Paul Rosenberg, who co-founded Shady Records with Eminem, says one of the label’s greatest moments came when they signed 50 Cent to the imprint.
“It was game-changing,” Rosenberg says in an interview with XXL. “We kind of knew what we had in 50, and when we brought him to [Dr.] Dre to see if he wanted to do it with us, Dre immediately got it as well. We all knew it was gonna be big and it was gonna be sort of a land shift in the culture because of what he was doing, but we didn’t know just how massive it was gonna be. But I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that we didn’t know that 50 was gonna be enormous from the beginning. I mean, look, that was huge for us, that was huge for 50, it was huge for XXL, frankly. It was massive all around, and it was one of the most exciting things we’ve ever done with the label.”
While 50 Cent left Shady Records earlier this year, Rosenberg says that the transition has been amicable.
“It was a very friendly and, frankly, supportive departure, where we told him, ‘Look, if you don’t feel like this is the place for you anymore, we feel like we want to support you in any way we can [so that you can] be able to do what you want to do.’ So behind the scenes, we were trying to make sure that the transition was going to be as comfortable for him as possible. And you know, Marshall and 50 continue to have a great relationship, and that’s not gonna change.”
Eminem and 50 Cent have gone through a lot of things together in their careers, including beef with others, such as Murder Inc. When Rosenberg looks back on this, he says it was “a hectic time.”
“There’s a lot of it that I look back and I don’t miss,” he says. “But it was also very exciting and it was part of the package. I mean, we knew when we were signing 50 that we weren’t signing a choir boy, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when things got a little bit hectic. We just didn’t know exactly how hectic it was gonna get and where it was gonna go. There was a lot of bad shit that happened that I really don’t look back that fondly on, but like I said, that went with the game at that time.”
Shady Records is gearing up to release SHADYV, a 15-year anniversary compilation double album.