Eminem shows off beard, natural hair color in new photo

LOS ANGELES — Eminem rarely makes public appearances when he isn’t promoting new music, so it came as a surprise to fans when he appeared in a photo with a beard and his natural brunette hair.

>> Read more trending news

Allure magazine reported that the 44 year-old-rapper made an appearance at the red carpet for "The Defiant Ones," HBO's four-part documentary on rapper and producer Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine.

Photos from the event Thursday show Eminem with noticeably brown whiskers on his face and what appears to be dark brown hair.

The rapper, whose birth name is Marshall Mathers, is notable for having platinum blond-dyed hair and a clean-shaven face.

He posted a photo to his Instagram page and acknowledged his changed appearance in the caption.

“Just a couple of guys from Compton and one from Detroit. With a beard,” he wrote under the photo, taken of himself, Dr. Dre and rapper Kendrick Lamar. Both Dre and Lamar are from Compton, California. Eminem is from Detroit.

Fans and observers expressed their surprise at the look on Twitter, including D12, a hip hop group Eminem is a part of.

That’s not to say the rapper has never been seen with facial hair before. Some photos online show the rapper with a shadow, but they are few and far in between.

Eminem recently paid tribute to the late rapper Prodigy on a radio show, according to XXL Magazine. Lamar was also on the show doing a tribute.