May 23rd, 2000, The hip-hop world was changed forever as Eminem released one of the most violent, disrespectful and controversial albums in hip-hop history called The Marshall Mathers LP.
I don’t believe the lines of shock value, clever wordplay and genius lyricism have ever meshed as well as they did on this album and I doubt it ever will again. With the world being as sensitive as it is today, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Interscope couldn’t put this album out for the first time today even if they wanted to in an “independent fashion”
“Stan” was not only a great song and video, but it is now a hip-hop noun and adjective. If you are overly obsessed with an artist or their music, you are a “Stan”. If you watch a person go completely insane over an artist, they are “stanning”. That doesn’t become a thing until this album drops.
“I don’t do black music. I don’t do white music. I make fight music for High School kids.” [Who Knew]
Those words should probably never be said on a track, especially after one of the biggest nationally publicized tragedies of my time, which was the Columbine shooting. Eminem gave 0 F**KS and it didn’t stop there. Later on in the album [Remember Me?] Eminem puts it in the mind of MILLIONS that the trench-coats and machine guns used in that tragedy game from his house!
“The Way I Am” is probably the only “normal song” on the album and is still one of the best songs on the album. It’s the biggest middle finger that Em could give to not only his critics, but also for anyone who takes every single bar he spits way too seriously. There was also a dope visual to increase the like for the track.
You already know that “The Real Slim Shady” was the single and it was huge.
Like it or not one of the only real “Streets Beefs” in hip-hop is between Insane Clown Posse and Eminem. It stemmed from a real off the mic issue and once Eminem sold his 3 million and prepped this album, the situation got realer. The song “Marshall Mathers” and the “Ken Kaniff skit” raised the stakes of that and to some degree, still HELPED the exposure of ICP in the process.
“Bi**h Please II” should not be on this album. 15 years later and I STILL don’t understand why that song is on this album.
I don’t know about you and what you heard BEFORE 2000, but until I heard “Kim”, I never heard a song, that was an argument that lead to a strangling and dumping of a significant other in the woods. The song is literally psychotic genius! The first time I listened to it, I just sat there. Now, I sing the hook like I’m part of the studio session.
For one reason or another, rappers just can’t and don’t rap like this anymore. You can blame it on today’s times, but in all honesty, you can say nobody ever truly rapped like this ever. This is more than just using the word “Fa**ot” like it’s going out of style. This is more than just excessively using drugs and threatening to beat up or kill anybody in your way of any walk of life. This album is the epitome of “I don’t give a f**k” and “It’s so crazy that it just might work.”
Albums like this helped me define the word classic. The Marshall Mathers LP is not a classic because Eminem is white. The Marshall Mathers LP is classic because it became a moment in time that can’t be duplicated. This album sold close to 2 million records in one week based more off of what we HEARD was supposed to be on the album. No disrespect to The Real Slim Shady single, but when we seen Eminem in court and his Mom, Kim, ICP, Vanilla Ice and others trying to sue, fight, dis or disrespect him, all because of what we only know as studio sessions and leaked songs; It all lead to “Damn! I got to hear this new Eminem album!”
This album also spawned a new and faithful white hip-hop demo. Can’t deny that. Are they the reason why the album eventually goes diamond? Yes. However, understand that those fans have NEVER left and help hip-hop on so many financial and exposure levels. Also lets not act like there isn’t a whole new generation of young emcees of all colors and backgrounds who were inspired by this album. It’s undeniable.
Salute to Eminem and Respect to The Marshall Mathers LP. You will never hear anything like this again.