Can you believe it’s been fifteen years, that’s right, FIFTEEN years, since this album came out? It’s hard to imagine but it is.
This album is a classic.
I think we can all agree on that. At least the majority of rap fans think that. Fifteen years ago, Eminem was on the verge of superstardom, and he achieved that with this album and records like “Stan.” Once this dropped, the avalanche that is Eminem was undeniable, inevitable. Those that thought he was a weak rapper or a one-hit wonder were proven wrong.
Let’s go back to the year 2000.
Around the time of this album I was finishing up sixth grade. This album wasn’t supposed to be heard by me. The language and content on the album is intended for a mature audience. But like the rest of the world, I got my hands on it. My older peers didn’t try to restrict this album from me, they simply didn’t mind. We grew up in a place where everything was accessible.
I remember this one time. I was at a neighborhood friend’s house, an older friend. I was in the backyard with one of my older brothers and the dudes who lived there. They were getting ready to throw a party—a hood party. I was near the DJ equipment. I was flipping thorough the CD binder—remember those? I stumbled across this album. I was in awe.
The album was behind a clear sleeve. The CD’s white color popped. The image of Eminem was there along with the credits/copyrights above it. Eminem’s signature backwards E was in bold and it looked enormous. I remember we were lucky enough to get a bootleg copy of it. It ended up being an all-white cd, similar to the album minus the text.
I had heard of the album but hadn’t listen it. All I had heard at that time was the lead single, “The Real Slim Shady.” Plus, I remember the MTV Making the Video episode of the video for the single. I was big into the singles. (I was young, I didn’t know better.) I liked the single.
Fun fact for you: the first rap CD I ever got was The Slim Shady LP. I had won it in a radio contest where you would spin this wheel in order to win a prize. I got lucky and won. I won a CD. I had narrowed it down to two albums: The Slim Shady LP and BTNHResurrection. I went with the former against my older brother’s wishes.
Back on track, the album was everywhere, or at least that what’s it seemed like. I remember a neighbor of mine. He was younger, maybe two or three years younger than me, reciting the lyrics to “Kill You.” I was around eleven years old at the time, so just imagine another kid about nine years old rapping these violent and vulgar lines.
The album is dope. It was solid from start to end. The album was dark, very dark. But that’s why people especially me found it appealing. I’m glad I didn’t judge the album based off the single.
Songs like “Kill You” and “Kim” were insane, dark too. However, that made it memorable. The details and the violence describe in Eminem’s raps were too ill.
“The Way I Am,” “Marshall Mathers” and “Amityville” all had such a dark undertone. But like the other two songs mentioned above they were dope.
Let’s start with “Kim.”
That shit was crazy, and that’s an understatement.
Eminem fucking wrote a song…about killing his estrange wife. He continues to build anticipation with each verse, as the Eminem in the verse is about to kill Kim. Eminem embellishes himself to look like a psychopath in the song. It’s simply amazing, what a showcase of storytelling from Em. If he would wrote such a song about a former lover, imagine what he would say about someone he didn’t care of.
Typical Em, he felt the need to add some songs with humor. He used the same formula he used on his previous album and went with a comedic lead single. He’d continue to use this formula in future albums. “The Real Slim Shady” was cool. It got tiresome after a while. However, recently it came up on my shuffle, and I DIDN’T SKIP IT! I let it play, and even recited that Will Smith line.
What can you say about “Stan?” Nothing short of a masterpiece because that’s what it is. That’s all I’m going to say about that record. I wonder what inspired Eminem when he was going through the process of writing that record?
He did something I like: he did a posse cut. He had the West Coast on “Bitch Please II,” the sequel to Snoop Dogg’s classic featuring Xzibit. Besides Snoop and X-to-the-Z, Nate Dogg and Dr. Dre joined the party. Mr. X decided to fuck around and steal the show with his dope verse.
Plus, he featured his crew, D12 on “Under The Influence” that has a hook that is fun to say, albeit vulgar, it’s awesome!
The album is solid like I said.
Some of my favorites records off the album include “Who Knew” and “I’m Back.” It took me a while to fully realize how dope “Who Knew” was, but I came to my senses. The latter is nuts. Eminem is unafraid of anything or anyone. He even included a line about the Columbine shooting the year prior. He’s fearless, he doesn’t care about any backlash he’ll receive.
This album along with his follow up, The Eminem Show, would cement Eminem as the best rapper out. Also, this was around the time when I began fucking with Eminem extensively. He was my favorite rapper at the time. Another rapper he once killed would later surpass him as my favorite.
But nonetheless, this album has been cemented in my best of list as one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard. It was sort-of revolutionary, at least to me, because I had yet to hear an album like it. The album is almost untouchable, at least for me, not one person’s opinion can change my perspective on this record.
In conclusion, thank you Eminem for making a dope album, and letting the world hear it. Only one word can describe this piece of art: masterpiece.