Relapse is the sixth studio album by American rapper Eminem. It was released by record label Interscope Records, along with subsidiaries Aftermath Entertainment and Shady Records, first on May 15, 2009, followed by May 19 in the United States. Relapse is Eminem's first studio album since Encore in 2004, thus ending the rapper's musical hiatus.
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Since 2005, Eminem had intended to take a break from recording his own music in order to become a hip hop producer for other rap acts, especially for the artists signed on his own label Shady Records. Such a break came when Eminem canceled the European leg of the Anger Management Tour in the summer of 2005 due to exhaustion and an addiction to sleeping pills. In the following year, the rapper's remarriage to his former wife Kimberly Scott lasted only eleven weeks before a second divorce, while his closest friend and fellow rapper DeShaun "Proof" Holton was later shot and killed during an altercation outside a nightclub in Detroit. Devastated by this, Eminem relapsed into prescription drugs and became increasingly reclusive from the outside world, as he would rarely leave his house nor appear in public.
"But, for some reason, in hindsight, the way I felt was almost like [Proof's death] happened to just me... I just went into such a dark place that, with everything, the drugs, my thoughts, everything. [sic] And the more drugs I consumed, and it was all depressants I was taking, the more depressed I became, the more self-loathing I became."
- Eminem, XXL, Issue of June 2009
Eminem - Relapse (2009) Track listings & Lyrics