It's been a year of curveballs from Marshall Bruce Mathers III. The 48-year-old (aka rap star Eminem) has spent 2020 pulling off unexpected performances at the Academy Awards, granting rare interviews, popping up on SNL, and now, coming out with yet another surprise album at midnight, Taylor Swift-style. The Detroit Free Press reports on the early Friday arrival of Music to Be Murdered By—Side B, the companion album to Music to Be Murdered By, which was released in January. The arrival of the 16-track album just 11 months after its inspiration album nearly rivaled the eight-month gap between Eminem's Revival in late 2017 and Kamikaze in summer 2018.
Not that Side B, which features 13 songs and three skits and was executive-produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre, was totally unexpected: Variety calls it Eminem's "not-so surprise," and Rolling Stone lends insight into some of those clues, including a peek at the album's cover art leaked earlier this week on Instagram by Eminem collaborator Dem Jointz, as well as a tweet Sunday from rapper Kxng Crooked, which showed an apparent press release on the album with a track list and Friday release date. The album includes Dr. Dre, as well as guests Skylar Grey, DJ Premier, Ty Dolla Sign, Sly Pyper, and MAJ. (Swift also came out with two albums in 2020.)