Released on May 23, 2000, a year after Eminem’s breakout album The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP proved to more successful than its predecessor. Featuring a stirring combination of fiction, humor, horror, satire and documentary, much of the album addresses his rise to fame and attacks those who criticized his previous album.
The album also features more introspective lyricism and extreme controversy. Led by the mega-popular “The Real Slim Shady” in he which praises his brash and confident alter-ego, the Detroit born hip hop king implies that there’s a little bit of “Slim Shady” in all of us.
The landmark album features the usual impeccable production from both Dr. Dre and Mel-Man who employed their typical pulsating, yet, stripped-down beats, to put more focus on Eminem’s vocals. The background music also employs “liquid basslines, splendid rhythms, and eerie sound effects. Other good production comes from the Bass Brothers, and the 45 King, whose brilliant sample of Dido’s song “Thank You” made the emotional “Stan” shine, while using the same hook.
Branded with Em’s birth name, The Marshall Mathers LP sold more than 1.76 million copies in the US in the first week alone, becoming the fastest-selling studio album by any solo artist in American music history. In 2001, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. By 2012, the album had sold 11,000,000 copies in the United States and more than 32 million copies worldwide.
Most songs cover Eminem’s childhood struggles and family issues, involving his mother (“Kill You”), relationship struggles with his wife (“Kim“), his struggles with his superstardom (“Marshall Mathers“), his effect on the music industry (“Remember Me?“), and his effect on the American youth and society (“The Way I Am“). Despite the constant controversy regarding the album’s dark and vulgar content, the lyrics on the album were overwhelmingly well received among critics and the hip hop community, with many praising Em’s energy and rambunctious rhyme patterns.
A sequel to the album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, was released on November 5, 2013, and in 2006, The Marshall Mathers LP was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 greatest albums of all time
Happy 15th birthday Marshall Mathers LP. Today, you are still a staple in every true hip hop fan’s collection.