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The Marshall Mathers LP

Release Date: 05.23.00
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.


And You Thought the Slim Shady LP Was Raw
by: bill aicher

An unbelievable thing happened last year when Eminem released The Slim Shady LP. He actually did the unthinkable, and became a respected white rap artist.

The Slim Shady LP was well-received by fans, but many people were sickened by it as well. There was no denying this was a fucked-up album - and that is one thing that made it sell. Eminem showed no reservation in his lyrics, and sang about things people just didn't sing about. However, there was no denying that it was a great album, and it helped bring rap music to a broader audience.

Now Eminem has returned with The Marshall Mathers LP and this time around he decided to be more raw than before. If you thought the last album was dirty and vulgar, then don't bother reading any farther - this album is worse.

Most of the new songs revolve around what has happened to Slim since the first album. The main theme throughout the disc is about how he is still hardcore, and that he hasn't changed. The other prevelant theme is the problems he has with what people think of him. In "Who Knew," Eminem sings about how his music is just his music and that he isn't trying to affect people - that not all the problems in the world are due to him. The big question I have is if he doesn't care what people think, why is he rapping about it?

The first single, "The Real Slim Shady," has blown up on MTV. If you haven't heard it yet, It focuses mostly on the fact that he is keeping it real, and that he hates all the pop music, etc. Eminem's tongue-in-cheek, don't give a fuck attitude takes on a sarcastic style, which makes it a funny, yet intelligent song. The only problem is that it doesn't really fit on the disc. The majority of the album is much darker than this, and the style doesn't really fit - no matter where it is placed on the tracklisting.

Stylistically the album is similar to the last one. Dr. Dre produced this one as well as the last, and the Dre beats and sampling are obvious.

The big exception is the song "Stan," which is the high point of the album. This one takes an East-Coast vocal sampling style over a West-Coast Dre beat. It is a great track about an obsessed fan's letters and the effect Eminem has had on people. The song is beautifully crafted and the emotional rollercoaster contained in the letters is matched perfectly in Eminem's rap style changes. Definitely one of the smartest tracks on the album.

Overall, this is just another Eminem album. He swears more than before. He says stuff to piss people off more than before. It just seems like he is trying too hard now. Guest artists like Dr. Dre and the RZA help out - but the album gets to be too long at 18 tracks.

If you are looking for hip-hop that talks about serious issues, then pass up on this disc. You have to know what Eminem is like by now, and if you do then this is great.

As Eminem points out - he just says the stuff we say behind closed doors with our intimate friends. He just says it out loud. 24-Jun-2000 4:00 PM