Eminem's highly anticipated and already controversial follow-up to his triple-platinum 1999 album, The Slim Shady LP, tops the list of new CDs in stores this week.
Also out Tuesday are Middle Finger U by Sauce Money who wrote the Puff Daddy hit "I'll Be Missing You" Dilated Peoples' The Platform and The Unbound Project Volume 1.
Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP, whose title refers to the rapper's birth name, flirts with alternative rock. It includes the single "The Real Slim Shady" (RealAudio excerpt), a radio and MTV hit that takes lyrical swipes at Christina Aguilera and other pop stars.
"It's going to be big, big, big, huge, huge, huge!" Frank Lucas, senior buyer for Virgin Megastore in San Francisco, said of the album.
The Detroit rapper is still riding the wave of his 1999 debut, The Slim Shady LP, which has remained on the Billboard 200 albums chart for 64 weeks, now sitting at #28. He also raps on two songs on Dr. Dre's Dr. Dre 2001, including the hit "Forgot About Dre."
Sauce Money's Middle Finger U has "that smash-mouth football, real rugged kind of sound, with aggressive lyrics," the rapper (born Tony Gaither) said recently.
Sauce Money got his start rhyming on records by Big Jaz and Jay-Z. His "I'll Be Missing You," which Puff Daddy turned into a pop smash, was a tribute to the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.
Guest appearances include Jay-Z, Lil' Kim and Memphis Bleek. Puff Daddy produced one song, "Star Wars." The first single is "For My Hustlaz" (RealAudio excerpt).
Dilated Peoples' The Platform includes the Los Angeles group's 1997 underground hit "Work the Angles" (RealAudio excerpt). Dilated Peoples are on tour with Black Star's Talib Kweli and Jurassic 5.
The Unbound Project Volume 1, a compilation of underground rappers and spoken-word artists voicing their concerns about criminal injustice, features contributions by Blackalicious, Talib Kweli of Black Star, West Coast rapper Aceyalone, Rakaa-Iriscience of Dilated Peoples and Medina Green.
"It's most appropriate as a hip-hop record because it's really the hip-hop generation that's suffering by the legislature and the misrepresentation by the media," Frank Sosa, one of the project's organizers, said.
The Unbound Project's first single, "Mumia 911," was released late last year.