Esham began rapping at a VERY young age and his first album, Boomin’ Words From Hell was reportedly recorded when he was only 14 years old. Even back then, he was as wicked as they came.
Esham became a self-made millionaire, without help from any major (or even minor) record labels. It was only Esham and his brother James, and together they formed their own label, Reel Life Productions. And all on their own, they slang CDs like it was drugs, on street corners, out of trunks of cars, so on and so forth. Esham saved well and by the time 1995 or so came around, he had a million bucks chillin’ in the bank and was an underground legend in the midwest.
To get there though, he worked his ass off, recording new stuff constantly. There’s a reason that most of Esham’s full length albums have 20+ songs on them. And even when he wasn’t putting out full albums, he was recording EPs at a steady rate. To even try to cover all the albums Esham recorded during that time would take too long, just check out the Albums section here.
However, a few albums must be looked at. In 1996, 2Pac was credited as the first rap artist to ever release a double-album with the release of All Eyez On Me. However, that’s because he was mainstream. What the mainstream did NOT know was that Esham had released a double album 4 years earlier, in 1992, with Judgement Day Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
In 1993, he released KKKill The Fetus which came under a lot of fire for it’s controversial album cover and the song of the same name. But it wasn’t all bad. “Sunshine”, the main single from the album, was Esham’s first real taste of mainstream radio success, albiet small.
In 1994, rumors began saying that Esham had died and that his twin brother James was pretending to be him and rapping as Esham. Releasing an album called Closed Casket and claiming that it was the end of the wicked shit fueled the rumors further. But when the album was released, it was definitely Esham rapping and he was at his most wicked and evil on that album. But it was also said to be Esham’s way of “closing the casket” on the wicked shit and moving on to more….normal rap, I guess.
But before he did that, he had Natas. They had released 2 albums at this point, Life After Death and Blaz4me. Natas was a side group of Esham’s, featuring 3 members: Esham, TNT, and Mastamind. It was even more wicked than most of Esham’s solo stuff. And while Closed Casket may have been Esham’s solo retirement from the wicked shit, it wasn’t for Natas. Their next album still stands as one of the most wicked, satanic, sacreligious recordings ever put to music….Doubelievengod and it is also highly regarded as one of their best.
The next solo album, Dead Flowerz, wasn’t exactly normal rap, but it wasn’t as dark and evil as previous albums. It spawned another local radio hit with “You Betta Ask Somebody” and then Esham disappeared into the dark.
2 years passed. No word at all from Esham. However, during that time, he stayed busy. He was hidden away, recording his next album also recording the new Natas album, Multikillionaire: The Devil’s Contract.
In late 1996, early-97, plain black stickers reading “Who is Bruce Wayne?” began appearing all over the United States.
Bruce Wayne turned out to be Esham. In 1997, he released Bruce Wayne: Gothom City 1987 on an unsuspecting public and it sold better than any of his previous albums.
After releasing Mail Dominance in 1999, he finally got signed to a record label in 2000….TVT Records. Unfortunately, his brother James, the backbone of RLP, had gone to jail on a statuatory rape charge, and without James, Reel Life Productions collapsed. Esham’s own record label went out of business and as a last ditch to save it, he merged it with another label to become Gothom Overcore, on TVT (kinda like how Psychopathic was on Island Records a few years back).
Esham only lasted about a year or so on TVT. During that time, they re-released many of his older albums, put out a greatest hits album, and what many regard as the best Natas album ever, WWW.COM. This album recieved rave reviews and was promoted heavily and brought them more mainstream success than Esham had ever generated on his own. It was truly an excellent album.
Esham’s next solo album was called Tongues and, maybe it was disappointing sales, but for whatever reason, Esham got dropped from TVT and Gothom Overcore officially went under. With no one else to merge with, Esham was without a record label home for the first time in his career.
