Eminem has surprised his fans and thrown the social media world into a rampage after posting a picture of himself to Instagram together with fellow rappers Kendrick Lamar and Dr Dre debuting a very different new look.
"Just a couple of guys from Compton and one from Detroit. With a beard. #thedefiantones" the rap legend wrote alongside the photo, where his signature peroxide-blonde hair and clean-shaven face have instead been swapped for a cropped brunette look, disguised under a hat, and a short but prominent brown beard. The social media world has been quick to react, with fans on Twitter being the most outspoken in what they think about the new appearance.
"I will shave my hair and beard and be just like you" wrote one dedicated fan. "I'll be the Stan to your Eminem" - referring to the Eminem alter ego which stars in his 2000 hit Stan. Another sees the popularity of the beard as a good signal for any upcoming album that The Real Slim Shady rapper may have in the works, writing: "Can't believe it's 2017 & Eminem breaks the social media with 'beard.' what will happen when album drops? Eminem ain't relevant, they said". However other Twitter users haven't lost out on the opportunity to make a joke of things and to take a dig at the 15-time Grammy award winner.
One user shared a snap of Eminem's new look alongside a photo of his ex-girlfriend Mariah Carey in the 2009 music video Obsessed; which was reportedly about the rapper's obsession with her. The photo is captioned: "when u see Eminem's new beard ...and all you can think about is how @MariahCarey's beard in the "Obsessed" video looks better."
Another changed the wording of Eminem's 2005 single Mockingbird to Mockingbeard - writing alongside a photo of the mocked-up cover "New Eminem single "Mocking Beard" coming soon".
The rapper has yet to speak up on the contentious topic of his beard, seeming instead more occupied with his upcoming four-part documentary, The Defiant Ones. Retweeting a trailer last week, he wrote "Ignore the rules. #TheDefiantOnes."