The short story: The TRshady forum will become 'read-only' in the next few days. No new posts will be allowed and no new members will be able to join, but the forum as it stands will be preserved, and remain available for fans. I encourage us all to have http://www.hiphopshelter.com
as our new home, founded by the capable and appropriate peeps that are: SajN and Notalius.
The long story....
The TRshady forum opened it's doors almost exactly 10 years ago - 14th January 2005 to be exact. This was soon after the Encore release, but before the subsequent passing of Proof, the downfall of Eminem, the release of Relapse, and those long, dark years before he re-emerged with Recovery, the victorious MMLP2, and most recently, Shady XV - a release marking the rebirth of a label lead by a sober Eminem, with all the enthusiasm of when he first burst out the the gates.
The TRshady website started a good while earlier. I was 15 years old at the time - having been a long time member of D12 World (RIP Jason), which later turned into what is now RapBasement. D12 World had become negative, I felt the reputation gimmick encouraged a community that, coupled with the turning sentiment on Eminem - lead to a forum that left many uncomfortable to post, or criticised when they did. Truth is, TRshady.com started out as a fansite that was never meant to have a forum. A member and friend at the time ($hady Boy), prodded me for weeks for us to build a forum - I hesitated, as I knew it would be difficult, but made one thing clear: that I would not be the main admin. I'd be the monkey in the server room, keeping things running, but I had no intention to run a community. He agreed. So the TRshady forum was born. Then $hady Boy changed his mind shortly after and left.
What occurred next, was many months, if not years of working hard to get the forum off the ground. The many private messages with those who joined with the intent of causing havoc, the genuine friendships that creeped onto instant message then real life, the written rhymes, the potential beginnings of a label, the highs and the lows of following Eminem - and let's be honest, there was a lot more of the latter. Who else remembers waiting weeks on an upcoming T.I feat Eminem release for instance - ignoring all the signs that things weren't the same, but still hanging on with hope - only to grab the track with eager excitement, then listen in silence, with our hearts sinking that little bit further with each line of the verse. What track did we get? Touchdown.
Now, in the last few years - as you all will be more than aware - I began work, and with my career becoming an increasing priority, gradually it got to a point where I was simply never around. I'd always hop on when there were server issues, I like to think that for most part, things were stable - but as I apologised for on multiple occasions - my absence meant the website and forum suffered in many ways. A few years back, friend and partner in crime SajN stepped in to take the role of community admin - and I can confidently say, that this forum would have shut down years ago if not for the effort and responsibility he took on. I met up with him in London about two years ago, grabbing a drink before settling down for food - in the fine establishment that was Subway (I know - real classy, no expense spared! This was after all, the juggernauts of this forum shit!). But I'll say publically, what I said to him at the time: that I, and all the TRshady family owe SajN a lot. It's been his forum for the past few years, not 'mine', so thank you Fahad for all your time and effort - now go get 'em with HipHopShelter!
The forum design, and technical underpinnings had not changed much in years, forum members had many requests, many felt disillusioned with me not being around - with the feeling that this place is neglected and falling apart. Truth be told, I never felt like the forum should be anything more than a home for discussion - what made it was the people. But there were issues, there were genuine good suggestions and increasingly our setup felt dated - with no real desire or time to drastically change matters. So why not sell the forum, why not hand over ownership to someone else?
It's a question I asked myself many times over the years - with the conclusion each time being: "I can do this, I can please the people! I'll do better!". Clearly I never could. To sell the forum was never an option, nor was handing it over - why? because I always had a clear idea of what I wanted TRshady to be, and despite not seeming this way, things end as I intentioned.
The plan was this: I start a forum, and one day in the future, it'll be closed off, and serve as an incredible journey of Eminem, through the eyes of the fans, recorded for future generations. The rumours of each track or album, the following speculation, anticipation, eagerness, dread, hope - followed by the burst of activity and discussion at the time of the release. Every line analysed, every beat broken down, every word inspected and scruntenized - every moment, recorded in real time - over 10 whole years. Collectively, we've written an accurate and thorough account, spanning a decade, of the biggest rapper in the world - from hitting rock bottom, then clawing his way back to the very top. Encore could easily have been the end, but we lived through a very different story, and within the humble characters that makes up the TRshady database, it's all here for posterity.
Forgive me for being a little sentimental perhaps - but it's this archive, this story that we've told together, that makes it the incredibly special asset to fans that it is, and will be. It's why, with the forum coming to 'an end' - it in no way ceases to exist, but will live on forever with this website. I assure you that the TRshady website will soon enough get the update it deserves, and isn't going anywhere. An updated website, with this forum - will live on. This explains why, that even when 'closed' - the forum serves an important purpose, something that I believe should be looked after and kept online.
So what is happening? In less than a week from now, the forum will become read only. All members, and all posts will remain, but no new sign ups will be allowed, and no new messages can be posted. Now I never wanted to 'close' the forum without there being a suitable home to move to - and for that, I present: http://www.hiphopshelter.com
- HipHopShelter.com. The forum has been founded by Notalius and joined by SajN, it's a hangout for Eminem and Hip Hop fans. But more so, it's a discussion board covering all topics, for all with that one fact in common - the love of Eminem and Hip Hop. I'll be on the forum too, happily jumping in occasion, free from the pressure and pitchforks that came with every visit to TRshady in recent times. HipHopShelter was created after a prolonged inertia on deciding how best to handle the forum - and it's arrival made the decision easier to make, as what I wanted to avoid was leaving the TRshady family without a home.
Although I may not have been present much in the past few years, TRshady has always been an incredibly special part of what I do and who I am. To the many, many people who have grown up together, travelled this long road as a unit - I whole heartedly thank you. To the many moderators and members who helped serve the community - we would not have lasted this long without ya'll, so thank you. In an updated post, I'll give credit where due, but two folks from the early days come to mind who I'd like to thank: Irfman and Aspirine. There are many, many others I can name (including C-game for example), but I know I'd unfairly miss others - but ya'll know who you are!
So, the story goes on, I want you to know that none of your time has been wasted, nothing will be deleted - your words will live on. Maybe one day in the future, when we've all grown beards and disappeared into the mountains, we'll return here - we'll re-open the forum, and carry on where we left off. We'll reconvene on the porch, with a bottle of Jack - while our own kids are out getting smashed. But till that day (and by no means hold your breath, it's years away at the earliest) - take good care of yourselves. Thanks for the memories, it's been emotional.