Watch 'Not Afraid,' A New Documentary On Shady Records Featuring Eminem, Dr. Dre, Royce Da 5'9 + More
One of the greatest and most under-appreciated success stories of the last 15 years in hip-hop has been Eminem‘s Shady Records. Having been born out of the momentum of Eminem’s creative partnership with Dr. Dre and his experience as an Aftermath artist, the Shady label went on to bring the world 50 Cent and Detroit ensemble D12, and currently boasts a roster that includes Royce da 5’9 and a multitude of other more-than-capable MCs and producers. The label was founded in 1999 by both Eminem and his attorney, Paul Rosenberg and now finally, after a decade and a half of work, is getting the in-depth documentary treatment it so rightly deserves.
Not Afraid , which was produced by Complex, traces the label back to its genesis as the brainchild of a still-fledgling Eminem circa “My Name Is,” and over its half-hour runtime includes contributions from 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Royce and many others. The label’s tenacity for signing ear-catching talent was, Eminem explains, inspired by his experience rocking open mic nights in Detroit. “You had one shot to get a reaction out of this crowd. Add to be able to even have an opportunity for someone want to hand you the mic again next week, that was a survival mode for me,” Eminem says. “Our whole brand was built off speaking our minds..but also perk ears up, say things that maybe the next rapper might not say.” At all times, though, Dre’s presence looms large–Shady Records is the house that Eminem built, but he did it with the Doctor’s tools.
As Rosenberg explains how the duo kept their artist/businessman partnership vibrant, and each artist adds their insight on the last 15 years, Not Afraid becomes a valuable extended look into the hip-hop process. Watch the entire documentary below.