involved in on-going problems with the previous co-owners of The Source magazine, namely Benzino as well as escalating issues with rapper Royce da 5'9", who was previously a friend of Eminem and D12.
Towards the end of 2003, Dr. Dre and Eminem came to know Atlanta rapper Stat Quo, via his Underground Atlanta mixtapes. After Eminem heard his music, he gained interest and took it to Dr. Dre who also had interest in the music, and a joint deal was made. Stat Quo became the second artist to be signed to Shady/Aftermath, after 50 Cent. The following year saw the release of D12's second album, D12 World. Also, in 2004, Eminem and Rosenberg began a venture offered by Sirius Satellite Radio that saw the airing of their uncensored hip hop radio station, Shade 45. Shady Records DJ, DJ Green Lantern, was given the opportunity to have his own show, whilst 50 Cent's G-Unit DJ, DJ Whoo Kid, co-hosted G-Unit Radio on Saturdays.