Sorry, but Eminem does not appear at all in VH1's list of the top 100 artists of all time! According to their list, the best artist of all time was The Beatles.
Encore (stylized as ƎNCORE) is the fifth studio album by American rapper Eminem. Its release was set for November 16, 2004, but was moved up to November 12 (coincidentally, exactly eight years to the day his debut album, Infinite, was released) after the album was leaked to the Internet. Encore sold 710,000 copies in its first three days. Encore sold 1,582,000 copies in its first two weeks of release in the United States in November 2004, and was certified quadruple-platinum in mid-December. As of May 13, 2012, it had sold 5.288 million copies in the US. Nine months after its release, worldwide sales of the album stood at 18 million copies. Critical reception was generally positive. However, most critics and fans alike did note the subpar quality of the lyrics, which were more simplistic when compared to his previous albums. The album was nominated for three Grammys at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards including for Best Rap Album but lost to Kanye West's Late Registration. The album made digital history in becoming the first album to sell 10,000 digital copies in one week.
The album contains several lyrical themes, including Eminem's relationship with his ex-wife, Kim, ("Puke", and "Love You More"), their daughter Hailie Jade Mathers ("Mockingbird"), his childhood ("Yellow Brick Road"), his relationships with his parents ("Evil Deeds"), and opposition to then-American President George W. Bush ("Mosh" and "We As Americans") "Just Lose It" is a parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It", as well as a Pepsi commercial in 1984. Similar to Eminem's previous album, The Eminem Show, Encore opens with a skit called "Curtains Up", indicative of the start of the show.
Eminem has stated on numerous occasions (including on his 2010 album Recovery) that it was during the recording of Encore that he began to form an addiction to prescription drugs, and that he was not pleased with the album.
In "We As Americans", the line "Fuck money, I don't rap for dead presidents, I'd rather see the president dead" has "dead" censored with a DJ scratch in "See the president dead" on both clean and explicit versions of the album. Simultaneously with the original, a censored version was released, from which the profanities, violent and sexual content, as well the drug references had been edited.
"My 1st Single" has a bleep instead of a muted part in the verse "This was supposed to be my first single, my I just fucked that up. Fuck it let's all have some fun" like the clean version of "The Real Slim Shady". The word "ass" is left uncensored in "Yellow Brick Road", "One Shot 2 Shot", "Encore" and "We As Americans", but is censored out in "Ass Like That", "Mosh", "Spend Some Time", "My 1st Single", and "Just Lose It", and also in the song "Rain Man", the word "ass" was used twice, but only censored once. The word "goddamn" was left uncensored in "Spend Some Time." In the "clean" version's album booklet, the written lyrics have been removed, however on the songs "Puke", "My 1st Single" and "Just Lose It", lyrics were changed to avoid long censorship. Other profanities on all other songs are blanked out; and the song "Ass Like That" is listed as "A** Like That". The song "Encore/Curtains Down" has the shooting sequence at the end of the track removed on the censored album. Also, on the track "One Shot 2 Shot", the intro to the song is removed and the song starts at the first chorus, with more lines blanked out during the remainder of the track. Also, in "One Shot 2 Shot", during Kon Artis' verse, the word "fuck" was left uncensored.
The album featured two covers, the first cover features Eminem standing in front of an audience, bowing to the crowd. The tray insert features Eminem holding a gun behind his back. The inlay shows Eminem holding the pistol in his mouth without the jacket of his shirt and tie. The CD itself shows a note written by Eminem saying "To my family & All my friends, thank you for everything, I will Always love you. To my fans, I'm Sorry, Marshall" with a bullet underneath the note. The note is also seen in the album's booklet, where Eminem is writing the note. Some pictures show Eminem shooting everybody, which makes a reference to the ending of the album's title track. The second cover features the same audience from the tray insert on a black background with a blood splat on the top right. This cover is used for the Shady Collecter's Edition.
Upon its release, Encore received positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 64, based on 26 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".
Despite the commercial success of the album, it has been subject to some criticism for its tone and simplified lyricism compared to Eminem's past albums. Conversely, in terms of controversy, this album attracted less notoriety than previous Eminem albums due to the fact that shock-oriented lyrics were toned down somewhat in favor of a lighter approach than Eminem's previous three albums. However, the album did provoke some controversy over anti-Bush lyrics and lyrics that parodied and targeted Michael Jackson, who was upset about Eminem's depiction of him in the video for "Just Lose It". On December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service admitted it was "looking into" allegations that Eminem had threatened the President of the United States, George Bush, after the song "We as Americans", as an unreleased bootleg, circulated with the lyrics "Fuck money, I don't rap for dead presidents. I'd rather see the president dead." This line was eventually used as a sample in Immortal Technique's single "Bin Laden", which featured Mos Def and Chuck D. The incident was later referenced in the video for his song "Mosh" as one several news clips on a wall, along with other newspaper articles about other unfortunate incidents in Bush's career. The song eventually appeared on the album's bonus disc, where the lyrics were extensively censored.
Eminem has shown his disapproval of the album, because he became addicted to prescription drugs at this time: the album, along with The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show, is mentioned in his song "Careful What You Wish For" on the deluxe edition of the album Relapse. He mentions the critics saying that Encore "didn't match the caliber" of the other albums. On the song "Talkin' 2 Myself" on his album Recovery, he raps that the album "doesn't count" due to the drugs involved.
The album earned Eminem three Grammy Award nominations at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards: these included Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the song "Encore" and Best Rap Solo Performance for the song "Mockingbird". However, it did not win any of them, making it the only Eminem major studio album not to win a Best Rap Album award.
Information taken from Encore liner notes:
The Eminem Show is the fourth studio album by American rapper Eminem, released on May 28, 2002. It was the best-selling album of 2002 in the United States, with sales of 7.6 million copies. At the 2003 Grammy Awards it was nominated for Album of the Year and became Eminem's third LP in four years to win the award for Best Rap Album.
The album debuted at number one on the U.S. 200Billboard chart, selling approximately 284,000 units in its first week, which due to a premature release by retailers and street-date violations, counted only a day and a half of sales. The album sold 1,322,000 copies the following week, where it registered a full week of sales. The album topped the Billboard 200 for five consecutive weeks. The album also spent five consecutive weeks at the top of the UK Albums Chart. It has gone on to sell over ten million copies. On March 7, 2011, the album was certified ten-times-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, making it Eminem's second album to receive a Diamond certification in the United States.
In 2009, the album was ranked #317 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and was later ranked at #84 on the same magazine's best albums of the 2000s decade. The album received critical praise by most music critics and is often debated as Eminem's most personal and best work. Eminem himself acknowledged during an interview with MTV that was recorded on May 25, 2002, that he felt that The Eminem Show was his "best record so far". The Eminem Show was Eminem's first album to be mainly self-produced.
