It's been four years since Eminem's last album release, but it looks like the follow-up to The Marshall Mathers LP 2 might be on its way sooner than expected.

The Detroit rapper has kept a low profile of late, with his most recent public appearance at the premiere of HBO documentary The Defiant Ones, where he debuted his rather fetching beard.

Now, reports suggest that he is working on a new album and Dr. Dre is producing at least some of it.

The director of The Defiant Ones Allen Hughes told Uproxx: “Dre still records. People don’t know this: Dre records every day," he said. "Literally, he’s in there recording songs every day. He’s like Picasso in that way. He’s always painting. Right now he’s producing, in the 11th hour, a track for Eminem’s latest album. So Dre’s still real active in music, you know?”

Fuel was added to the fire after 2Chainz mentioned in another interview at the weekend that he had also been working with Slim Shady after they met to discuss a collaboration at Rick Rubin's house. Apparently, Eminem initially offered him a slot on a remix, which didn't go down well. "I tell him straight up… Eminem, what would you need a remix for? Remixes are used to carry records to No. 1 spots. When have you ever did a remix for someone or for yourself? That’s cap at it’s finest."

In short, it's highly likely that we'll hear new material soon - but how soon? Watch this space...