How did Eminem and Dr. Dre meet?
That encounter has become as shrouded in mythology as the first meeting between Batman and Robin. Some even claim that Dr. Dre found a copy of the Slim Shady EP on the floor of the gym belonging to Jimmy Iovine (president of Interscope Records). In fact, in 1997, Eminem appeared on the syndicated radio program “The Wake Up Show,” where he did some freestyling, which Dre heard and remembered. But Dre wasn’t motivated to do anything until Iovine gave him a tape of the Slim Shady EP. “In my entire career in the music industry, I’ve never found anything from a demo tape,” Dre said. “When I heard it, I didn’t even know he was white.”
Dre wanted to meet this unknown talent right away, so Eminem’s managers scraped together some money to fly him out to Los Angeles. When he met Dre, a nervous Eminem couldn’t even look him in the eye–which made Dre think that Em didn’t like his music. “I told him later that I’ve been a fan of his since I was little, since N.W.A,” Eminem said. “I was like, ‘Dog, you’re motherfuckin’ Dr. Dre!” The dynamic duo quickly went into the Batcave studio, where they promptly put together four songs in six hours, including “Role Model” and “My Name Is.”
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)