The Eminem Show was first scheduled for release on June 4, 2002; however, pirated and bootleg copies appeared online on peer-to-peer networks and began surfacing on the streets. Interscope decided to release the album early on May 28 to combat bootlegging. However, many stores in the U.S. began selling it early on Sunday, May 26, and some put the album out as early as Friday. Promotional posters in stores read, "America Couldn't Wait". Due to the premature release by many retailers on a Sunday, the album had only one day of official sales for the chart week and was unavailable in Walmart stores during that period. Despite the confusion over the exact release date, the album still managed to have a very successful debut on the charts. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 284,000 copies. This marked the first time an album had topped the charts with such an abbreviated sales week. The album sold 1,322,000 copies in its first full week of sales. It sold 809,000 copies in its third week and 529,562 copies in its fourth week, to bring its four-week sales total to just under three million copies. The album sold 381,000 copies in its fifth week and topped the Billboard 200 for the fifth consecutive week. The first 2 million copies of the album shipped in the U.S. included a bonus DVD with an exclusive interview and live footage. The Eminem Show was Eminem's first album to include lyrics to all songs inside the CD booklet. It was Eminem's most successful album in terms of charting singles. It spawned two top-ten and four top fifteen singles with "Without Me", "Cleanin' Out My Closet", "Sing for the Moment" and "Superman", which managed to reach the top fifteen without a widely available video counterpart (the video was mostly available on the 8 Mile DVD, rarely being shown on music video channels). In addition, "My Dad's Gone Crazy", "Business", "Hailie's Song", and "White America" were selected airplay singles of the controversial album.
The Eminem Show is a reflective album, featuring Eminem's more personal and serious side. This change gives the album a lighter tone, a departure from his previous albums. One of the most noticeable changes is the generally lighter lyrical content. Over the course of the album, he touches on the issues of race in hip hop ("White America"), his childhood ("Cleanin' Out My Closet"), the United States government and terrorism ("Square Dance"), his 2000 assault on a nightclub bouncer and his following conviction ("Soldier"), his coming to terms with fate the downside of fame ("Say Goodbye Hollywood"), his status as a rapper ("Sing for the Moment"), and his relationships with his ex-wife Kim and daughter Hailie ("Hailie's Song"). Also, the song "Say What You Say" (featuring Dr. Dre) is an attack on Jermaine Dupri and was also the first time that The Source magazine controversy was mentioned by Eminem. Unlike The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show's release came off without significant complaints about misogyny or homophobia. Some shock-oriented and extremely explicit lyrics are still present, but for the most part they are toned down. Q Magazines May 2006 review of the album proposes "His two first albums aired dirty laundry, then the world's most celebrated rapper examined life in the hall of mirrors he'd built for himself."
The album opens up with a skit of stage curtains apparently being opened, indicative of the "start of the show". It is followed by "White America," a song in which Eminem touches on numerous subjects ranging from his mainly white suburban youth fanbase, his own amazement at his success, and his reception by parents and politicians, it contains a rock based sound, which remains prominent throughout the album. The next track is "Business", which is a song with a light beat that touches on Eminem's success and talent. Following that is "Cleaning out My Closet" a serious song in which Eminem raps about his childhood and explains the reasons behind his distaste for his mother (some being her drug abuse, constant accusations of him stealing money, attempts to take credit for his success).
"Square Dance" is next, a song which criticizes the Bush administration for its involvement regarding Iraq and the War in Afghanistan, and warns young men of being drafted. "The Kiss", a skit, follows, which is a recreation of Eminem's 2000 pistol-whipping assault of John Guerrera, a bouncer who Eminem witnessed kissing his wife, Kimberly Mathers. "Soldier" follows, criticizing lawyers, judges, and many who have insulted Eminem or hurt him in some way. This particular song was very well received by critics for its production and lyrical content. "Say Goodbye Hollywood" is the next track. Eminem raps about "selling" his soul to the devil and wanting to put an end to the fame and success because it has deadened his character and hurt his life. This song replaced his original song "Stimulate", which can be found on the 8 Mile Soundtrack: Limited Edition.
"Drips" is the next song, featuring fellow Detroit rapper Obie Trice. The song follows the sexual escapades of both men and concludes with them learning they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease from the same woman. Following is "Without Me" a popular single which ridicules pop artists. "Paul Rosenberg", a skit, follows next. Paul, Eminem's manager, has left a voicemail message for the rapper upset with him after learning he has been shooting his gun behind the studio and instructing him to "leave the fucking gun at home." Following the skit is the single "Sing for the Moment", in which Eminem discusses his fame and the negative effects of it, justifies his actions and admits his mistakes, criticizes authority and hypocrisy, and concludes with Eminem voicing the opinion that his music provides a safe haven for depressed and exiled children.
After is "Superman" featuring Dina Rae. The song explains Eminem's perception of women, explaining that he does not want to get involved in a relationship and does not appreciate the fact that most women are simply attracted to him because of his wealth. "Hailie's Song" is next, a song which Eminem had not planned to include on the album (but did so after Dr. Dre played the track for two female friends who were crying at the end of it). The track is mainly sung as opposed to rapped. The rapper sings the first two verses and raps the third. The entire content of the song focuses on his daughter, Hailie Jade, and his love for her. The final verse touches on his wife and how he has stayed strong through all of the issues he has encountered due to her choices, simply for his daughter.
"Steve Berman", another skit, follows in which Eminem is requested to be seen. On The Marshall Mathers LP, a skit with the same title featured Berman criticizing the rapper for the lyrical content of the album. It is implied that Eminem has been called again this time for the same reason, but the rapper is armed with a weapon and the skit concludes with Berman being shot, unbeknownst to listeners whether he is fatally wounded. A skit on Relapse from 2009 reveals Berman survived the shot. "When The Music Stops" featuring D12, follows. The song features each rapper talking about their life and how it has been changed by their fame. "Say What You Say" is next, featuring Dr. Dre. The track insults rappers Canibus and Jermaine Dupri, whom Eminem and Dr. Dre feuded with, respectively. It also touches on Eminem and Dr. Dre's hardworking habits and ends with an insult directed at Dupri by Dr. Dre collaborator Timbaland.
The next track "Till I Collapse" features Nate Dogg. Eminem also raps about the denial of his talent by many due to skin color, and criticizes the industry for untalented rappers being popular while those he perceives as having true skill are not popular. The next track is "My Dad's Gone Crazy" featuring Eminem's daughter Hailie Jade (who was 6 years old at the time of recording). The song is comical and opens up with Eminem presumably snorting lines of cocaine when his daughter interrupts him and the song kicks off. Eminem intended for the song to convey that he is not concerned with the opinions of others regarding his seemingly unrestrained mouth, as evidence by the line in the song "I'd yank my fuckin' teeth before I'd ever bite my tongue."
