Eminem wrote and recorded "The Real Slim Shady" just 3 hours before his album was due.
"The Real Slim Shady" is a song by American rapper Eminem from his third album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000). It was released as the lead single a week before the album's release. The song was later released in 2005 on Eminem's greatest hits album Curtain Call: The Hits.
"The Real Slim Shady" was Eminem's first song to reach number one in the United Kingdom and it also peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, giving him his biggest hit up to that point. The song was the 14th best selling of 2000 in the United Kingdom. It won multiple awards, including MTV Video Music Awards for Best Video and Best Male Video, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 80 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years". It was listed at number 396 on NME's 500 greatest songs of all time.
"The Real Slim Shady" was not originally intended to be part of The Marshall Mathers LP. Interscope Records' Jimmy Iovine wanted Eminem to have a song to introduce the album, similar to the way "My Name Is" was the first single on The Slim Shady LP. Eminem, Dr. Dre, Tommy Coster, and Mike Elizondo wrote "The Real Slim Shady" just hours before the final copy of the album was due. The first single was intended to be "Who Knew."