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“Shady’s back, tell a friend”

Only two months into this new year and the “rap god” has once again surprised us with yet another gift.

Early this year the legendary rapper, Eminem, released his unexpected album “Music to Be Murdered By.” The album is themed after the famous film director, Alfred Hitchcock, and features big names in the music industry such as Ed Sheeran, Young M.A., Anderson Paak and the recently departed Juice Wrld. The album has since debuted No.1 on Billboard’s 200 chart.

Following the release of “Music to be Murdered By,” Eminem gave us an unexpected performance of his song “Lose Yourself” at this month’s Oscars.

As the electric intro of “Lose Yourself” began, footage from Eminem’s movie “8 Mile” was projected behind him on stage. Many celebs bobbed their heads and mouthed the lyrics to the popular song, including Atlanta actress Zazie Beetz. Ending his performance with a salute to the crowd, many readily rose for a standing ovation.

In 2003, Eminem failed to make an appearance when “Lose Yourself” was awarded an Oscar for “Best Original Song” at the Academy Awards.

In a recent interview with Variety, Eminem recalls, “Back then, I never even thought that I had a chance to win, and we had just performed “Lose Yourself” on the Grammy’s with the Roots a couple of weeks before the Oscars, so we didn’t think it was a good idea. And also, back at that time, the younger me didn’t really feel like a show like that would understand me.”

Missing the opportunity to be handed an Oscar by famous singer Barbra Streisand, the rapper took to Twitter to joke about his past absence, while thanking the Academy for extending him another invitation.

“Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity… Thanks for having me @The Academy. Sorry it took me 18 years to get here,” Eminem said in the tweet.

While reminiscing, he said, “I was blown back by the fact that I won. … I don’t even think I understood back then that you could get an Oscar for a song, and I remember being kinda confused about why I was even up for one, because as a kid with the Oscars, it was like a vacuum. … That to me shows how authentic and real that award is—when you don’t show up and you still win. That makes it very real to me.”

When asked why he decided to keep this year’s Academy performance a secret, he stated, “I don’t know, I think it was either [the Oscars’] idea or Paul and [longtime publicist Dennis Dennehy’s] idea before they brought it to me. It was presented to me that way and I said, ‘Oh that’s kinda dope, to not even announce it.'” He continues, “We flew in [to Los Angeles] last week, so we probably have four or five rehearsals just to make sure we got everything right. Most of the rehearsals were offsite, not in [the Dolby Theater], just trying to keep it secret”.

He later explains why he decided to perform this year, saying “I kinda figured maybe since I didn’t get a chance to do it at the time, maybe it would be cool… And it was cool because we just put out an album, so we said maybe that’ll make sense with the timing of the new album.”

Furthering the conversation around his new album, “Music to Be Murdered By,” Eminem adds the names of the artists he currently admires, stating “we had Young M.A. on the album, and she’s definitely one of the new artists that I’m super excited about—every time she puts something out, I listen. And the guys we have signed to our label, [Buffalo, N.Y. rap trio] Griselda, that’s exciting. YBN Cordae, he’s dope.”

Eminem comments he does not have any new projects as of yet but is continuing to work on projects surrounding his recent album.

Last month, Eminem tweeted, “Don’t you wanna grow up to be just like me?,” encouraging fans to recreate and upload their version of the “Music to be Murdered By” album cover, with a “cover generator.” “Hit me with your version using the hashtag (#MTBMB). Gonna repost the best ones on my IG stories!”