The album closes with "Curtain Close" similar to the opening skit, in which the curtains are now being drawn, indicating the "end of the show." Ken Kaniff, Eminem's fictional gay character, is reintroduced briefly at the end of the skit and sings a ballad with homosexual undertones to the tune of the song "Without Me" by changing the words at the beginning of the song.
Production for the album took place between 2001 and 2002. Eminem had started recording the album around the same time he was filming 8 Mile. Production was used for both the soundtrack of the movie and his album. The album also saw Eminem take a substantially more predominant production role; most of it was self-produced, with longtime collaborator Jeff Bass co-producing several tracks (mainly the eventual singles), and playing a significant role in co-writing many of the tracks. Dr. Dre, in addition to being the album's executive producer, produced three individual tracks: "Business", "Say What You Say", and "My Dad's Gone Crazy". In an interview with The Face magazine in April 2002, Eminem said that he treated the album like it was a rock record, in terms of production, incorporating the use of guitars while still having elements of hip-hop. He said that he wanted to capture the '70s rock vibe, which he felt "had this incredible feel", for most of the record. He said that he "tried to get the best of both worlds" on the album.
The clean version of The Eminem Show censors all profanities, compared to his previous albums, in which the words "goddamn", "prick", "bastard", "piss", "bitch", "ass", and "shit" were allowed. This album allowed no profanities, and the profanities were either muted or back masked.][ Following this, the censored version even took out entire sentences because they were too sexually charged. In fact, the entire song "Drips" is removed in the clean version and is just heard as four seconds of silence moving on to "Without Me", due to thinking there were so many profanities that editing the song would be pointless. But some copies feature an edited version of "Drips." However, in the skit "The Kiss", it can still be clearly heard that Eminem shouts "Motherfucker!" on the censored version. In "Soldier" which is a continuation of "The Kiss" the word "bitch" was used three times, but was still heard only once. "Hailie's Song" censors "want her" as it sounded too much "abort her" when he says "God, I'm a daddy, I'm so glad that her mom didn't want her" on both explicit and clean versions. Also, in "White America", in Eminem's speech the word "flag" is backmasked when he says "To burn the flag and replace it with a parental advisory sticker". When a clean version of "Drips" was made, at the end of Obie Trice's verse the word "fuck" is still heard.
Critical response to The Eminem Show was generally positive. It was viewed by many critics and fans as a growth in Eminem as an artist. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 75, based on 20 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Alex Needham from NME gave it a positive review, calling it a "fantastic third album" that "is bigger, bolder and far more consistent than its predecessors". In his review at AllMusic, Stephen Erlewine said the album "proves Eminem is the gold standard in pop music in 2002, delivering stylish, catchy, dense, funny, political music that rarely panders".
With a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani said The Eminem Show "reveals a little bit of the real Marshall Mathers" that "displays a—dare I say it?—more 'mature' Eminem." And he called "Without Me" "a pop-friendly ditty that displays enough of Eminem's talent for tight rhymes and well-timed controversy to validate his perpetual upward climb."
David Browne at Entertainment Weekly concluded, "[l]ike its predecessors, though, The Eminem Show is a testament to the skills of its star. The sludgy rapping of such guests as D12 only confirms Eminem's dizzying prowess, gob-spewing individuality, and wickedly prankish humor." He gave it a grade of B+.
Robert Christgau gave the album an A- and said "I like it and I enjoy it; I think it represents an articulate, coherent, formally appropriate response to Eminem's changing position and role, one that acknowledges the privileges and alienations that accrue to all fame as well as the resolution of Marshall Mathers's worst traumas and the specifics of his success." Uncut said "Behind the hype and the swagger, he's still baring enough of his soul for The Eminem Show to be compelling theatre.
The reviewer at HipHopDX admired both the musical and lyrical aspects of the work, and gave a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars: "Em flows on beat so effortlessly and naturally you'd swear it was his everyday style. Overlooking his lyrics would be a crime though." RapReviews gave it a rating of 8 out of 10 and Rolling Stone gave it a 4-star rating. It has been deemed a classic by XXL and Complex.
The record became Eminem's third to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and also swept the MTV Music Video Awards, winning four awards for Best Male Video, Video of the Year, Best Direction, and Best Rap Video. It won Album of the Year & R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year at the 2002 Billboard Music Awards. It won Best International Album and International Album of the Year at the Brit Awards and the Juno Awards respectively in 2003. It also won Best Album at the 2002 MTV Europe Music Awards.
Information taken from The Eminem Show liner notes:
*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone
"Stan" is the third single from the The Marshall Mathers LP, recorded in 1999 by American rapper Eminem and featuring British singer Dido. It peaked at number one in the United Kingdom and Australia. It is also included on Curtain Call: The Hits, performed with Eminem and Dido on track 5 and on track 17 as a live Performance from the 2001 Grammy awards featuring Elton John, which was censored on both the clean and explicit versions.
The song was produced by The 45 King, and uses a slightly modified break from Dido's "Thank You" as its base sample. The track also samples the opening lines of "Thank You" as its chorus. Coincidentally, both songs were released as singles in late 2000. "Stan" has been called one of Eminem's best songs and is considered one of his signature songs. Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Stan" at #296 in their list in The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song was also listed at #15 on VH1's list of the greatest hip hop songs of all-time.
The song was nominated for multiple awards like the Best Song at the MTV Europe Music Awards, Video of the Year, Best Rap Video, Best Direction, Best Cinematography at the MTV Video Music Awards. The only award it won was the Best International Artist Video at the MuchMusic Video Awards. In April 2011, magazineComplex put together a list of the 100 Greatest Eminem songs, ranking "Stan" at #2. The name of the character in the namesake song has given rise to a slang term online which refers to overzealous maniacal obsessed fans of a celebrity or personality. During his performance on the 2001 Grammy's, Elton John is a surprise guest playing piano and helping with Dido's chorus. At the end they both hug and thank the crowd. This, being a non-vocal statement declaring that Eminem does not show prejudice against homosexuals.
