the Man bEhINd thE Machine: Paul Rosenberg

As of 2017, certainly you have heard the name Marshall Mathers in association with hip-hop persona, Eminem. Eminem and Shady Records experienced a meteoric rise near the turn of the century and much of the credit can be attributed to the man behind the scenes, Paul Rosenberg. Rosenberg and Eminem worked together as friends and business partners for the last fifteen years. Without Paul Rosenberg’s guiding presence, it would be difficult to imagine such an impactful career from the likes of Slim Shady.

Law Pedigree

Paul Rosenberg graduated from Michigan State University and the Mercy School of Law at the University of Detroit. Originally, Rosenberg aspired to become a hip-hop artist and went by the moniker, Paul Bunyan. While in law school, Rosenberg became acquainted with Detroit MC, Proof who proved his lyrical prowess at the Hip Hop Shop on 7 Mile Road.

Around 1995, Proof would become the catalyst that sparked the interaction between Eminem and Rosenberg. In 1997, Rosenberg encouraged Eminem to compete in a Los Angeles freestyle competition donned, “Rap Olympics.” A second place finish coupled with contractual negotiation led Rosenberg and Eminem to a deal with Jimmy Iovine and Interscope Records.

Shady Records

Circa 1998, the Detroit duo of Eminem and Rosenberg experienced exponential growth. Eminem began to construct the Slim Shady LP (4x Platinum) with the help of Dr Dre. Rosenberg launched his record label establishment, Goliath Artists, Inc. In 1999, these two would join forces to create Slim Shady Records. Slim Shady Records first signed the group D12 and played a crucial role in the distinguished career of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

Early in Paul’s lifetime, The Beastie Boys provided colossal inspiration. In his youth, Rosenberg visualized the reality of becoming a hip-hop emcee. Upon the realization that his rhymes were “adequate”, his focus shifted toward executive legal functions. As Eminem’s head representative, he did not stray from their collective path. The two have had to deal with controversy, mainstream opposition, and Eminem’s struggle with addiction. Throughout that time span, the Slim Shady cohorts have created countless platforms for phenomenal hip-hop to flourish.

Calm, Cool, Collective

The most overlooked and influential component of Rosenberg’s persona is his innate ability to maintain a culture of consistency. Amidst backlash and disagreement, Rosenberg played a significant role which allowed, “cooler heads to prevail.” Additionally, he exemplified cultural prevalence through remarkable entrepreneurial decisions.

Rosenberg represents the talents of Blink 182, Danny Brown and Action Bronson. In conjunction with Eminem, Rosenberg acquired Channel 45 on SiriusXM, which they aptly titled SHADE45. The pair assembled an urbanwear company, Shady LTD which unleashed merchandise like jerseys, hoodies and denim. Rosenberg executively produced 8 Mile which went on to win an Academy Award for “Best Original Song.” Paul also delivered an executive production for 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Trying” and hosts other notable cinematic collaborations with MTV and Eminem.

Above all else, Paul Rosenberg became the resilient anchor to all efforts related to Shady Records and Aftermath Entertainment. With a keen ear for sensational hip-hop, Rosenberg has played a pivotal role during the digital era of hip-hop. In 2009, Rosenberg joined forces with XXL Editor-In-Chief, Elliott Wilson to form RapRadar.com.

CEO
As of January 1st, 2018 Paul Rosenberg will replace Steve Bartels as the Chief Executive Officer of Def Jam Recordings. Congratulations, Paul!

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