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Eminem To Release Two Albums In '09

Of the Oakland Press

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As the song says, guess who's back...with not one but two albums this year?

After a four-year gap between solo albums -- marked by a trip to rehab and the death of his best friend -- Detroit rapper Eminem returns to active duty on May 19 with "Relapse," his first studio album since 2004's "Encore." The album has been preceded by the leaked single, "Crack a Bottle" (featuring Dr. Dre and 50 Cent), which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and set a record for the most first-week download sales with 418,000.

Another single and accompanying video, which has not yet been determined, are slated to be released from the album on April 7.

Eminem is then planning to release another album, "Relapse 2," some time in the second half of the year.

"A lot of people were expecting Relapse to drop last year," Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers III) said in a statement Thursday (March 5). "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."

There's no word yet on whether Eminem, who's sold more than 75 million albums in the past decade, will tour to support the album.

The rapper has been laying low since checking into rehab for a sleeping pill addiction in 2005, then recovering from the August 2006 shooting death of Proof (Deshaun Holton), his best friend and longtime musical cohort. He did, however, publish a revealing memoir, "Eminem: The Way I Am," in 2008 which hit No. 11 on the New York Times Bestsellers list.

Eminem will also have a starring role in the 2010 action film "Have Gun -- Will Travel," the follow-up to his well-received performance in 2002's "8 Mile;"

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