It's crazy to think that it has been 10 years since we witnessed the dysfunctional show hosted by Marshall Mathers. It was a show filled with humor, passion, regret, rage and believe it or not, love. The Eminem Show was Em's fourth album and along with The Marshall Mathers LP, it is also his most successful one. This is also one of my favorite Eminem albums of all time, but to be honest MMLP edges it out by just a little bit. However, The Eminem Show will always have special place in my heart. It was his most complete album, and you can tell he worked his ass off with not only the lyrics, but his production too. To be honest I really feel this album should have been named The Marshall Mathers Show. Even though he touched on his personal life a little bit on his first 2 albums, he really open the curtain on this one.
By this time, Eminem was Mr. Controversial, he was riding the wave of the Marshall Mathers LP, and damn near everybody hated him. From his mama, his baby mama, pop stars, woman rights groups, gay and lesbian groups, and every other conservative group you can think of. You would think they would actually listen to the last few lines of the last track on the MMLP, he said it so clearly. However, he quickly realized people just seemed to skimmed through his music and wanted something to talk about. Eminem became Public Enemy number 1, and he was loving every moment of it. Also it seemed like with all the controversially that surrounded him, it just seemed like his fan base got bigger and bigger. That's why on the first track of the album, before he points the finger at himself, he had to talk about this "Divided States of Embarrassment" other wise known as White America.
With songs like Square Dance and Sing For The Moment, Em wasn't afraid to put up a mirror to society and let them know that they are just as fucked up as he is. That is also the reason why he put the lyrics into the booklet, so folks don't get shit twisted this time around. At the end of the day, he is a human just like everybody else, and instead of worrying about him they should just worry about themselves. Em couldn't have said any more clearer then on the last verse of the Aerosmith sampled Sing For The Moment.
They say music can alter moods and talk to you Well can it load a gun up for you and cock it too? Well if it can, and the next time you assault a dude Just tell the judge it was my fault, and I'll get sued See what these kids do is hear about us totin pistols and they want to get one cause, they think the shit's cool Not knowin we really just protectin ourselves We entertainers, of course the shit's affectin our sales You ignoramus, but music is reflection of self We just explain it, and then we get our checks in the mail It's fucked up ain't it? How we can come from practically nothin to bein able to have any fuckin thing that we wanted That's why we, sing for these kids who don't have a thing except for a dream and a fuckin rap magazine Who post pin-up pictures on they walls all day long Idolize they favorite rappers and know all they songs Or for anyone who's ever been through shit in they lives 'Til they sit and they cry at night wishin they'd die 'Til they throw on a rap record and they sit and they vibe We're nothin to you - but we're the fuckin shit in they eyes That's why we, seize the moment try to freeze it and own it Squeeze it and hold it, cause we consider these minutes golden And maybe they'll admit it when we're gone, just let our spirits live on through our lyrics that you hear in our songs..
Em's personal life has been well documented, in fact the reason why he named it The Eminem Show was because he felt his life was like a Jerry Springer episode. From having a drug addicted mother, his baby mama drama, and his run ins with the law. It really did seem like Em's life was made for a real good reality show. With Cleanin' Out My Closet, Em set the record straight about his mother, and he pretty much made it clear that there will NEVER be a rekindled relationship. He even want as far to say that his daughter Hailie wouldn't even be at her funeral. I mean shit, you know your mom hates you if she pulls a lawsuit on you. To this day, he still has the entire world screaming "Fuck you Debbie!" Even through he apologized for what ever he did to have his mom treat him so bad when he was young. He certainly ain't apologizing for how he feels about her from here on out.
When it comes to his baby mama Kim Mathers, Em want as far to recreate the incident that got him in trouble with the law. On the skit The Kiss, Em recreated the incident where he caught his wife kissing a bouncer outside a club. With a fit of rage, Em ran out and pistol whipped him with an unloaded gun. However, pistol whipping him was the best thing that could have happened to Eminem. He even stated that taking the bullets out the gun was the smartest thing he could have ever done cause he would have killed them both. He is lucky he got probation instead of prison time, and that is real talk.
Em plays out his fantasy about being a pistol packing thug on the track Solider (which is also one of my favorite tracks). However the track right after that, Say Goodbye Hollywood, played the reality of the situation almost on some Expectations Vs. Reality shit. By this point, the fame was becoming more of a curse for him then a gift. The only thing keeping him sane in his crazy life is the love of his daughter Hailie. On his most personal track, Hailie's Song is an ode to his daughter where he explains that she is the reason why he stays strong and he is the man that he is today. With songs like Superman and the D-12 assisted When The Music Stops, Em lets it be known that he don't need no female to satisfy his needs. At the end of the day, when it's all set and done all he has left is his words and his balls, word to Tony Montana.
"After The Marshall Mathers LP, I upgraded everything. Flow, rhyme character, and the whole shebang. After all these years I feel like I finally made it. Not as a superstar rapper, not as an ill-ass white boy, but as a respected emcee."-EminemThe Eminem Show was the first album where Em had creative control over everything. From lyrics and production, Em really did run the show. In my opinion the song that really showed his skills on the mic and on production was Till I Collapse. With production inspired by Queen's We Will Rock You, and Nate Dogg on the hook. the booming track shows of Em's skills to a tee. He even talks about how he doesn't trip about being left off lists of the best emcee's ever. He ain't tripping because he has a list of his own, so fuck everybody's opinion. Em's rhymes were a lot sharper and crisp on this album, you can tell he REALLY took his time to construct a cohesive album. Slim wanted to prove to everybody that he is going to be in this rap shit for a long ass time.
The Eminem Show was just the kick start of Em's massive year in the early 2000's. From signing 50 Cent, to 8 Mile, to the Anger Management Tour, Slim Shady was running shit. So what has changed after 10 years? Well for starters, the album became the highest selling album of 2002 and it went diamond just last year. Em became the first rapper to have 2 diamond albums in such a short period of time. However, with success comes a lot of dark demons, and Em had to deal with them head on. The sequel to this album was something we all don't want to talk about, Em included. However since then he has bounced back, and he has reign supreme for over a decade.
10 years later, Eminem is still on top of the rap world. He has become one of the most respect emcees in hip-hop, regardless of his skin color. The Eminem Show doesn't sound out dated either, you can still play this album from front to back without skipping a track. This was also the first Em album I ever brought, and when it went it into my walkman it NEVER came out. 10 years later I still find myself listening the album and saying the lyrics word for word. The Eminem Show certified Em's spot amongst the rap elite and he has stayed there ever since. It's hard to imagine a world without Shady, it would just be so empty without him.