The song tells the story of a fictional person named Stanley "Stan" Mitchell who claims to be Eminem's biggest fan. In the song, he writes letters to Eminem, with each verse he becomes gradually more obsessed with him, and when there is no reply he becomes progressively angrier. He finally creates a voice recording of himself driving his car into a lake, with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk, as shown in the lyrics: "So this is the cassette I'm sending you, I hope you hear it. I'm in the car right now doing 90 on the freeway... See Slim, (screaming) shut up bitch I'm trying to talk! Hey Slim, that's my girlfriend screaming in the trunk... Well gotta go, I'm almost at the bridge now. Oh shit, I forgot, how am I supposed to send this shit out? (Car tires squealing, loud splash.)" The first three verses are delivered by Eminem as Stan while the fourth verse is Eminem attempting to write to Stan, only to realize that he had already heard about Stan's death on the news. The song has sold over 750,000 copies in the UK. This song is inspired by the death of Eminem's uncle Ronnie, who took his own life in 1991. On Shade 45 (Eminem's radio station), Eminem explained that there was originally going to be another verse where Stan survived and went to kill him. Eminem then tried to kill him in self-defense and put him in the hospital. After three weeks of being in there, he came to kill Eminem one last time, and Eminem fatally shot Stan in the head.][
In the first verse, Stan—the fictitious character (played by Devon Sawa in the video)—is writing to Eminem for the third time, hoping his hero will write back. Rain and thunder can be heard in the background throughout, as well as the sound of the pencil scratching onto the letter. He explains the level of his devotion, "I got a room full of your posters and your pictures, man", and maintains that he sent two letters to Eminem but he "must not have got 'em". In addition, the song "Old World Disorder" is referenced as the "underground shit that you did with Skam." Stan also reveals that his girlfriend (played by Dido in the video) is pregnant, and that he is going to name his daughter Bonnie, which could be a reference to Eminem's song "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" from The Slim Shady LP, or the fact that Eminem's real middle name is Bruce, and empathises about the suicide of Eminem's close uncle. - "I read about your Uncle Ronnie too, I'm sorry, I had a friend kill himself over some bitch who didn't want him".
In the second verse, Stan is clearly frustrated. He begins somewhat optimistically ("Dear Slim, you still ain't called or wrote/I hope you have a chance"), but begins to lose his temper by the second line ("I ain't mad, I just think it's fucked up you don't answer fans"). The thunder in the background steadily becomes louder, underscoring Stan's anger. Loud thunderclaps coincide with Stan's outbursts of anger. The verse also establishes Stan's deteriorating well-being: "Sometimes I even cut myself to see how much it bleeds/It's like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush for me". Stan mentions his little brother, Matthew, who Stan imagines is an even bigger fan of Eminem than Stan himself. Stan is bitter because Eminem had supposedly refused to give Matthew an autograph at a concert, after waiting in the "blistering cold" for four hours. Stan explains why he identifies with Eminem ("I never knew my father neither/He used to always cheat on my mom and beat her"). He ends his letter with "Sincerely yours, Stan/P.S. we should be together too."
The third verse is Stan recording himself onto an audio cassette in the car as he is about to commit suicide by driving over a bridge after drinking vodka. Anger takes over his better judgement and his words are slurred, clearly under the influence of depressants, as evidenced by the line, "I'm on a thousand downers now, I'm drowsy." Stan, enraged, addresses Eminem as "Mr. I'm-Too-Good-to-Call-or-Write-My-Fans". He explains his predicament: "I'm in the car right now, I'm doing 90 on the freeway/Hey Slim, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to drive?" (quoting "My Name Is" on the previous Eminem album, The Slim Shady LP, where Em raps that he "drank a fifth of Vodka" [Kool Aid, in the clean version]). This is followed by a reference to a Phil Collins song "In the Air Tonight", misquoting it as "In the Air of the Night." Specifically, Stan refers to an urban legend that the song is about Collins seeing a man drowning, while a closer bystander does nothing to save him. Stan vents further, revealing the depths of his anger: "I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it/and when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you scream about it/I hope your conscience eats at you and you can't breathe without me!" After that, screaming is heard and Stan reveals that his pregnant girlfriend is in the trunk suffocating: "Shut up, bitch, I'm tryin' to talk! Hey Slim, that's my girlfriend screaming in the trunk/But I didn't slit her throat, I just tied her up" (referring to Eminem's song "Kim," where Eminem murders his wife after realizing she is cheating and doesn't love him; at the end of "Kim" he slits her throat and throws her in his trunk). At the end, Stan realizes too late that he will be unable to send the tape to Eminem ("Oh shit, I forgot, how'm I supposed to send this shit out?"). A car crash then follows, as the car breaks through the bridge's rails and falls into the water below.
The fourth verse is Eminem's belated reply to Stan. He begins casually "Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy." He also says he sends a Starter cap with his autograph for Matthew, and reveals something of his serious and sober side with his advice for Stan (although he does not speak in a calming way): "What's this shit you said about you like to cut your wrists too?/I say that shit just clownin', dog/C'mon, how fucked up is you?/You got some issues, Stan/I think you need some counseling"; "I really think you and your girlfriend need each other/or maybe you just need to treat her better". He further explains in his letter that he had seen a similar story on the news which scared him, about a disturbed man who killed himself and his pregnant girlfriend. The song ends with Eminem's realization of what has happened; Stan was the man on the news ("... in the car they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to/Come to think about it, his name was... it was you. Damn..."). In the video, after this there is one last lighting flash, in which Stan's face is reflected in the window next to Eminem. In the full version of the song, the last scene is shown as Matthew (Stan's brother), in the cemetery looking at Stan's grave. When he takes off his hood, it is apparent that he has dyed his hair blonde, just as his brother Stan did in a further attempt to be like Eminem.
The MTV "clean" version of the song and video is extensively and exhaustively censored, with significant portions from the first two verses and most of the third verse removed. In the MTV full version, which is 8:15 long, verse 3 censors Stan mentioning his girlfriend in the trunk (so "Shut up bitch" and "screaming in the trunk" is censored), and about him not slitting her throat, but tied her up, and "If she suffocates, she'll suffer more, then she'll die too", which "slit", "tied her up", "suffocates" and "die" is censored.
Dido has stated that she was gagged in the third verse of the video, but this was censored so widely that versions with her gagged are rare. In the uncensored version, Stan is shown drinking at the wheel of the car before showing Dido struggling in the trunk of the car. She manages to remove the duct tape from her mouth and screams before struggling for breath. Most versions were censored so that there is only a brief clip of Dido in the boot of the car towards the end of the verse. It also censors when Stan says he "drank a fifth of vodka", which censors "drank" and "vodka", and censors when he says he's on "a thousand downers", which "downers" is censored, and also censors from showing Stan drinking while driving. Also, at the end of the third verse, "Well, gotta go, I'm almost at the bridge now" is changed to "Well, gotta go, I'm almost at the end of the bridge now". While in the fourth verse, the line "[And what's this] shit about us meant to be together" is completely censored. All references to the girlfriend in the trunk are censored out, including the line "And had his girlfriend in his trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid."
