Can Eminem Do It Again?

Eminem’s long-awaited fifth album Relapse arrives today. It’s been five years since the Detroit rapper released an album and the industry has drastically changed. Can Em still put up numbers like before?

Slim Shady’s previous studio album, 2004’s Encore, sold over 1.5 million copies in its first 10 days of release. He currently has two singles (“We Made You” and “Old Time’s Sake”) in the Top 25 of the Billboard Hot 100, while “Beautiful” is No. 11 on iTunes. The last artist to sell over a million copies in his first week was Lil Wayne in June 2008 with Tha Carter III.

Interscope Records has been embracing new media to promote Relapse by posting photos on Twitter, video clips on YouTube, and even developing an iPhone application. “In the past, when we’ve tried to do things in a new way for Eminem, it was just more of OK, cookie-cutter types of ideas,” his manager Paul Rosenberg tells Ad Age. “But in this one we really pushed ourselves, because of the time we’re living in, to create a different experience.”

Anticipation for the album has been building since October 2008. “By the nature of the way the information came out, you’ve had a trail of breadcrumbs to the album,” adds Eminem’s publicist. “The way we approached this is ‘Let’s keep that trail coming.'”

Eminem was the most-talked-about artist on Twitter last week, the week before the album’s release, according to data tracker Native Digital. He has more than 83,000 followers.

What do you think Eminem will do his first week?