Good morning Avocados and welcome to my third artist spotlight on this new website. If you haven’t read a M-AM Artist Spotlight before, I like to discuss a little history about the artist and/or my own personal connections to. From there I then transition to which songs I like best from them from each album or I list the ones I do together under a “Best Of” compilation of my creation. So, rest assured you’ll be reading a review that comes from a place of love. I usually focus on musical artists that are huge or well known in the music world but get a lot of what I feel is undue hate. So, I write these spotlights with the hope I can convince the haters to give said act another chance or introduce the uninitiated into a band that I really love. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t sometimes talk about an unknown act in the effort to expose them to as many new people as possible. I may also do an artist spotlight on a well-known and well-liked band just to give my own reasons for liking them.
But for today’s review, things are going to be a little bit different. This will be the 2nd part of an artist spotlight that Ankai originally did on the old Disqus website. In part 1, Ankai focused on Eminem’s early work and is done from the perspective of someone who grew up in the 90’s. My review picks up his career in the mid 2000’s starting with Encore and is from the perspective of someone born in 96. So, reading both will give you a wide ranging POV of Eminem that you may not have read before. The link to Ankai’s part 1 is down below.
And yes, this artist spotlight is a redux of one that I’ve done before in the past retrofitted to fit the standards I have for myself today. This will be the case for the first 25 artist spotlights I post on this website as they all will be reuploads of my prior work. Now with that out of the way, let’s begin in earnest.
So, this review is going to be a little different. Usually I start off by providing a brief history of the artist’s life before fame. But Ankai already did a masterful job of that in part 1 so scratch that. Instead, I’m going to list the songs I like from each album before Encore and then continue where Ankai left off.
I haven’t heard Infinite. Let me know down below what I’m missing.
The Slim Shady LP
1.) My Name Is
2.) Brain Damage
3.) If I Had
4.) Role Model
5.) Rock Bottom
6.) As The World Turns
7.) I’m Shady
8.) Bad Meets Evil (feat. Royce Da 5’9″)
9.) Still Don’t Give a Fuck
The Marshall Mathers LP
1.) Kill You
3.) Who Knew
4.) The Way I Am
5.) The Real Slim Shady
6.) I’m Back
7.) Marshall Mathers
8.) Drug Ballad
10.) Bitch Please II (feat. Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Xzybit and Dr. Dre)
11.) Under the Influence
The Eminem Show
1.) White America
2.) ‘Till I Collapse
4.) Cleanin’ Out My Closet
5.) Sing for the Moment
6.) Without Me
7.) Square Dance
9.) When the Music Stops
11.) Hallie’s Song
12.) Say Goodbye Hollywood
I just want to make it clear that I really love early Eminem a lot. In my opinion, I think each of these albums are classic masterpieces that tell a vivid story of the human condition from a regular guy just venting out his frustrations to the world. Eminem was a rapper who had nothing to lose and it shows in his “don’t give a fuck attitude.” Personally, I find that endearing but I could do without the sexism and misogynism that seeps on through in most of his songs. But hey, that’s who Marshall Mathers is. You take the good with the bad and just embrace what you like from both. Just like life in that regard. I think I like The Eminem Show more than Slim Shady and Marshall Mathers, but that may just be me. Let me know what is your favorite Eminem album down below.
I also just wanted to say that I think it’s a little interesting that he hates all races, genders and people equally. Say what you want about the man, but he is fair in his hatred of every person not named Hailie, Alaina, and Whitney. And by all accounts he is a loving and caring father who I think literally would kill a mofo if they ever did anything to his kids. That’s a type of chivalry that I respect and helps me like his work even more. Because say what you will, Eminem is sincere in what he says and what he does. Now with that out of the way, let’s begin in earnest.
I personally think the appeal in Eminem’s music comes straight from his honesty and no bullshit philosophy that he lives his day to day life with. What you’re getting from Em is an uncensored view on the world from a guy who was originally a struggling white rapper from 8 Mile Detroit. He grew up in the lower middle class and saw first hand the systematic racism that Blacks and other minorities had to deal with on a day to day basis. Eminem has his own ideas on why the world sucks and is not afraid to let you know about it.
I think the other main reason why Eminem is so popular has to do with how willing and able he has been to talk about his personal life on his songs. Just like what is so often is the case with other artist’s, regular people can relate to a singer or band when they know more about their own love life and can vicariously put themselves in the writer’s shoes. This helped Eminem become the star that he is today, and I just wanted to point that out.
And lastly, the man just knows how to make sick beats and flows that are just fun to listen to. He knows how to make kickass songs that you can’t help but bump your head to.
Now with that being said, let’s continue this Eminem review with his 5th studio LP, 2004’s Encore.
1.) Evil Deeds
2.) Never Enough
3.) Like Toy Soldiers
4.) Just Lose It
6.) Crazy In Love
7.) One Shot 2 Shot
8.) Spend Some Time
9.) Rain Man
11.) Yellow Brick Road
13.) We As Americans
14.) Love You More
15.) Ricky Ticky Toc
16.) Encore/ Curtains Down
Released on November 12th, 2004, Encore sold 23 million copies worldwide and went 5 times Platinum. As you may have noticed, there are more songs from Encore that I like than any other album proceeding it. What you’ve may not have noticed however, is that I changed the order of some of the songs and included a few of the B-Side Tracks to make my own version of Encore. When put in this order, the flow of Encore is MUCH BETTER and makes for a better listening experience. I heard once before that the “good” Eminem ended halfway through Encore (right after the song “Mosh”) but I feel that there was a still a good complete album there, it was just mixed wrong with the wrong songs spotlighted and included.
