Before he became a “Rap God,” Mr. Mathers had to become Eminem. Opposite the ecstasy-binge of a Dr. Dre-produced major-label debut, the self prescribed “little white boy from Detroit” dropped his first set of studio-cut rhymes on this day in 1996 with Infinite.

Initially derided for its flow likeness to rapper AZ, and general round-peg, bland style, Marshall Mathers had yet to unleash the freakish trailer park Mr. Hyde-isms of alter ego Slim Shady. Instead he birthed a glorified demo of sorts, heavy repping “313″-area days marred by slow-roll backbeats and trip-hop horn samples. The world would eventually ease up and take it for what it was – a grainy peek into the rise of the then 24-year-old hopeful – naturally, as Eminem provided the arch to genre-progressive “sicka-sicka” talent later on.

So for diamond-in-the-Detroit Rock CIty rough sake, dig on this subdued “Infinite” time when a young Marshall chased “skills” that “got you climbing hills:”

Ayo, my pen and paper cause a chain reaction
To get your brain relaxin, a zany actin maniac in action
A brainiac in fact son, you mainly lack attraction
You look insanely whack when just a fraction of my tracks run
My rhyming skills got you climbing hills
I travel through your mind into your spine like siren drills