In the MTV short version, which was utilized for radio airplay due to time constraints, the second verse lines that are missing are from "I ain't that mad though, I just don't like bein' lied to" to "I even got a tattoo of your name across the chest", which the video cuts showing Stan meeting Eminem, talking about how his father cheated and beat his mother and showed him getting a "Slim Shady" tattoo on his chest. The third verse lines that are missing is about Stan saying about drinking while driving and saying about "In the Air Tonight", which in the video, it skips from showing Stan near-missing a car, and swerving to avoid crashing into it. The lines that are missing are from "Hey Slim, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare to me to drive?" to "I hope you know I ripped all of your pictures off the wall". It also removes the chorus after the third verse and goes straight to the fourth verse, which the video cuts Eminem at last receiving the letter from Stan, and the car sinking more into the water.
In the recent Fuse TV version of the video, various lines and words are silenced, more so than on the clean version of the LP, half of one of the beginning verses are cut out, and then the song fades out about halfway through the second verse. The LP version of the song is over six minutes long, and, as mentioned, the full version of the video is 8:15, however, when Fuse plays the video it is slightly over two minutes.
In Fuse's original state as a rock and alternative station, the same versions as on MTV were shown. "Stan" was also released on track 17 of Curtain Call: The Hits, which features Elton John. On the clean and explicit versions of Curtain Call: the Hits, the live track censored only the profanity, unlike the clean version of the studio track version of "Stan".
The song is perhaps Eminem's most critically acclaimed song and has been called a "cultural milestone" and referred to as "Eminem's best song" by About.com. Analysing "Stan" in the Guardian newspaper, writer and literary critic Giles Foden compared Eminem to Robert Browning.
At the 2001 Grammy Awards, when he was facing all manner of criticism from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation over his lyrics, Eminem responded by performing "Stan" with singer Elton John, who is openly gay, singing Dido's lines. Many of the profanities were substituted, for example, "You're like his favorite idol" in line of "You're like his fucking idol," and "stuff" for "shit". Recordings of this performance were available for download on Eminem's official website Eminem.com and, later, on his 2005 greatest hits release Curtain Call: The Hits.
Christian rap artist KJ-52 recorded two songs: "Dear Slim" and "Dear Slim, Part II," attempting to contact Eminem and talk to him about his own faith and help him through his troubles. The lyrics to "Dear Slim" reference the obsessed fan in "Stan." Various instruments within the song "My Life" by The Game were taken from Stan.
Rapper Canibus released a response track to this song titled "U Didn't Care", in which Canibus, portraying Stan, accused Eminem of not caring about him at all.
"Stan" has entered into the lexicon as a term for an overly-obsessed fan of someone or something. The term is especially popular in the rap community; in "Ether", the anti-Jay-Z diss track, Nas notably called Jay-Z a "stan" of both himself and The Notorious B.I.G.
"Stan" has been listed by many as one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time. It was ranked #3 on a list of the greatest rap songs in history by Q magazine, and came 10th in a similar survey conducted by Top40-Charts.com. Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time ranked it #290, one of Eminem's two songs on the list along with "Lose Yourself;" in the updated 2010 list, it was ranked at #296. It ranked #45 on About.com's Top 100 Rap Songs.
The song ranked number 15 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop, and number 2 on their Countdown Millennium Songs. It was also named the 46th Best Song of the decade by magazineComplex, and the 10th Best Song of the decade by magazineRolling Stone. The song also ranked #2 on Complex's "The 100 Best Eminem Songs."
In 2009, rapper Swizz Beatz said he submitted an idea for a song for Eminem titled "Stan 2". When Eminem turned it down, Swizz took it back and will use it for his album, Haute Living. The song would be titled "Anne", featuring rapper Lil Wayne and would maintain the theme that Swizz had in mind, but on April 27, 2011, Swizz said that he had given the song to Lil Wayne in exchange for a verse on his new song. "Anne" did not appear on Lil Wayne's ninth studio album, Tha Carter IV.
"I Get It In" is a single by rapper 50 Cent. It was initially released as the official second single from Before I Self Destruct, but it was later replaced by Do You Think About Me.
The song is produced by Dr. Dre. The unmixed version was leaked by Hot 97's Funkmaster Flex on January 5. The mix version was originally posted for a January 12 release date but was delayed to January 15 for unknown reason. The single was first released to 50 Cent's official personal internet community. The song was officially released to online music stores on February 10, 2009. The single was released online one week after his single "Crack a Bottle" with Eminem and Dr. Dre. Aftermath Entertainment collaborator Dawaun Parker has stated that he is also featured on the song.
After the week of the song's release, the single debuted on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at #64, since then it has peaked at #43. On the Hot Rap Tracks it peaked at #16. On the Billboard Rhythmic Top 40 it peaked at #33. On the Billboard Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop chart it peaked at #29. After its iTunes release it made a "Hot Shot Debut" at #53 on the Billboard Hot 100 based on downloads. In Canada it also it debuted at #52 on the Canadian Hot 100 based on digital downloads.
Curtain Call: The Hits is the first greatest hits compilation album released by American rapper Eminem. It collects Eminem's most popular songs, as well as four new tracks, including a live version of "Stan" featuring Elton John from the 43rd Grammy Awards, plus new songs "Fack", "When I'm Gone" and "Shake That" featuring Nate Dogg. It was released on December 6, 2005, under Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. The album was certified double-platinum in the US, triple-platinum in Australia and the UK, and quadruple-platinum in New Zealand. It reached #1 on several charts, including the UK and US Albums Chart. Curtain Call: The Hits was released 9 years after Eminem's first studio album, Infinite.
Curtain Call: The Hits debuted at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart, after two sales days, in a similar fashion to Eminem's previous album Encore. The album racked up first-week sales of nearly 441,000 and with close to 324,000 scans the second week for a two-week stay at number one. It slipped from no. 1 to no. 4 in its third week but surged 33 percent to finish with sales close to 430,000. The disc scored nearly 1.2 million scans in its first three weeks of release. It also gave Eminem his fifth straight number 1 album in the US and UK when including the soundtrack8 Mile. Curtain Call was certified double-platinum by the RIAA in the United States. As of May 2013, the record has sold 3,710,000 copies in the United States.
The album's two singles, "When I'm Gone" and "Shake That", peaked at numbers 8 and 6 respectively in the US Hot 100Billboard. Only "When I'm Gone" qualified for the charts in the UK, where it peaked at #4.
A censored version of the album is also available. It features 15 tracks instead of 17 with "Intro" and "Fack" removed and "My Name Is" put to track one. The tracks appear exactly how they appeared on the clean versions of their respective albums except for the song "Guilty Conscience", which adds a chorus. Certain profanities remain on several tracks, as words including "shit", "bitch", and "ass" were not censored on The Slim Shady LP or The Marshall Mathers LP. However, on "Just Lose It", the clean version leaves "ass" uncensored, while on the album Encore, the word "ass" was replaced with "thing".