The next album for Natas was Godlike and it was released on some label called Number 6 Records thru Koch Records. The Album was short printed and was only released in Michigan. A short tour followed and than in 2002 Mastamind and Esham had a falling out thus became the break up of Natas.
Esham floundered for awhile, but in 2002, finally signed on to Psychopathic and after dropping a greatest hits album, Acid Rain, released his first full length new album in late 2003 called Repentence which saw Esham get more radio and mainstream success than ever before with the song “Woo Woo Woo”. But the work didn’t stop there, when Esham became the newest member of the Psychopathic Rydas, going under the name Converse. In 2004, Esham’s brother James Smith was released from jail.
James and Esham, for years, ran Reel Life Productions and ruled the underground of Detroit but when James went to jail, RLP flounded and went out of business, and many have argued that Esham’s music went downhill around that time as well.
Well, with James released in 2004, Esham hit the studio and the ONLY person there with him was James and together, they put in work on Esham’s album A-1-Yola, which saw Esham going back to the style of albums like Dead Flowerz and Bruce Wayne.
Unfortunately, James Smith’s short stay out of jail didn’t last and he was arrested for probation violation and ordered to serve out the rest of his original sentence. Many people’s hopes of a Reel Life Productions revival ended there. However, in late 2005, rumors of a new Natas album in the works began to circulate and were further fueled when Esham abruptly left Psychopathic Records.
The official word was that it was a “business decision” and that Esham left to go release the new Natas album, N of the World on Warlock Records. And for awhile, it seemed that way. Esham didn’t say a word about Psychopathic for many months after leaving the label. But then ABK left the label, and Lavel started dissing them, and it was on. Esham shot back at ICP with disses on the Natas website, and on songs recorded with Lavel and ABK.
In 2006 Esham released The Judgement Day Box Set witch contained 2 disc of unreleased songs including an all new Album entitled “Martyr Sity”.
2007 Will be a big year for Esham and The Reformed Reel Life Productions. In the summer of 2006 Esham signed a Long Term Deal with Sony Urban Music Through Warlock Records and has plans to Reissue The whole RLP Libary. the old shit from Boomin Words From Hell To A-1-Yola and Even the Soopa Villianz album Ferious into the area called “RLP Vintage”. Eshams getting Ready to Record his new album entitled “Sacrifical Lambs” to be released in 2007
Esham’s Boomin – 1990
Boomin Words From Hell – 1991
Erotic Poetry – 1991
Homey Don’t Play – 1991
Judgement Day Vol-1, Vol-2 – 1992
KKKill The Fetus – 1993
Maggot Brain Theroy – 1994
Closed Casket – 1994
Dead Flowerz – 1996
Detroit Dogshit – 1996
Bruce Wayne: Gothom City 1987 – 1997
Mail Domiance – 1999
“Bootleg” From The Lost Vault Vol-1 – 2000
Tounges – 2001
Acid Rain – 2002
Repentance – 2003
A-1 Yola – 2006
Judgement Day Vol-3, Vol-4 – 2006
Martyr Sity – 2006
Life After Death – 1992
Blaz4me – 1994
Doubelieveingod – 1995
Multikillionare: The Devils Contract – 1998
WWW.COM: – 1999/2000
Godlike – 2002
N Of Tha World – 2006
Lickkuiddrano – 1995
Themindzi – 2001
Street Valu – 2004
Hellrazer – 2006
Other RLP Albums:
Dice – theneighborhoodshittalka – 1994
The Workhouse Movement – Sons Of The Riders – 2000
Soopa Villianz – Ferious – 2005
Soopa Villianz – It Ain’t Safe No More – 2006
Ghetto-E – Ghetto Theater – 2001
Shoestring – Cross Addicted – 2001
Kool Keith – Spankmaster – 2001
Bootleg – Hated By Many Loved By Few – 2001
Jacky Jasper – 2002
Heather Hunter – Bulletproof Diva – 2001
Knowlege Provided by Killa Mo 187 http://www.myspace.com/killamo187