Customer Review

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and unbelievably good from start to finish, 15 May 2003
This review is from: The Marshall Mathers LP (Audio CD)
The release of The Marshall Mathers LP must have driven a whole bunch of Eminem-haters crazy because, with this second album, Eminem proved he was here to stay. In my opinion, this is the best of Eminem’s first three albums, taking the rap and hip-hop up more than a few notches from the already lofty heights attained in The Slim Shady LP. This artist’s unique personal flair really bursts forth here, giving us beats and rhymes much more complex and musically adept than what had come before. In addition, Eminem has by now thoroughly come into his own. He is intentionally courting controversy, daring his critics and those who would love to have him censored or simply locked away somewhere to step outside with everything they have. Those who will look underneath the violence and the swearing and the offensive remarks Eminem makes in his lyrics will find a deeply complex person with something important to say, a man who does, in his own special way, highlight the kind of real problems many young people face in the modern world, and the accusing fingers he points in all directions often serve to highlight the problems inherent in the individual and society itself. And, as he is wont to say, he is the only person brave enough to say these things.
This album hits the floor running with Kill You, a track announcing to the world Eminem’s confidence in himself and rejection of authority and criticism. This level of comfort and confidence proves a great boon to the next track Stan, a song in which he reverses roles and plays the innocent good guy who is too late to help a deeply troubled fan. Eminem marvels at his own stardom in Who Knew and Marshall Mathers, breaks the news to the Eminem-haters that I’m Back, and taunts them all, with a little help from RBX and Sticky Fingez, with the track Remember Me?. The Way I Am is an important song, as Eminem clearly understands that his public persona is not the real Marshall Mathers but is rather whatever the people think he is; to his critics, he will always be a subversive criminal corrupting the youth of America, but to his fans he is something much different. Songs like Amityville (featuring Bizarre from D-12) and B**** Please II (with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit and Nate Dogg) raise the levels of violence and strong language up to a level that might not appeal to all Eminem fans, but the tracks are very well laid out. Criminal is the perfect ending to the album, a final statement about Eminem’s nature and the interpretation of what he does by the public at large. However, the most important track on this second album, in many ways the song that made me a fan, is Kim. This track, a prequel to the first album’s Bonnie and Clyde 97, is understandably controversial, seeing as how it is basically a fantasy about Eminem murdering his wife, but in a very, very strange way it is actually a love song of sorts. Few songs can rival it in terms of the immense power it communicates, especially toward the end when Eminem is basically shouting, letting go of all the betrayal and anger he feels inside.
I am not really into rap and hip-hop in general, so it is difficult for me to review albums such as this. Beyond trying to communicate how incredible I think The Marshall Mathers LP is, the main point I would like to make is that no one should simply dismiss this music without listening to it for themselves. Many of those who objectively give Eminem a chance will still hate the guy, but it is much better to determine your own feelings first-hand as opposed to dissing the guy simply because you’ve heard he is violent and dangerous or because some group has labeled him a bad influence on young people.
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Location: Shelby, North Carolina USA

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