The Real Slim Shady can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, because he’s dead — at least, according the Detroit Free Press he is. The newspaper published an obituary for Eminem‘s chaotic alter ego declaring: “His complex and tortured existence has come to a close, and the legacy he leaves behind is no closer to resolution than the manner in which this character departed this world.”

The obituary runs just weeks after Eminem announced his forthcoming 12th studio album The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grace), set for release this summer. The rapper announced the album with a teaser published to social media that features a crime reporter sharing the news. Slim Shady, who made his debuted on 1997’s Slim Shady EP and resurfaced on 1999’s The Slim Shady LP, often rapped about matters of the media — including Eminem’s many controversies with fellow celebrities. The newspaper angle continues to play into that narrative.

“Fans ‘will never forget’ controversial rapper,” the obituary, which boasts the headline “Slim Shady Made Lasting Impressions,” reads. “A product of Detroit who began his career there as a rogue splinter in the flourishing underground rap scene of the mid to late 1990s, Shady first became a household name in 1999 with the debut of his playfully deranged single ‘My Name Is,’ which — along with its uniquely eye catching video — exposed the young artist and his lyrics to a wider audience.”

“Ultimately, the very things that seemed to be the tools he used became calling cards that defined an existence that could only come to a sudden and horrific end,” it continues, concluding: “May he truly find the peace in an afterlife that he could not find on Earth.”

In treating Slim Shady as though he was his own individual person — and not a twisted off-shoot of Eminem’s own mind — the elaborate theatrics surrounding The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grace) are reaching for a Mandela Effect-level of remembrance for the alter-ego.


In the initial news report teaser, 50 Cent made a cameo in which he remembered Slim Shady less than fondly. “He’s not a friend, he’s a psychopath,” the rapper said, before the reporter added: “The same rude lyrics and controversial antics may have ultimately led to his demise. Join me as we recreate the events that led to the murder of Slim Shady.”

And Eminem saw it coming from a mile away, telling the reporter: “I knew it was only a matter of time for Slim.”

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