With Shady Records’ fifteenth album, Shady XV, scheduled for release Monday (November 24), Paul Rosenberg, the label’s co-founder and long-time manager of Eminem, spoke with MLive.com to discuss the future of the imprint and the label’s strong bond with Detroit, Michigan. 

Discussing the future of the label, Paul Rosenberg says he hopes to sign some newer talent that will carry the label into its next generation. 

“I don’t think our tastes are going to change that much,” Paul Rosenberg says. “Because of that, I don’t think it’s going to reflect a big change on the label and a direction. But hopefully in the coming years we’ll be able to sign some new artists and get some young guys to carry things forward.”

Addressing the bond Eminem and Shady Records has with Detroit, Paul Rosenberg says the city’s underdog story mirrors that of Eminem’s.

“Detroit is this symbol for the underdog at this point,” he says. “And I think Marshall, his career and his story has really paralleled that in terms of his own struggles and his recovery. I’m not just talking about his addiction, but his struggles to become a respected and recognized artist. It wasn’t easy. People look at it now and say, ‘Oh, he’s just a big superstar. He goes out and makes music they play on the radio and he sells tons of records.’ But there was a time where he wasn’t taken seriously as an artist and he had to work really hard to gain people’s respect literally by getting in their faces and rapping. He had to prove he was greater at that. 

“And for me, personally, being a guy coming from Detroit who wanted to be a music lawyer and break into the music business, it was seen as a real long shot, too,” Rosenberg continues. “Not too many people can take that path and really make their mark in this pretty small industry compared to others. Not too many people can do it coming from a place where they didn’t come from an Ivy League school, they don’t have the connections to get a job or have a really wealth background. We both had to struggle coming out of Detroit to earn people’s respect and sort of take our position in the industry.”

Paul Rosenberg Salutes Slaughterhouse

Paul Rosenberg also spoke about Slaughterhouse’s appeal and their new album that’s set for release sometime next year, calling the sound of their next project “more cohesive” than their last effort. 

“I think what makes it work is that they’re such great rappers in a technical sense,” Rosenberg says of the quartet. “For me, when I listen to them, I get excited to hear their verses because they’re so packed with punchlines and interesting things to say and what I’d call ‘Oh shit!’ moments. That’s the kind of group they are and that’s what I look from them — this really high level of rapping and lyrical abilities and writing. That’s what they’re going to continue to do. That’s not everybody’s thing, but that’s what we love and it’s what their fans love. So we’re going to continue to move that forward. I think the sound of their next album is going to hopefully be more cohesive than the last. They worked with a smaller team of producers and have producer Just Blaze overseeing the whole thing. And I think it’s going to have a more formatted, cohesive sound.”

Elsewhere, Paul Rosenberg applauded Eminem’s work ethic, calling it a reflection of the Detroit lyricist’s desire to maintain a certain standard.  

“His work ethic sets the standard for everybody on the label,” Paul Rosenberg says. “I think that how hard he worked to regain his footing as an artist after he got sober really continues beyond that because of how important he thinks it is to sort of maintain his presence in the music scene for his fans. His work ethic is really a reflection of that desire to continue to maintain a standard. He goes to the studio like most people go to the office. So five days a week, typically Monday through Friday, he’ll be in the studio. It’s not quite nine to five — the hours tend to be quite longer — but he’s there everyday. And that is hopefully what people see when they come work with him, how serious he takes it. He’s extremely passionate about making music. I don’t think he views it as punching the clock or anything like that, but it takes a lot of work to be as productive as he is and to maintain the quality that he does.”

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