Review #145: The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem

Karla Clifton
3 min readAug 6, 2021

#145: The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem

I’ve talked about how much I love Eminem here, here, here, here, and here. But it’s actually not in vogue to like Eminem anymore. Billie Eilish, who rocks super hard (everyone listen to her new album Happier Than Ever), said that Eminem “terrifies” her.

My general stance on Eminem is that he got away with way too much, but I love his music anyway. There’s really no excuse for a song like “Kim,” but how can you deny a song like “Stan” or “The Way I Am?” As for all the violence, what can I say? I grew up watching South Park.

Listen, Eminem has never been accused of abuse by anyone, including his ex-wife Kim. Sounds like they just cheated on each other a lot. I’m not saying that we should all look up to Eminem, I’m just saying that we’re all entitled to the catharsis of free speech.

You just can’t deny the catchy beat and lyrics and those super fun sound effects. Listening to Eminem is like being at a murder theme park. Itchy & Scratchyland, if you will.

FAVORITE SONGS:

“Public Service Announcement 2000” — I can’t lie, I think this one is funny. Slim Shady is fed up with your shit/And he’s going to kill you.

“Kill You” — Wow, lot of “mom” jokes and “slut” jokes. I know it’s a little misogynistic, I just like how he raps. I’m sorry, Billie Eilish!

“Stan” — This Dido sample is brilliant. I love how the song starts out just awkward and weird and then gets slowly darker. I do think it’s a little funny that Em writes Stan back at the end — maybe I wouldn’t have included that verse but what do I know.

“Paul” — Lol okay all these skits are funny.

“The Way I Am” Cuz I AM whatever you SAY I am/If I wasn’t than WHY would I SAY I am?! This is a play on that Eric B. & Rakim song, “As The Rhyme Goes On”! Marilyn Manson reference hasn’t aged great.

“The Real Slim Shady” — I think this song had a kind of weird, not-so-great cultural impact, but it’s such a fun song — I caught myself head bobbing compulsively like I’m some kind of 16-year old boy from 2002. Y’all act like you never seen a white person before is one of the funniest opening lines ever! However, the Christina Aguilera reference hasn’t aged great either.

“I’m Back” — Eminem loves coming back to places.

“Drug Ballad” — On an album that’s mostly a bunch of jocular tunes about doing bad things, this one is actually pretty sobering.

“Criminal”CRIMINAL!

LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:

“Marshall Mathers” — Hate when Eminem tries to sing.

“Ken Kaniff” — GROSS. This song (and the next one) kind of felt like punishment.

“Amityville” — I liked it at first but it does get repetitive, especially when he sounds like the cookie monster.

“Kim” — I hate this song. People defend it as a “sick love song” but they forget that it’s a five-minute-long murder fantasy about his REAL wife?! I get that Eminem isn’t casting himself as the hero, but good God. Imagine being married to someone who wrote that about you.

IS RS FULL OF IT?

The sheer length of this album really hurts it for me, I think. All the fun, hilarious, cartoon-violence songs are at the beginning. An hour later, all the songs are dark and threatening in a more real way, and “Kim” makes me want to throw up a little.

But, do I think it belongs here? Of course I do.

Review #144: Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin

Review #146: Parallel Lines, Blondie

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