Throughout the past two decades, Eminem has been heralded as a national treasure, long celebrated as one of the greatest rappers of all time. When you’re an artist of such legendary stature, not a day passes without a loyal fan manifesting the possibility of new music.
While some speculation may solely be the stuff of a rap enthusiast’s pipe dream—and other rumors debunked as quickly as they surface—that’s simply par for the course. However, for a rap legend who meticulously maintains a low social profile, the safeguarded news of what would be his ninth studio album wouldn’t necessarily leak solely by accident. In fact, with countless examples etched into his impressive history as an artist who plays by his own rules and follows his own timeline, Em is an expert at building momentum and keeping his audience engaged every step of the way.
The 44-year-old’s last album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, arrived in 2013, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and later becoming the second-best selling album of the year. As he added another Grammy Award to his storied trophy case for his eighth solo record, he also entered a period of subtle hibernation, taking a break from the studio to focus on Shady Records, executive producing the sports drama, Southpaw(as well as the crime drama, Motor City) and making a satirical cameo in the 2014 film, The Interview, alongside James Franco and Seth Rogen.
Throughout the past four years, Eminem has perfected the balance of working behind the scenes and making brief-but-meaningful appearances in the spotlight, with the 2014 posse cut “Detroit Vs. Everybody” arguably marking the beginning of speculation regarding Em’s future endeavors in music.
While 2017 doubled as the 15-year anniversary of his Grammy Award-winning masterpiece, The Eminem Show, fans remain hungry for more as well as are undeniably curious about what material the spitfire MC has been sitting on in recent years, especially since Trump assumed his role as president. In fact, prior to Trump’s election, Eminem resurfaced once again, with the timely freestyle, “Campaign Speech,” arriving on the same day as the third presidential debate and clocking in at nearly eight minutes for a ruthless lyrical attack against the Republican candidate.
From here, our saga begins as we calculate and piece together everything we currently know about Eminem’s (hopefully) forthcoming ninth studio album.
Full list here. Originally published on XXLMag.com.