When Eminem’s new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was released yesterday, it inspired me to revisit the very first The Marshall Mathers LP for this week’s Album Of The Week. I chose this album because when it was released back in 2000, it didn’t leave my CD player for months. Eminem was coming off the success of his second album The Slim Shady LP which saw Eminem sell over 243,000 copies in it’s first week and he won two Grammy’s (best rap album and best rap solo performance). This album was a little different than the Shady LP because it was more autobiographical in it’s lyrical content and a lot more of the songs were a little darker than the over the top lyrics we had before. The album was produced by The 45 King, Bass Brothers, Dr. Dre (executive producer), Eminem, and Mel-Man and it featured 18 tracks with four being skits. The first half of the record was produced by Dr. Dre and Mel-Man while the second half was produced mainly by Eminem and the Bass Brothers with Stan being produced by The 45 King.
Public Service Announcement is the first track and it’s the first skit of the album lasting only 24 seconds. It’s Eminem telling the public service announcer what to say until he interjects in the end. Kill You is the next track on the record and its another track where he explores his relationship struggles with his mother over a basic beat to emphasize his rapping abilities. Stan is one of the most famous tracks on the record about a fan that claims to be his biggest fan. Eminem for the first three verses voices the character as he writes letters to Eminem, but after not getting any responses, he gets angrier and eventually commits murder and suicide. The track samples a line from Dido’s Thank You as it’s bass line and Dido is featured in the chorus. Paul is another skit on the record and it’s the executive of the label telling him that he received a copy of the record and he’s about to give his opinion and he says “F*** It” and hangs up. Who Knew is one of the tracks on the record that explores his effect on American kids and society as it’s another song with a stripped down beat. Steve Berman is the third skit where Eminem is grilled about the content of the album. The Way I Am is one of the best songs on the record and it’s the first song where Eminem solely produced the track and the beat that you hear. It’s Eminem rapping about how people are putting too much pressure on him from fans to executives. He even mentions in the track how Marilyn Manson was wrongly blamed for the shootings in Columbine.
The Real Slim Shady was a track that was written and recorded hours before the final copy was due. With it’s basic keyboard like beat, he name drops so many celebrities as he talks about what is wrong with pop society back in 2000 from Tom Green humping a dead moose to Pamela Anderson claiming to being beaten by her ex-husband Tommy Lee. Remember Me is a track with a funky bass line that features RBX and Sticky Fingaz (Onyx). I’m Back is another track that explores his rise to the top and how super stardom sucks. Marshall Mathers starts with a dark guitar riff as Eminem raps about how he doesn’t understand why people care about how him now. Ken Kaniff is a dirty skit about the internet creep getting sexual intercourse from the Insane Clown Posse. Drug Ballad has a real funky beat to it as Eminem raps about his drug habits. Amityville has an old school hip hop beat to it with the drum machine as Eminem introduces us to Horrorcore rap and the track features Bizarre. Bitch Please II is the only track to feature Snoop Dogg on a Eminem track, but it also features Dr. Dre, Xzibit, and Nate Dogg on the track as well.
Kim starts with Eminem talking to baby Haley before it turns violent with Eminem rapping about hurting Kim (his ex-wife). It’s considered the prequel to ’97 Bonnie & Clyde as Eminem screams his rap the whole time. Under The Influence introduces us to Eminem’s group of friends and comrades in D12 as they spit some serious rhymes. Criminal is the last track on the album and it answers all his critics who think his lyrics are too dark and vulgar. It also brought some controversy along as there is some lines that GLAAD had a serious problem with. For example, “My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge/That’ll stab you in the head whether you’re a fag or les…Hate fags?/The answer’s yes.” The song even contains a part where he robs a convenient store where he promises that he won’t shoot the girl as she hands him money and he ends up shooting her anyways. This is definitely one of the best Eminem albums that he had ever released in my opinion. That is why for a final grade I am giving it 4.5 stars out of five.