The Marshall Mathers LP
The bulk of the Marshall Matherswas written in Amsterdam, with producer Dr. Dre
holding a telephone to his speakers so Eminem could hear the beats. "The
Real Slim Shady," the first single and a huge hit, was written back in the
United States, as the deadline neared and no radio-friendly singles were yet
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In the week following its release, it sold 1.7 million copies, becoming the fastest-selling rap album in history. While it received a great deal of critical praise, its enormous success also provoked a backlash from dissenting critics and social activists, most notably GLAAD, who protested Eminem's use of the word "fag" in several songs. Others claimed that the rapper's lyrics were extremely misogynistic, an allegation that generally centered around the songs "Kill You" and "Kim."
Such protests reached a climax when the album was nominated for four Grammy awards in 2001, including Album of the Year. At the ceremony, Eminem performed "Stan" with famous homosexual artist Elton John on piano in an attempt to silence GLAAD and others who claimed his lyrics were homophobic. The Marshall Mathers LP went on to win Best Rap Album of the Year, but lost to Steely Dan's Two Against Nature for Album of the Year.
As evidenced by Eminem's decision to include his real name in the album's title, this is a more serious and personal album than his major-label debut, The Slim Shady LP, which predominantly featured his exaggerated Slim Shady persona. Much of the CD is spent addressing his rise to fame and attacking those who criticized his first album. Other themes include his relationship with his family, most notably his mother and Kim Mathers, his wife who he subsequently divorced but has remarried in 2006, but divorced again after only 86 days of marriage. The album is considerably darker than his debut; its famous "The Real Slim Shady" single is one of the only upbeat and comical tracks.
Much of the first half of the album is produced by Dr. Dre and Mel-Man, who typically employ sparse, stripped-down beats, allowing Eminem's rapping to take center-stage. F.B.T. Productions and Eminem produced most of the second half, which ranges from the laid-back guitars of "Marshall Mathers" to the gritty atmosphere of "Amityville." The only outside producer on the album is The 45 King, who provides a haunting beat for the famous "Stan" single that samples Dido's "Thank You" with the addition of a slow bassline.
The album is widely considered by fans to be Eminem's best work, and was also his most commercially successful, going 9x platinum in the U.S. In 2003, the album was ranked number 302 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It is considered a hip-hop classic by many fans.
Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) Track listings & Lyrics