Great news for all you Eminem fans – and, of course, Eminem himself.

According to Paul Grein’s Chart Watch blog over at Y! Music, “Not Afraid,” the first single off Em’s upcoming album Recovery, debuted in the Hot 100 at #1. It’s only the second rap song to ever do so – 1997’s tribute to Biggie Smalls, “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy, Faith Evans, and 112, being the first.

That in itself was a pretty big slot to fill.

‘Course, that’s nothing too new to Eminem: Relapse, his first album after his hiatus, debuted at #1 back in May 2009.

If you’ll remember, I commented that I wasn’t all that into Relapse, but that I thought it was because I’d just outgrown Eminem’s style. (Still, I was a little surprised to hear in the lyrics to “Not Afraid” Eminem admit “Let’s be honest, that last Relapse CD was ‘ehhhh’.”)

Well.

I’ve heard “Not Afraid,” and I really like it. Where Relapse was angry, confused, and dripping with overall dark psychological states, “Not Afraid” hints that Recovery will be more about Em getting his act together — and even crediting his fans.

It was my decision to get clean, I did it for me
Admittedly I probably did it subliminally for you
So I could come back a brand new me, you helped see me through
And don’t even realize what you did, believe me you

I’m definitely interested in seeing how Recovery will fair when it hits shelves next month.

If you haven’t heard “Not Afraid” yet — or you just want to hear it again — you can do so at Em’s Not Afraid page (where you can also download the song from iTunes).

Oh, and PS: This September, Eminem “will christen the new Yankee Stadium with its first concert” with Jay-Z. Not too shabby. 🙂