On this day, Nov. 12, in hip-hop history...

Interscope / Shady Records / Aftermath
Interscope / Shady Records / Aftermath

2004:  12 years ago from today, Eminem—an already establish superstar after releasing The Slim Shady LP (1999), The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) and The Eminem Show (2002)—dropped his fifth studio album Encore, which is also the same day he released his debut album Infinite.

Em continued to strengthen his hold on not just hip-hop but on pop culture. After being leaked early, Encore would still go on to sell 710,000 copies in it's first three days and go platinum within two weeks. Eventually the album sold over five million copies in the U.S. and over 10 million copies worldwide. The album was yet another No. 1 project on top of the charts and received three Grammy nods for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the song "Encore" and Best Rap Solo Performance for the song "Mockingbird."

Encore was not without it's share of controversy. The lyrics to "We As Americans" was so explicit that the Secret Service was trying to determine if any action needs to be taken because it was presumed to be that Eminem was a threat to former President George W. Bush. After the first single off the album "Just Lose It"  dropped, people were calling for Slim's head because they found the lyrics and music video extremely offensive mainly due to the references to Michael Jackson and his child molestation accusations at the time. MJ was so angry at the video that he asked video channels to stop playing “Just Lose It,” which BET did. Another obstacle during Encore was that it was during the time when Em was battling his addiction with prescription drugs. A big portion of the songs were all on lighter subjects ("My First Single," "Rain Man" "Ass Like That," "Big Weenie"). However the album did have moments of greatness such as in "Mockingbird," "Like Toy Soldiers" and "Mosh." Encore received mixed views. Some fans today consider this album as Em's worst project. But one thing is for sure, it was certainly one of his most controversial.

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