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Release date: May 23, 2000
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Public Service Announcement 2000 / Kill You / Stan (10/7/00, #48a US, #1 UK, #31 RB) / Paul / Who Knew / Steve Berman / The Way I Am (8/5/00, #52a US, #8 UK, #22a RB) / The Real Slim Shady (5/6/00, #2a US, #1 UK, #10a RB, #19 MR) / Remember Me? / I’m Back / Marshall Mathers / Ken Kaniff / Drug Ballad (3/17/01, #65a RB) / Amityville / Bitch Please II (7/8/00, #51a RB) / Kim / Under the Influence / Criminal
Sales (in millions): 10.07 US, 2.23 UK, 6.0 Europe, 23.35 world
Peak: 18 US, 12 UK
Review: “It’s hard to know what to make of Eminem.” AMG “His debut, The Slim Shady LP, established [him] as a major force in both hip-hop and broader contemporary culture, but there was still doubt as to whether he would be the latest in a string of short-lived white rap novelties.” TL “Even if you know that half of what he says is sincere and half is a put-on; the trick is realizing that there’s truth in the joke, and vice versa. Many dismissed his considerable skills as a rapper and social satirist because the vulgarity and gross-out humor on The Slim Shady LP were too detailed for some to believe that it was anything but real.” AMG
“To Eminem’s credit, he decided to exploit that confusion on his masterful second record, The Marshall Mathers LP.” AMG “Rap’s superlative wordsmith blurs the line between autobiography and cartoons in hilarious and vulgar high-velocity rhymes.” UT It is “a fairly brilliant expansion of his debut, turning his spare, menacing hip-hop into a hyper-surreal, wittily disturbing thrill ride. It’s both funnier and darker than his debut, and Eminem’s writing is so sharp and clever that the jokes cut as deeply as the explorations of his ruptured psyche.” AMG “He lashed out at the hypocrisy of American society, exposed the prejudices that fuelled rap music, and held his constituency’s psychosis up to the light.” VU “The Marshall Mathers LP raised the stakes, raised his profile, and damn near raised the dead.” TL
The Way I Am
“Eminem delivered dizzying, blistering rhymes that laid bare his neuroses, his fury, and his confusion. He jumped from laugh-out-loud funny to chillingly menacing from one line to the next, and went after his critics (The Way I Am) and his fans (Stan, the mesmerizing high-wire act in a stalker’s voice) with equal fever.” TL
“The production is nearly as evocative as the raps, with liquid basslines, stuttering rhythms, slight sound effects, and spacious soundscapes. There may not be overpowering hooks on every track, but the album works as a whole, always drawing the listener in. But, once you’re in, Eminem doesn’t care if you understand exactly where he’s at, and he doesn’t offer any apologies if you can’t sort the fact from the fiction. As an artist, he’s supposed to create his own world, and with this terrific second effort, he certainly has. It may be a world that is as infuriating as it is intriguing, but it is without question his own, which is far more than most of his peers are able to accomplish at the dawn of a new millennium.” AMG
The Real Slim Shady
Resources and Related Links:
- Eminem’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
- album page on DMDB website (even more in-depth look at album)
- AMG All Music Guide review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
- TL Time Magazine’s All-TIME 100 Albums by Josh Tyrangiel and Alan Light (11/13/06).
- UT USA Today, Top 40 Albums – the USA Today Way (12/5/2003).
- VU VH1 Ultimate Albums TV series (2002-03).