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Eminem’s record label this morning announced May 19 will be the release date for his long-awaited new disc, â€œRelapse,â€ his first album of new material in more than four years. The first single and accompanying video will arrive on April 7. Additionally, the label said Slim Shady is already at work on a follow-up, â€œRelapse 2,â€ which is planned for release in the second half of the year.
Buzz about the new material from the Michigan rapper has been circulating for nearly a year, including the possibility that a disc would be released in late 2008.
“A lot of people were expecting Relapse to drop last year,” Eminem said in a news release. “I was one of them. Then Dre and I went back in the studio in September for a few days, and that turned into six months. We were on such a roll; we wound up with a ton of new music produced by Dre. Putting out Relapse 2 will let everyone get all of the best stuff.â€
Accompanied by the press release was a new label photo of the rapper â€” the first such official shot in several years of the reclusive artist. He’d recently told at least one publication that his signature peroxide blonde dye job was history, and judging by the brown hair in the photo, that seems to be the case.