Eminem wanted to rock out with one of music's legendary guitarists.
Back in 2000, Eminem wasn't the legend we know him as today. Instead, he was merely a rapper who was on the rise, with the Slim Shady LP having won him a Grammy and the Marshall Mathers LP about to make him a household name on every corner of the planet. However, before the latter could take place, the Michigan native was apparently in contact with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and expressed interest in being part of his solo album, which also dropped 17 years ago.
According to Loudwire, Iommi recently revealed this stunning behind-the-scenes tidbit during a conversation with Ryan J. Downey at the Musician's Institute. Indeed, Em was in contact with the Sabbath ax man and wanted to be a part of Iommi's solo project, which was being hyped up a great deal at the time that it was in production. However, much to the dismay of Slim Shady fans, Iommi was not familiar with Eminem or his work at the time and the collaboration never went down as some may have hoped it would. Iommi had recruited a who's-who of big names in the world of rock and roll, including Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins, Philip Anselmo, Billy Corgan, Brian May and more to work on the album with him during that period.
It's not like Iommi or Black Sabbath were unfamiliar with combining rap and rock on the same track. In 1995, the band enlisted the services of veteran gangster rapper Ice-T to provide some of the vocals for the song "Illusion of Power," which you can hear in full below. Where the guitarist's solo album is concerned, another Detroit artist, Kid Rock, was supposed to make an appearance on one of the songs, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on where you stand on Kid Rock) that particular bit of material didn't make the final cut.
Who knows what an Eminem-Tony Iommi record may have sounded like back then, and also where Slim Shady's career may have gone as a result. Would be have seen him go full-on rock and tour with a metal outfit? Just the mental image alone is something to behold. However, if a song like "Berzerk" is any indication, Eminem is definitely not one to shy away from drawing on his love of rock and allowing it to influence his own music.