This weeks classic album review is on Eminem – “The Marshall Mathers LP” and was written by HipHopSite.Com’s DJ Pizzo on May 23, 2000. (Original Post)
Eminem – “The Marshall Mathers LP” – 4.5/5
By DJ Pizzo-
Let’s rewind back to the first time I met Eminem, (again). You know the story. That day in 1997, I purchased a whole stack of EP’s from the man himself, in a hotel room in Vegas, like some kind of shady drug deal. When he left the room, his manager said to me, “We also have these Infinite LP’s, if you are interested. It’s a little different than the new EP, but this was before….the depression set in.” Now fast forward to six weeks ago. After listening to The Marshall Mathers LP for the first time, I sat in Paul’s apartment wondering what the fuck “set in” between this album and the last, because things have gotten progressively darker and even more twisted since The Slim Shady LP.
The answer is simple, Eminem blew the fuck up. This already depressed individual now has to deal with a whole new circus of hangers-on, giving him even more headaches. The crazed, worshipping fans, the relatives who all of a sudden care, a mother who wants to sue him, disillusioned parents who blame him for their mistakes, and a slew of motherfuckers who want to kill him, (lyrically and/or physically); they all want a piece of Eminem. His skyrocketing to the top has changed everything, and he’s no longer the high voiced, fun loving, happy-go-lucky, demented humorist that we all knew and loved. The new Marshall Mathers is angrier than before, and while on songs like “Kim” and “Amityville”, the shock value is obviously fabricated, a more serious Eminem opens up and lets the world get a glimpse of his soul, while subtly inserting bits of social commentary.
“Stan” for instance, is one of the album’s deepest tracks, where a die-hard fan of Eminem writes a continuous string of letters to his idol, only to be ignored. In the song’s final verse, we see a more down to earth Eminem replying, explaining to his fan that he doesn’t expect his listeners to take him seriously, yet it’s too late. “The Way I Am” shows off another incredible new style, as from a man that just doesn’t want to be bothered by you. “Marshall Mathers”, is perhaps the most ruthless song on the album, where Em slaughters just about every sucker who’s dissed him in the industry, not to mention distancing himself from the new wave of pop acts people somehow like to associate him with – and everybody gets it raw. “Who Knew” is another excellent exercise in testing your average Church-goer’s patience. Em delightfully asks, “You want me to fix up lyrics, while the president gets his dick sucked?” and shortly follows up with “I don’t cuss that much do I? / Fuck. Shit. Bitch. Ass. Cunt. Shooba De Doo Wop.” Here Em purposely lets out a barrage of cuss words, for the simple joy of testing your uptight parents’ patience.
Em opens the usual can of insanity on tracks like “Remember Me”, a 2001 leftover, packing great chemistry between him, RBX and Sticky Fingaz; not to mention “Amityville”, a Detroit anthem with Bizarre, where the duo paint a picture of what insane place their hometown is. Although “Kim”, the infamous prequel to “Bonnie & Clyde”, is the song that just takes things too far, where Eminem disturbingly recreates the moments before (and during) the hypothetical murdering of his girlfriend.
On the lighter side of things, you really aren’t going to see too many “fun” songs like “I’m Shady” or even “My Fault” on this album. Clean album buyers will enjoy the South Park inspired “The Kids”, while the unnecessarily jiggy “Drug Ballad” somehow sneaks on to this otherwise dark album. “Criminal” and the album’s opener, “I’ll Kill You”, both are rich in sarcastic sickness, with a combination of incredible delivery, cadence, mic presence, and lyrics. Those looking for Em’s styles over the sticky-icky Dr. Dre shit, will get a kick out of both “I’m Back” and the posse cut, “Bitch Please 2″. But this is as fun as it gets – (but who’s complaining?)
Overall, this album will make an even more significant mark than his last one. Everything said on it is basically opening up a whole new can of worms for him to deal with. He knows what he is doing, he isn’t oblivious to the fact that this material is shocking and offensive, and he does go over the top. But, at the same time, he makes intelligent social commentary about overprotective parents who want to believe that Eminem and MTV are responsible for their own shortcomings. Dreadfully, the other issue concerning this album is the unthinkable, as Em proclaims on “I’ll Kill You”. “I’ma be another rapper dead, for running off at the mouth for shit that I shouldn’t have said!”
Long live the king. – DJ Pizzo
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