Over the year’s there hasn't been another rapper striked fear in the hearts of parents everywhere like Eminem.
When Eminem first exploded onto the scene in 1999 with the release of his debut album “The Slim Shady LP”, he injected a shot of adrenaline to hip-hop. Along with having some truly graphic lyrics, the album went triple platinum and solidified Eminem as one of the most controversial and popular artists in the game.
To follow up his controversial debut, Eminem released “The Marshall Mathers LP”, considered by many to be one of the best hip-hop albums of all-time and is Eminem’s magnum opus, his defining work. The album is more introspective in its lyrics and focuses less on the Slim Shady persona, instead shining some attention on Eminem’s personal life, and takes a serious look at his rise to fame.
Eminem takes on a great deal of personal and controversial topics on this album including his childhood, violence, drug abuse, and the Columbine massacre. Although his lyrics can be vulgar and offensive, they hold much more meaning than just being for shock value. He also does an excellent job (as he has in his whole career) of mixing in a humorous tone and witty punch lines throughout his lyrics, commenting on the industry and society.
On “Kill You” and “Marshall Mathers” he raps about his family issues, mostly involving his mother, while on “Kim” he looks back on the relationship struggles with his wife. He also intelligently and accurately raps about American society and the youth culture in our country on the tracks “The Way I Am”, “Criminal”, and “Who Knew”.
“The Way I Am” was the second single released from the album, and is much darker in tone and style from the first single, the very catchy, “The Real Slim Shady.” Eminem truly makes some intelligent commentary when he raps: "And they blame it on Marilyn/And the heroin/Where were the parents at?/And look where it's at/Middle America, now it's a tragedy/Now it's so sad to see/An upper-class city/having this happening."
While there are a lot of great tracks on this album, “Stan” may be the most genius and most controversial. The track is a unique one, and tells the story of a fan that is obsessed with Eminem and writes to him without receiving a reply.
The first three verses are delivered by Eminem as Stan, while the fourth verse is Eminem attempting to write to Stan, only to realize that he had already heard about Stan's death on the news. The style and content of the track is like no other, and you can feel the raw emotion coming from Eminem as he raps: “And what's this shit about us meant to be together?/That type of shit'll make me not want us to meet each other/I really think you and your girlfriend need each other/Or maybe you just need to treat her better”.
''I'm Back' is my personal favorite track on the album. Although I think Eminem is at his best when he raps in a serious manner, I personally enjoy this track for it’s humorous tone, and especially catchy chorus.
Eminem shows off his supreme lyrical skills as he starts off the track, rapping: “I murder a rhyme one word at a time/You never, heard of a mind as perverted as mine/You better, get rid of that nine, it ain't gonna help/What good's it gonna do against a man that strangles himself?”
While “The Marshall Mathers LP” may not be the most morally responsible album, it is raw, intelligent and supremely dope. You can all it one of the most controversial albums of all-time, you can call it one of the best albums of all time, just make sure you call it a classic.