A new Eminem documentary, featuring interviews with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent, among others, tells the story of how the rapper’s self-released tape opened the doors to a hip-hop empire. Not Afraid: The Shady Record Story, which Complex produced, comes on the heels of last year’s Shady XV compilation, which commemorated the 15th anniversary of Eminem’s label. That release contained two discs, one of the label’s greatest hits and another with new recordings, including Eminem’s Sia collaboration “Guts Over Fear” and hometown love-letter “Detroit Vs. Everybody,” but it lacked a historical account of the imprint.
Not Afraid tells the rapper’s story chronologically, as both he and Shady Records co-founder Paul Rosenberg explain how they met after Eminem self-released his debut album Infinite in 1996. Dr. Dre chimes in and says he was surprised to find out Eminem was white and offers that he came up with the “My Name Is” beat just to see what the rapper could do.
The duo discuss bringing D12 to the label and recall working with 50 Cent after he’d recovered from his shooting and giving a platform to Slaughterhouse. D12’s Mr. Porter and Slaughterhouse’s Royce da 5’9″ also offer their thoughts in the half-hour doc.
50 Cent noted the label’s fearlessness as he was starting out. “They provided a platform for me to be 50 Cent,” offered the rapper, who called Em “my Dre,” during one of his interviews. “Every place else was afraid.”
“Eminem is a fucking genius, man,” Dr. Dre said. “Him and Paul Rosenberg make a great team. Whatever they decide to do, I know it’s going to be big, it’s going to be amazing and it will work.”