I wouldn't have bought it. Despite being fond enough of Eminem, mainly for his danceability and the way he actually brings musical and production skills to his rap, I'm just not keen enough on the genre to fork out money for it. Unlike YourZ, who has more rap than Christmas paper.
I do like this album, especially Stan and The Real Slim Shady, although his homophobic rants do make me wince. There's no doubting his talent and at least he's not always going on about doing his hos doggie-style or getting his knob sucked, which other rap artists seem to be obsessed with. And I can understand him - he's not using some obscure gangsta slang which goes right over my head.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
Marshall Mathers aka Slim Shady or Eminem, is a rarity in the world of rap.
First of all, to state the obvious, he's white.
Secondly, his lyrics, for the most part, display humour, intelligence and a level of self-deprecation not often seen in a genre more noted for its gangsta bragging and playa culture.
Thirdly, and this one I probably admire the most about him, he's done this despite the hype, despite the criticism and while going pretty much against the whole ‘cult of celebrity’ thing.
This album, much like his previous album, The Slim Shady LP, sees him firing verbal shots at just about everyone: celebrities, fans, critics, family and even himself. But it's the almost-sensitive Stan, with the hauntingly beautiful Dido sample, that elevates this record way above everything else in the genre. The story and the delivery border on genius, a word I don't think has much place in modern music but I truly believe it's deserved here.
Personally, I like Eminem. I like how he takes the piss, how he stirs the pot and how he keeps things interesting for himself. He might cop a fair amount from critics and moral groups but it only serves to show just how senseless these groups can be. Ground-breaking artists always invite controversy and Eminem is no exception.
As far as a lot of other rap goes, I can take it or leave it (mostly leave it). In Eminem's case, though, I'm glad I took it.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP, MOFO
For more information: http://www.eminem.com/
In our collection, we also have Curtain Call