Tuesday, February 23, 1999

Eminem released his debut album, The Slim Shady LP: February 23, 1999

“The audacious debut from the snot heard round the world.” ZS “Hip-hop had never heard anything like Em’s brain-damaged rhymes…which earned Em respect, fortune, fame and a lawsuit from his mom.” RS He was “more shocking than Marilyn Manson, more offensive than Andrew Dice Clay” ZS with detractors arguing that “his talent doesn’t outweigh the misogynistic lyrics.” ZS Indeed, he served up “lacerating insights with vigor and venom, blurring the line between reality and parody, all seemingly without effort.” AMG

The Slim Shady LP bristles with this tension, since it’s never always clear when Marshall Mathers is joking and when he’s dead serious.” AMG “Nowhere is this more true than on ’97 Bonnie and Clyde, a notorious track where he imagines killing his wife and then disposing of the body with his baby daughter in tow. There have been more violent songs in rap, but few more disturbing, and it’s not because of what it describes, it’s how he describes it – how the perfectly modulated phrasing enhances the horror and black humor of his words.” AMG

“In the first single, My Name Is, he’s self-deprecating, rapping about his poor upbringing and his hairy palms. But on the very next song, Guilty Conscience, he plays the devil to Dr. Dre’s angel – that is, until Eminem brings up an incident from Dre’s devilish past, rapping, ‘You gonna take advice from someone who slapped Dee Barnes?’” AZ

“But he isn’t a straight-up gangsta.” AZ “At a time when many rappers were stuck in the stultifying swamp of gangsta clichĂ©s, Eminem broke through the hardcore murk by abandoning the genre’s familiar themes and flaunting a style with more verbal muscle and imagination than any of his contemporaries.” AMG “Years later…it’s those lyrical skills and the subtle mastery of the music that still resonate, and they’re what make The Slim Shady LP one of the great debuts in both hip-hop and modern pop music.” AMG


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