A lifelong collector, the "Without Me" hitmaker loves chasing down hard-to-find items and when he decided he needed an unopened copy of the 1994 classic, he went all out to get his hands on one.
"Man, I couldn't find that s**t nowhere (sic)," Eminem told Paul Rosenberg and DJ Whoo Kid during a Clubhouse room chat as part of a "Shady Con" online event.
"I finally found one and it cost like 500 to 600 dollars for a sealed copy," Eminem added, "because who the f**k had a copy of Illmatic and didn't open it? Nobody."
"I think it's backstock from what record stores had in the back storage - the tapes that never sold, so they just kept them and sold them online. That's the only thing I can think of."
The rapper launched his digital festival, Shady Con, last week (ends23Apr21), giving fans the chance to own a variety of Eminem-approved non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles, as well as some original instrumental beats.
The rapper previously said, "I've been collecting since I was a kid, everything from comic books to baseball cards to toys, as well as every rap album on cassette I could get my hands on. Not much has changed for me as an adult…"
"I've attempted to re-create some of those collections from that time in my life, and I know I'm not alone. I wanted to give this drop the same vibe of, 'Oh, man I gotta get just that one or maybe even the whole set!' "