The Marshall Mathers LP is the third studio album by American rapper Eminem. It was released on May 23, 2000, by Interscope Records in the United States, and on September 11, 2000, by Polydor Records in the United Kingdom. The album was produced mostly by Dr. Dre and Eminem, along with The 45 King, Bass Brothers, and Mel-Man.
The album sold more than 1.76 million copies in the US in the first week alone. In 2001, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. The album was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in the United States with shipments over 10 million. As of May 13, 2012, the record had sold 10,598,000 copies in the US. As of 2005 the album had sold over 19 million units worldwide.
The Marshall Mathers LP has been ranked as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time by Rolling Stone, Time, and XXL. Rolling Stone placed the album at number 7 on its list of the best albums of the 2000s. The album was ranked number 244 by Rolling Stone on their list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2010, Rhapsody ranked it number 1 on their "The 10 Best Albums by White Rappers" list.
Inspired by the disappointment of his debut album, Infinite (1996), Eminem created the alter ego Slim Shady, whom he introduced on The Slim Shady EP (1997). After placing second in the annual Rap Olympics, Eminem was noticed by the staff at Interscope Records and eventually CEO Jimmy Iovine, who played The Slim Shady EP for rapper Dr. Dre. Eminem and Dr. Dre then recorded The Slim Shady LP (1999), which was noted for its over-the-top lyrical depictions of drugs and violence. The Slim Shady LP became a commercial and critical success, debuting at number two on the 200Billboard chart and selling 283,000 copies in its first week. At the 41st Grammy Awards in 1999, the record won Best Rap Album, while the album's lead single "My Name Is" won Best Rap Solo Performance.
The Slim Shady LP turned Eminem from an unknown rapper to a high-profile celebrity. The rapper, who had previously struggled to provide for his daughter Hailie, noted a drastic change in his lifestyle. He married his girlfriend Kimberly Scott, the mother of his daughter, in June 1999, despite the fact that the song "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" from The Slim Shady LP contains references to killing her. The rapper became uncomfortable with the level of fame he had achieved, and reflected, "I don't trust nobody now because everybody I meet is meeting me as Eminem...I don't know if they are hanging with me 'cause they like me or because I'm a celebrity or because they think they can get something from me." Eminem also became a highly controversial figure due to his lyrical content. He was labeled as "misogynist, a nihilist and an advocate of domestic violence", and in an editorial, Billboard editor in chief Timothy White accused Eminem of "making money by exploiting the world's misery".
The Marshall Mathers LP was recorded in a two-month-long "creative binge", which often involved 20-hour-long studio sessions. Eminem hoped to keep publicity down during the recording in order to stay focused on working and figuring out how to "map out" each song. He described himself as a "studio rat" who benefited creatively from the isolated environment of the studio. Much of the album was written spontaneously in the studio; Dr. Dre noted, "We don't wake up at two in the morning, call each other, and say, 'I have an idea. We gotta get to the studio.' We just wait and see what happens when we get there." Eminem observed that much of his favorite material on the album evolved from "fucking around" in the studio; "Marshall Mathers" developed from the rapper watching Jeff Bass casually strumming a guitar, while "Criminal" was based on a piano riff Eminem overheard Bass playing in studio next door. "Kill You" was written when Eminem heard the track playing in the background while talking to Dr. Dre on the phone and developed an interest in using it for a song. He then wrote the lyrics at home and met up with Dr. Dre and the two recorded the song together.
The song "Stan" was produced by The 45 King. Eminem's manager, Paul Rosenberg, sent Eminem a tape of the producer's beats, and the second track featured a sample of English singer-songwriter Dido's "Thank You". Upon hearing the song's lyrics, Eminem felt they described an obsessed fan, which became the inspiration for the song. The writing process for "Stan" differed greatly from Eminem's usual strategy, in which song concepts form during the writing: "'Stan' was one of the few songs that I actually sat down and had everything mapped out for. I knew what it was going to be about." Dido later heard "Stan" and enjoyed it, and observed, "I got this letter out of the blue one day. It said, 'We like your album, we've used this track. Hope you don't mind, and hope you like it.' When they sent ['Stan'] to me and I played it in my hotel room, I was like, 'Wow! This track's amazing.'"
The record label speculated that Eminem would be the first artist to sell one million copies in an album's first week of release. These expectations placed a large burden on Eminem, who recalled, "I was scared to death. I wanted to be successful, but before anything, I want respect." After the album was finished, the record label felt that there were no songs that had potential to be a lead single. Feeling pressured, Eminem returned to the studio and wrote "The Way I Am" as his way of saying, "Look, this is the best I can do. I can't give you another 'My Name Is.' I can't just sit in there and make that magic happen." However, after the song was added to the album, Eminem felt the urge to write another song, and gave a hook to Dr. Dre for him to create a beat, and went home to write new lyrics; the song eventually became "The Real Slim Shady". The song also discusses Eminem killing Dr. Dre. The producer reflected, "It was funny to me. As long as it's hot, let's roll with it ... in my opinion, the crazier it is the better. Let's have fun with it and excite people."
The Marshall Mathers LP contains more autobiographical themes in comparison to The Slim Shady LP. Much of the album is spent addressing his rise to fame and attacking those who criticized his previous album. Other themes include his relationship with his family, most notably his mother and Kim Mathers, his former wife. The Marshall Mathers LP was released in both clean and explicit versions. However, some lyrics of the album are censored even on its explicit version. Some songs are censored because of events surrounding the album's release, mostly the Columbine High School Massacre. Unlike Eminem's debut, The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP is more introspective in its lyrics and less of the Slim Shady persona. Its lyrical style has been described as horrorcore, with Stephen Thomas Erlewine writing that the album's lyrics "[blur] the distinction between reality and fiction, humor and horror, satire and documentary".
Most songs cover Eminem's childhood struggles and family issues, involving his mother ("Kill You"), the relationship struggles with his wife ("Kim"), his struggles with his superstardom and expectations ("Stan", "I'm Back", & "Marshall Mathers"), his return and effect on the music industry ("Remember Me?", "Bitch Please II"), his drug use ("Drug Ballad"), his effect on the American youth and society ("The Way I Am", "Who Knew"), and reactionary barbs to critical response of his vulgarity and dark themes ("Criminal"). Despite the large amount of controversy regarding the lyrics, the lyrics on the album were overwhelmingly well received among critics and the hip hop community, many praising Eminem's verbal energy and dense rhyme patterns.
The album contains various lyric samples and references. It features a number of lines mimicking songs from Eric B. & Rakim's album Paid in Full. The chorus to "The Way I Am" resembles lines from the song "As the Rhyme Goes On", and the first two lines from the third verse of "I'm Back" are based on lines from "My Melody". Two lines in "Marshall Mathers" parody the song "Summer Girls" by LFO. Bitch Please II is the only composition that Eminem and Snoop Dogg did together.
The record also contains lyrics that have been considered to be homophobic. The song "Criminal" features the line, "My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge/That'll stab you in the head whether you're a fag or les...Hate fags?/The answer's yes." The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) condemned his lyrics and criticized the album for "encourag[ing] violence against gay men and lesbians". However, writing for the LGBT interest magazine The Advocate, editor Dave White writes, "If he has gay-bashed you or me, then it logically follows that he has also raped his own mother, killed his wife, and murdered his producer, Dr. Dre. If he's to be taken literally, then so is Britney Spears' invitation to 'hit me baby, one more time'." Eminem noted that he began using the word "faggot" more frequently when "people got all up in arms about it...to piss them off worse", but added that "I think its hard for some people to understand that for me the word 'faggot' has nothing to do with sexual preference. I meant something more like assholes or dickheads."
In his book Edited Clean Version: Technology and the Culture of Control, author Raiford Guins writes that the clean version of The Marshall Mathers LP "resembles a cross between a cell phone chat with terrible reception...and a noted hip-hop lyricist suffering from an incurable case of hiccups." This version of the album often either omits words completely or obscures them with added sound effects. The clean version of the album did not censor all profanity. Words like "ass", "shit", "bitch", "piss", "bastard", "prick", and "goddamn" were uncensored, and the word "nigga" (which was only used by black guest artists) was accidentally left uncensored once. However, on the track "The Real Slim Shady", the words "bitch" and "shit" were censored out, as they used the clean version released for radio. References to violence and weapons were also significantly altered, and the song "Kill You" is written as "**** You" on the back cover of the album and "Drug Ballad" is written as just "Ballad". The song "Kim" is removed completely and replaced by the South Park-themed "The Kids". "The Kids" was also featured on limited edition copies of the uncensored album. The only content significantly edited were offensive and violent parts that were aimed at police, prostitutes, women, homosexuals, and schools. In response to the attack that had occurred recently at Columbine High School, names of guns and sounds of them firing were censored. Explicit drug content was also removed. On many copies, the intro "Public Service Announcement" and the skit "Ken Kaniff" are removed and moves "Kill You" up to track one. On other copies though, the track is still left fully intact. Some songs have words censored even on the explicit version; "I'm Back" censors "kids" and "Columbine", "Marshall Mathers" censors the entire line "It doesn't matter your attorney Fred Gibson's a faggot" and "Kim" censors the words "four" and "boy"
Much of the first half of the album was produced by Dr. Dre and Mel-Man, who employed their typical sparse, stripped-down beats, to put more focus on Eminem's vocals. Bass Brothers and Eminem produced most of the second half, which ranges from the laid-back guitars of "Marshall Mathers" to the atmosphere of "Amityville". The only outside producer on the album was The 45 King, who sampled a verse from Dido's song "Thank You" for "Stan", while adding a slow bass line.
"The Real Slim Shady" was the first single released from The Marshall Mathers LP. The song was a hit, becoming Eminem's first chart topper in some countries, and garnering much attention for insulting various celebrities. The chorus is: "I'm Slim Shady, yes I'm the real Shady/All you other Slim Shadys are just imitating/So won't the real Slim Shady please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?" which is Eminem's most noted lines and is used quite frequently (Although mostly altered) in various forms of media.
"The Way I Am" was released as the second single from The Marshall Mathers LP. "The Way I Am" features a much darker sound and much deeper subject matter than "The Real Slim Shady". It features the first beat Eminem produced on his own, featuring an ominous bassline, a piano loop, and chimes. In the song, Eminem lashes out at people he feels are putting too much pressure on him, including overzealous fans and record executives expecting him to top the success of his hit single "My Name Is". He also shares thoughts on the Columbine school shooting. Marilyn Manson is mentioned in the song in the lines: "When a dude's getting bullied and shoots up his school/And they blame it on Marilyn/And the heroin/Where were the parents at?/And look where it's at/Middle America, now it's a tragedy/Now it's so sad to see/An upper-class city/having this happening." The video features Marilyn Manson with the word "WAR" scrawled on his stomach. The two later toured together performing the song at their own concerts, and often making appearances on stage even when not singing the song. During the chorus, Eminem questions his identity in the face of massive amounts of attention from millions of strangers. While his previous album, The Slim Shady LP, was somewhat more cartoonish than this album, and he rapped therein as a distinct character who goes by Slim Shady, his critics believed that Eminem, Marshall Mathers, and Slim Shady were identical. Similar to other musicians and artists who lost their identity in some fictional construct (David Bowie, Alice Cooper), Eminem expresses his doubts about who he has become. A Danny Lohner remix featuring Marilyn Manson was also recorded noticing how the original version used super dark lyrics and elements with the remix being even darker using some of Manson's industrial metal elements from his music and Manson's "oh"'s in the song and his screamed vocals were sampled in his 1996 hit, "The Beautiful People". The remix is available on the deluxe edition bonus disc on the album.
"Stan" was the third single released from The Marshall Mathers LP. It peaked at number one in the United Kingdom and Australia. The song is perhaps Eminem's most critically acclaimed song and has been called a 'cultural milestone'. "Stan" is a story of a fan who is obsessed with Eminem and writes to him but doesn't receive a reply. Stan drives his car off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk. The first three verses are delivered by Stan, the first two in letter form and the third being spoken as he is about to drive off a bridge and is recording a cassette with the intent (but, he realizes too late, not the means) to send it to Eminem. The song makes heavy use of sound effects, with rain, thunder and windscreen wipers heard in the background, as well as pencil scratchings during the first two verses, and then as Stan drives off the bridge, listeners hear tires screeching and a crashing sound, followed by a splash of water, in a style similar to the 1964 songs "Dead Man's Curve" and "Leader of the Pack". The fourth verse is Eminem responding to Stan, only realizing at the last second that he has heard about Stan's death on the news as he was writing to him. The song was produced by The 45 King and samples the first couple of lines of "Thank You" by Dido as the chorus. "Stan" was ranked number 3 on a list of the greatest rap songs in history by Q, and came in tenth in a similar survey conducted by Top40-Charts.com. Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time ranked it number 290. It was also ranked the 270th best song of all time in November 2008 by Acclaimedmusic.net.
