I was a big Eminem fan through his first three albums. The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show are all classic examples of his writing and rapping skills forming a perfect marriage with his subject matter.
That subject matter weaved between his personal demons and the societal impact of his work, and he had provocative things to say about both.
Here’s a great track from Eminem’s 2013 album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, a sequel to his breakthrough 2000 The Marshall Mathers LP.
I don’t know if it’s on me or Eminem, but this is the last album of his I really responded to. He followed it with Revival in 2017, an album I listened to twice and immediately forgot. Then came the surprise 2018 drop of Kamikaze, which I gave just one listen before tuning out.
This is a very timely Random Weekend selection, as Eminem’s 1999 The Slim Shady LP celebrated its 20th anniversary exactly one week ago.
This was Eminem’s second full-length album and his first with Interscope records. While his debut album, 1996’s Infinite, sold only 1,000 copies, this record was a massive success, going quadruple platinum and kicking off a period where he was the most talked about and listened to rapper in the industry.
My #4 album of 2000 is a record I still consider Eminem’s best: The Marshall Mathers LP. The celebrated rapper has put out a number of great albums since this one (including The Eminem Show and the Marshall Mathers sequel) but this record’s culture-shattering impact gives it the edge.
Through today’s lens this album seems almost tame but at the time it ignited a firestorm of controversy over free speech and satire. Second Lady Lynne Cheney lambasted the album and called on the music industry to adopt age restrictions. The controversy just helped propel the album to a then-record 1.76 millions sales in its first week alone.
All of you CrossFitters and Orange Theorists, get ready. Day 22 of the 30 Day Music Challenge asks for the name of ‘A Song That Motivates You.’
I immediately thought of this in the context of physical activity because that’s the way I typically see motivational music presented in commercials. But I’m sure we all listen to music to motivate ourselves for other reasons — a big presentation, a test, you name it. Let’s see what my dear readers come up with.