On this day, exactly 19 years ago (December 16, 1997), Eminem released debut extended play The Slim Shady EP through the Detroit-based record label Web Entertainment. Unlike Infinite, Slim Shady EP helped Eminem gain the interest of CEO Jimmy Iovine (co-founder of Interscope) Dr. Dre.
According to an interview with Zane Lowe, Eminem made 500 copies of the album, but sold only slightly higher than 250. It would not be until Eminem rose to global fame that the EP would chart, eventually charting at #27 on the UK Albums Chart in 2001, nearly four years after the album was first released.
Though rare, reviews of the EP were generally mixed to positive. AllMusic gave the EP two and a half out of five stars without a written review. XXL, despite originally giving the EP three out of five stars “L” rating, listed it on their “100 Most Essential Rap EPs of All Time – The Best of the Short & Sweet” list. Eminem was featured in the March 1998 edition of The Source magazine’s (#102), “Unsigned Hype” column. The author of the column highlighted two tracks from Eminem’s Slim Shady EP; “Just the Two of Us,” and “Murder, Murder.” According to Billboard, at this point in his life Eminem had “realized his musical ambitions were the only way to escape his unhappy life”.
Stream the EP below: