It’s been four long years since Eminem released his last solo album, but associates say the music megastar is getting serious about his long-anticipated return. “Em is excited,” says rapper Bishop Lamont, a fellow protégé of Dr. Dre. “He’s been quiet too long, and he’s got a lot to get off his chest.” While no release date has been announced for Eminem’s next album, his label says he’s currently at work in the studio. Eminem was reportedly devastated by the 2006 death of his close friend Proof in a shooting, but Lamont says he’s heard “some amazing stuff” from the 35-year-old provocateur’s recent recording sessions. “He went through what he had to go through, and now he’s been able to take all the pain and stress and put it out in his music.”

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