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 first introduction to Eminem was through the Marshall Mathers LP, the record that launched him to superstar status. That album generated critical raves and public outrage in equal measure and forced pretty much everybody to have an opinion about the rapper.
I was a huge fan of the album, despite its often disturbing content, but I wasn’t sure if it was a one-off or if I could truly call myself an Eminem fan.
After seeing Ben Folds in concert recently my sister made the astute observation that Folds is half sensitive, perceptive songwriter and half obnoxious frat boy. She’s a big fan of the former and not too keen on the latter, and was upset that the frat boy played a prominent role in the live show.
Well, Eminem is sort of like that times a thousand. He’s guilty of some of the most obnoxious, juvenile and downright stupid lyrics known to man but he’s also capable of real insight and emotional honesty. Songs such as ‘Stan,’ ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ and ‘Sing for the Moment’ are both great music and gut-wrenching poetry. But ‘Big Weenie,’ ‘Ass Like That’ and ‘Cum on Everybody’ … well, I’ll let the titles speak for themselves.