One thing is for sure, however, as Encore marked the official end of prime Eminem and the point in time when he popularity was the highest. The late 2000’s also saw Marshall Mathers in a bad place personally with the lowest being in 2006. In that one year, he married and divorced his wife Kim, relapsed badly with his drug and alcohol addiction to the point he almost died, and was devastated when his best friend Proof died in a drive by.
Most people would never come back from that terrible of a year, but thanks to the support of his mom and kids, Eminem overcame these and was a better man for it. While he is still the same misogynistic dude he’s always been, Mathers became content with who he is and what he has done throughout his life. Mathers has been in a better place ever since.
Now I feel like this is the best time to mention there a few songs Eminem has released throughout his career that has seen a release on a proper LP. I took it upon myself to compile the best of these songs into a small compilation album under the name “Curtain Call: The Hits” (using the same artwork used for Eminem’s 2005 best hits collection).
Curtain Call: The Hits
1.) Lose Yourself
2.) When I’m Gone
3.) Deja Vu
4.) Shake That
5.) You Don’t Know That
6.) Detroit Vs. Everybody
These songs even include recent ones like 2014’s Detroit vs. Everybody. I personally think Eminem is at his best on the song “Déjà Vu”. It is my favorite Eminem song and it’s not even close. He’s so candid about his near-death experience with drugs and alcohol and just how alone he was in 2006. It’s amazing and something that stands out in as great of a career that he has had.
For those who didn’t know, Eminem stared in a movie back in 2002 called 8-Mile. Lose Yourself was a song he made for it and was on the soundtrack of the movie’s album. I also just wanted to take this time to let you know that Eminem is the most successful Rapper of all time, selling over 172 million albums worldwide to date. He’s the sixth-best selling artist in the United States ever and the 2nd best male selling artist in the Nielsen Era.
With a renewed sense of motivation, Marshall Mathers brought back the Slim Shady persona for his 6th studio album 2009’s “Relapse.” Now I’m going to say it right now. While Encore had Eminem on a creative drug high, Relapse saw Slim Shady filtering all of his addictions and inner demons. As a result, I think Relapse suffers for it. There are a few good songs here, but on the whole Relapse is not his best work. The best thing that came from this album was that it gave Eminem a good starting off point to get his creative juices flowing again. It also made his next studio LP, 2010’s Recovery all the more rewarding.
1.) Cold Wind Blows
2.) Talkin’ 2 Myself
3.) On Fire
4.) Won’t Back Down (feat. Pink)
5.) W.T.P (White Trash Party)
6.) Not Afraid
7.) Cinderella Man
8.) So Bad
9.) Almost Famous
10.) Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna)
Eminem’s 7th studio album, Recovery was released on June 18th, 2010 and has sold 15 million copies worldwide. It is also the best-selling digital album in U.S history to this day and best-selling album of 2010. Along with 2002’s The Eminem Show, Eminem became the first artist EVER to have two best-selling albums of the year. (Adele would break this later in 2011 and 2012, doing it in back to back years. She would also become the first artist ever to have 3 best-selling albums of the year with 2015’s 25).
I’m not kidding when I say I think Recovery is Eminem’s best album ever. From top to bottom it’s nearly perfect and a definite return to form to his Eminem Show days. Marshall Mathers takes front and center with this album and I have to say it is my favorite album from him to date. Why is that? This album is nothing BUT a man hungry to make a GOOD quality album and isn’t afraid to let the world know it. He is honest as ever with the flows lyrics to back it up. He’s straight to the point, and that point is to tell the world what he’s been dealing with but is all better now and back to make a noise. It’s fucking amazing. I got to say, for those who haven’t heard it yet, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Check it out.
Eminem reunited with Royce Da 5’9″ to bring back Bad Meets Evil. They released an EP in 2011 and I am sure it is great. I haven’t heard it yet, so maybe a fan of theirs can let me know down below.
In 2012, Eminem announced his 8th studio album. It was The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2
2.) Asshole (feat. Skylar Grey)
4.) Rap God
5.) Monster (feat. Rihanna)
6.) So Much Better
Released on November 5th, 2013, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 has sold 9 million copies worldwide and proved that Eminem still knows how to sell a record. I don’t hate this album, but it’s definitely not as good as The Marshall Mathers LP 1. In fact, if it wasn’t for Relapse, this album would probably be my least favorite of his yet. I’ve heard that others like this album and songs that I didn’t mention a lot though, so maybe I’m in the minority. Let me know down below.
In 2014, Eminem released Shady XV to the general public. But don’t get it twisted, it’s more of a spotlight on artist’s than a proper Eminem LP. While this album does nothing for me, you may want to check it out to judge it for yourself.
In 2015, Dr. Dre released the “Compton” soundtrack based off that movie of the same name, and featured Eminem in a song named “Medicine Man.”
This is honestly really amazing and I just had to mention it here.
On October 19th 2016 Eminem announced that he was working on his 9th studio album and released a song for the occasion called Campaign Speech.
He has since released the first official song for the album, now called Revival, that is a collaboration with Beyoncé. The song is called “Walk On Water” but there is still no official date for Revival’s release. With any hope it’s as good as Recovery and someone on here decides to do an album review of it when it official drops. I would do it, but I’m not good actually explaining the intricacies of why an album works or not. I just know that I like music.
And that’s it, Eminem. He’s lived a hell of a life that’s for sure. Let me know down below what do you think of Eminem and if there are any songs from him that you like that I’ve omitted from above. I look forward to the feedback.