Eminem’s fourth studio album, The Eminem Show — which took the grammy for Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year — was inspired by a pretty unlikely source. No, not the bass heavy beats of someone like fellow producer/rap icon/BFF Dr. Dre, but rather the mask-totting ’90s comedy icon Jim Carrey — a revelation that comes from the rapper himself.
The hip-hop superstar is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the album and revealed in an Instagram post on Wednesday that it was inspired by Carrey’s 1998 film The Truman Show.
The photo features a note written on a poster of liner notes from the album.
“The concept 4 the Eminem show was inspired by The Truman Show because my life felt like it was becoming a circus around that time and I felt like I was always being watched,” he wrote. “Basically, Jim Carrey wrote my album.”
The comparison makes sense. In The Truman Show, Carrey’s character, Truman Burbank, has his life unknowingly broadcast on television. Burbank has no idea that his life—from the home he lives in, to his everyday tasks—is entirely manipulated by a director while millions watch at home.
At the time of the release, Eminem was at what was probably the peak of his popularity. The Eminem Show has sold more than 10 million albums just in the United States since its 2002 release and was later listed as one of the best 100 albums of the 2000’s by Rolling Stone.
The album also came at a time when the rapper permeated all forms of pop culture, from feuding with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards to his critically lauded role in the film 8 Mile, in which his song “Lose Yourself” would later win an Academy Award, the first hip-hop artist ever to do so.
So far, Carrey hasn’t responded.
To celebrate further, Eminem also came out with a cassette reissue of the album, much to the delight of fans, who couldn’t contain their excitement online.
Some of his best work to date !! Gotta love @Eminem
— Omar Handsome (@Omar5091
— Genius (@Genius) May 31, 2017
Still, some were a little confused by the release of thecassette, with one British radio station asking for a cassette player.
Eminem's released a special edition cassette for the 15th anniversary of The Eminem Show! Anyone got a cassette player I can borrow? 🤔 Jez pic.twitter.com/TrnJ0l0N31
— Capital XTRA (@CapitalXTRA) May 31, 2017
“The Eminem Show” is widely recognized as one of the most successful albums ever, and maybe the best release of the rapper’s iconic career. It spun out several of the rapper’s biggest songs, including “Without Me,” “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” and “Sing For the Moment.”