Most of the world's biggest rappers - Jay-Z, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, T.I., 50 Cent - have performed in Austin within the past week, are about to perform, or are at least in the city partaking in the SXSW festivities.
Rocks Off was leaving Stubb's late Thursday night and heard Snoop Dogg performing a private event on the Doritos Jacked Stage a few blocks away on Red River. We had no idea he was even in town, but we weren't surprised either. Our younger counterpart Rocks Off Jr. saw Kanye and Hammer hanging out at the Belmont, and he met Roots drummer ?uestlove.
Now Rocks Off has learned that perhaps the biggest rapper of them all, Marshall "Eminem" Mathers, may perform at Friday's Shady Records/Village Voice Media party at the Austin Music Hall. This is only a rumor, mind you, but Houston Press parent company Village Voice Media is a co-sponsor of the showcase with Eminem's label, Shady Records. Call it inside information and leave it at that.
Friday's scheduled Shady headliner is 50 Cent, who is set to perform his 2003 breakthrough album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', in its entirety for the first time ever. Also on the bill is supergroup Slaughterhouse (Crooked I, Royce da 5'9", Joe Budden and Joell Ortiz), but unfortunately Alabama-based rapper Yelawolf had to cancel when his spleen ruptured earlier this week.
Eminem has kept a relatively low profile in the past few years. He performed with Jay-Z at Ford Field in his hometown of Detroit in September 2010 and headlined the Bonnaroo festival outside Nashville in June 2011.
In January of that year, Soundspike reported that Eminem's most recent album, 2010's Recovery, had sold 3.4 million copies, narrowly edging out Lady Antebellum's Need You Now for the year's biggest-selling album. His duet with Rihanna from that album, "Love The Way You Lie," topped the Billboard 200.
According to BallerStatus.com, Eminem's 2002 LP The Eminem Show is the second highest-selling album of the past 10 years, at 10.1 million copies sold, about 800,000 fewer than Norah Jones' Come Away With Me.
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This is an official SXSW event, so badges and wristbands will be honored (space permitting). An unspecified number of tickets have also just been released.
Doors open at 7 p.m. We strongly recommend getting there early.