Slim Shady EP is the debut extended play by American rapper Eminem, released on December 6, 1997 through the Detroit-based record label Web Entertainment. Unlike Infinite, Slim Shady EP helped Eminem gain the interest of famous West Coast hip-hop producer Dr. Dre, who subsequently signed Eminem to his Aftermath label, and served as executive producer on his breakthrough major-label debut The Slim Shady LP.
Eminem first introduced his "Slim Shady" persona on this EP, and his lyrics are a marked departure from those found on Infinite, featuring constant references to drug use, sexual acts, mental instability, and over-the-top violence. Another departure was his exploration of more serious themes of dealing with poverty, his direct and self-deprecating response to criticism, and of marital and family difficulties. His flow is also noticeably different from on his debut; whereas critics claimed he sounded too much like Nas and AZ on that album. Eminem also began utilizing story telling on this EP. The production value of the music on the tracks — from previous collaborators DJ Head, The Bass Brothers, and Mr. Porter — was also noticeably higher than on prior album efforts. According to Billboard, at this point in his life Eminem had "realized his musical ambitions were the only way to escape his unhappy life".