On September 15th, 2008, at an event held to celebrate the release of his autobiography The Way I Am, Eminem publicly stated his return to the world of hip-hop and announced Relapse, an album that was being produced by Dr. Dre. He also previewed a brand new demo song, titled "I'm Having a Relapse". After numerous delays which pushed the album's release forward from December 2008, and then March 2009 Relapse would release 8 months following its original announcement on May 15th, 2009.
According to a personal anecdote from Oh Trey 9 label owner Terry Simaan, Eminem llegedly over 300 unreleased songs by February of 2009, which were then cherry-picked and polished by Dr. Dre for Relapse.
The unknown aspect of this lost media is the number of songs which were deemed worthy enough to appear on the album but were kept off. Over 300 songs were stated to have been recorded, but that number may just been an estimate or an inflated figure, as well as possibly referring to tracks which existed in alternate versions, such as Crack a Bottle and Emulate. Since Simaan did not have a direct connection to Eminem and got his information from a secondary source, it is unknown whether or not the claim of 300 unreleased songs is true.
In spite of the 2008 Universal Records fire, which would have affected Eminem's master recordings due to his signing to record label Interscope, it is known that Eminem backed up all of his recordings in advance.
Of songs produced by Eminem from 2006-2009, it is known that:
- 6 songs (including features) released on The Re-Up.
- 1 demo track released online ("I'm Having a Relapse").
- 15 songs released on the normal version of Relapse.
- 2 songs released on the deluxe version of Relapse ("My Darling" and "Careful What You Wish For").
- 7 songs released on Relapse: Refill.
- 1 song, "Ridaz", released on Recovery, Eminem's 2010 album.
- 11 songs were leaked by Koolo in 2011.
- 1 final song previously leaked in an incomplete form, "Nut Up", leaked in full in 2019.
Totalling in 44 tracks released from these sessions. Note that the above list does not include skits, nor does it include collaborations with other artists. With this in mind, it stands to reason that upwards of 250 tracks recorded by Eminem from 2006-2009 remain unreleased.
Relapse was originally intended to have a sequel entitled Relapse 2, although this was halted due to the lukewarm contemporary reception for the album (which has since received retrospective acclaim), and instead an Extended Play entitled Relapse: Refill was released in late 2009. It is likely that Eminem's follow-up album released in 2010, Recovery, featured some of the work originally compiled for Relapse 2, in particular the album's title track "Cold Wind Blows", although this has never been directly confirmed.
- Jump up↑ MTV News - Eminem's original Relapse announcement. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Jump up↑ The Guardian - Eminem's new album Relapse. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Jump up↑ MTV News - Relapse's original release date. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Jump up↑ NME - Relapse's final release date. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Jump up↑ The Guardian - Relapse Review. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Jump up↑ The Independent - Eminem: The Fall and Rise of a Superstar. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Jump up↑ Digital Spy article on leaked Eminem track "#1" (Crack a Bottle). Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Jump up↑ New York Times - The Day The Music Burned. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Jump up↑ NME - Eminem's backed up recordings. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
- Jump up↑ Dubcnn forum thread on Koolo's leaks. Retrieved 22 Apr '20
Jump up↑ Rolling Stone - Relapse 2 article. Retrieved 22 Apr '20