Over the last month, Eminem has picked fights with Michael Jackson, President Bush, and now, Internet pirates. The rapper's label, Interscope Geffen A&M, announced Wednesday that it will move the release of his new album Encore forward by four days, to Nov. 12. A statement from the label says ''rabid demand'' is the reason for the change, but Billboard cites a source close to the decision as saying the early release is an effort to stem the damages from piracy, as the album is already available in its entirety online. Hours later, the label made a similar announcement that it would move Snoop Dogg's upcoming R&G (Rhythm & Gansta): The Masterpiece up a week, to Nov. 16.
Eminem has used this anti-piracy tactic before. In 2002, he twice moved the release date of The Eminem Show, ultimately getting it into stores 11 days early. In retrospect, he needn't have worried; the disc entered the chart at No. 1 based on just three days of sales, and it went on to sell 9.2 million copies in the U.S.
In other Eminem news, Billboard reports that he's produced 12 of the 16 tracks on Loyal to the Game, yet another posthumous album of previously unreleased rhymes by Tupac Shakur. Guests on the album include such Eminem associates at 50 Cent and Obie Trice, as well as Jadakiss, Lloyd Banks, Nate Dogg, Ronald Isley, and others. The album, due Dec. 14, is the seventh Tupac release since his murder in 1996, making him more prolific in death than many rappers have been in life including Eminem, whose Encore is just his fourth solo release.