Eminem knows how to make waves.
Fifteen years ago, he proved it with The Marshall Mathers LP, a project that earned commercial success, critical acclaim and controversy to boot. Famed critic Kurt Loder, for instance, called it a "masterful and truly disturbing album" in a piece for MTV News back when the LP dropped. Looking back, it's hard to argue with Loder.
There are plenty of offensive and, as Loder put it, "disturbing," lyrics on the album. Despite its often vile content, though, the project's still making waves as one of the genre's most significant efforts of the 2000s thus far. How? Well, we decided to take it back to May 23, 2000 to rediscover MMLP's most "masterful" qualities and here they are, in GIF form.
Marshall Mathers Got Personal
Em intended to get personal with this album, as he told TRL in 2000, and he succeeded. He dissected a troubled childhood and volatile relationship with his mother on songs like "Kill You." He attacked his wife (at the time) on "Kim" and addressed addiction on "Drug Ballad." Clearly, Em was dealing with personal demons in his home life and he was willing to share it all on record.
He Voiced His Frustrations With FameEminem
Em wasn't just upset with his home life; he was also conflicted about fame. He used "Stan," widely considered one of his greatest efforts, to creatively vent about obsessive fans. While other tracks, like "Who Knew" and "The Way I Am," showed how upset he was under the intrusively bright spotlight.
Eminem's Intricate Rhyme Style ShinedEminem
Even if you hate Eminem's lyrical content, it's hard to knock his dexterity. Listening back to tracks like "Criminal" and "I'm Back," you can hear Em's technical prowess as he packs unbelievable rhymes and poetic devices in raps without sacrificing his message.
His Flows Were Out Of This WorldEminem
"The Way I Am" is often justly seen as the best example of Em's extraordinary flow. He used the same rhythmic pattern for the whole song, finding the beat perfectly with each bar. But that's just one example. Listen to the LP again and you'll hear Em weave through each instrumental with ease like few others can.
Lets Not Forget Those Beats Were Bangin'Eminem
Ill rhymes and flows aren't complete without a dope beat. Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mel-Man, Mark Bass, Jeff Bass and The 45 King all brought stellar production to the project, instrumentals that were both diverse and potent. From the Dido sample on "Stan" with its rain drops and pencil scribbles, to the piano loop on "The Way I Am," Em had the perfect canvas for his art.
And His Unapologetic Humor Made You Laugh (And Cringe)Eminem
Whether impersonating Tom Green or "a 26-year-old skinny Cartman," Eminem spun jokes into nearly every song. For an album that carries dark undertones and personal angst, Em balances things out with crass comedy that ranges from uncomfortable to horrible to hilarious. And when it came to jokes, he didn't spare anyone, not even himself.
Need A Reminder? Check It Out For Yourself