The album cover photo features Eminem sitting on the porch of the house he lived in during his teenage years. He reflected on the photo shoot by saying, "I had mixed feelings because I had a lot of good and bad memories in that house. But to go back to where I grew up and finally say, 'I've made it', is the greatest feeling in the world to me." Eminem considered naming the album Amsterdam after a trip to the city shortly after the release of The Slim Shady LP, in which he and his friends engaged in heavy drug use and where he wrote most of the album. The "free" use of drugs Eminem observed during his time in Amsterdam greatly influenced his desire to openly discuss drug use in his music and Dutch journalists inspired some of the content on the album.
During the first week of sales, the album sold 1.76 million copies, becoming the fastest-selling rap album in history, more than doubling the previous record held by Snoop Dogg's 1993 debut Doggystyle, and topping Britney Spears' record for highest one-week sales by any solo artist. The album sold 800,000 in its second week, 598,000 in its third week, and 519,000 in its fourth week for a four week total of 3.65 million, and became one of few albums to sell over half a million copies for four consecutive weeks. It finished out the year 2000 as the second highest selling album of the year with over 7.9 million sold. In 2010, the Nielsen Company reported that up until November 2009, the album had sold 10,216,000 units in the US, making it the fourth-best selling album of the decade. As of July 17, 2011, it was one of the best selling rap albums in the USA with 10,965,000 copies sold.
The Marshall Mathers LP received highly favorable reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 78, based on 21 reviews. Cynthia Fuchs of PopMatters called Eminem "clever" and stated, "That Eminem's imagination takes him to dark and disagreeable places is predictable; that he exhibits it so relentlessly and so profitably is something else." Chuck Eddy of The Village Voice gave it a rave review and noted "a self-awareness and emotional complexity [...] that Eminem previously seemed incapable of". In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau gave the album an A rating, indicating "a record that rarely flags for more than two or three tracks". Christgau called Eminem "exceptionally witty and musical, discernibly thoughtful and good-hearted, indubitably dangerous and full of shit", while declaring the album "a work of art whose immense entertainment value in no way compromises its intimations of a pathology that's both personal and political".
Allmusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine called the album "fairly brilliant" and noted its production's liquid basslines, slight sound effects, and spacious soundscapes. NME described it as a "[g]ruelling assault course of lyrical genius". Entertainment Weekly dubbed it "indefensible and critic-proof, hypocritical and heartbreaking, unlistenable and undeniable" and "the first great pop record of the 21st century". Vibe stated, "Eminem has crafted the best album of the year so far with The Marshall Mathers LP and it comes dangerously close to being a classic." Touré of Rolling Stone gave it four out of five stars and commended Dr. Dre's production and Eminem's varied rapping style, while calling the album "a car-crash record: loud, wild, dangerous, out of control, grotesque, unsettling. It's also impossible to pull your ears away from". Melody Maker stated, "No one else puts such a rocket under rap's self-consciousness or makes it so shocking".
However, Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani found Eminem "repugnant" and panned his lyrics, stating "The only thing worse than Eminem's homophobia is the immaturity with which he displays it". Spin gave the album a mixed review and viewed his rhymes as "outstanding", but ultimately found its beats "mediocre" and called the album "musically, not all that noteworthy". Q stated, "True, even misdirected, Eminem's disaffection sucks you in and the wholesale nihilism can still provoke shivers. But it all used to be more fun." Although he found it too focused on Eminem's "whirlwind success" at the time, Neil Strauss of The New York Times commented that he "dissects the topic so furiously and honestly that the record stands as a fresh achievement", and concluded, "Eminem never makes it clear which character — Slim Shady or Marshall Mathers — is the mask and which is the real person, because there is no clear-cut answer, except that there's a little bit of each character in all of us." Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times praised Eminem's "vision" and how he incorporated "personal elements" to the album, but reserved his praise by stating, "This is a four-star album that is docked a half star because of the recurring homophobia—something that may be de rigueur in commercial rap, but which still is unacceptable."
In a retrospective review, Sputnikmusic's Nick Butler found the album culturally significant to American popular music and stated, "Even if you ignore the album's importance, it remains a truly special album, unique in rap's canon, owing its spirit to rock and its heritage to rap, in a way I've rarely heard". In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Rolling Stone journalist Cheo Hoker gave the album five out of five stars and wrote that it "delved much deeper into personal pain [than The Slim Shady LP], and the result was a minor masterpiece that merged iller-than-ill flows with a brilliant sense of the macabre."
The album won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 2001 Grammy Awards. It also won Best Album at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards.
In 2003, The Marshall Mathers LP was ranked number 302 on Rolling Stones list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and in its book format, the album was moved up to number 298. In 2012, it was moved up to 244, ranking it above The Slim Shady LP as Eminem's highest-placed album on the list. Rolling Stone also placed the album at number seven on its list of the best albums of the 2000s. IGN placed the album at number 24 on their 2004 list of the greatest rap albums in history. In 2006, the album was chosen by Time as one of the 100 greatest albums of all time. In 2006, Q ranked the album number 85 on a list of the greatest albums of all time, the highest position held by any rap album on the list. It was named the fourth-greatest album of 2000's by Complex. Pitchfork Media ranked it at number 119 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s. The Marshall Mathers LP was the highest ranked rap album on the National Association of Recording Merchandisers & the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the 200 greatest albums of all time at number 28. It is one of the few albums ever to receive the top ranking of "XXL" from XXL, and Eminem's first album to be rated by the magazine.
On October 26, 2000, Eminem was to perform at a concert in Toronto's Skydome. However, Ontario Attorney General Jim Flaherty argued that Canada should stop Eminem at the border. "I personally don't want anyone coming to Canada who will come here and advocate violence against women", he said. Flaherty claims to have been "disgusted" when reading transcriptions of Eminem's song "Kill You", which includes lines like "Slut, you think I won't choke no whore/till the vocal cords don't work in her throat no more?" Eminem's fans argued that this was a matter of free speech and that he was unfairly singled out. Michael Bryant suggested that the government let Eminem perform and then prosecute him for violating Canada's hate crime laws, despite the fact that Canada's hate-crime legislation does not include violence against women. In a Globe and Mail editorial, author Robert Everett-Green wrote, "Being offensive is Eminem's job description." Eminem was granted entry into Canada.
A 2001 and 2004 study by Edward Armstrong found that of the 14 songs on The Marshall Mathers LP eleven contain violent and misogynistic lyrics and nine depict killing women through choking, stabbing, drowning, shooting, head and throat splitting. According to the study, Eminem scores 78% for violent misogyny while gangsta rap music in general reaches 22%. Armstrong argues that violent misogyny characterizes most of Eminem's music and that the rapper "authenticates his self-presentations by outdoing other gangsta rappers in terms of his violent misogyny."
Protests against the album's content reached a climax when it was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 2001 including Album of the Year, marking the first time a hardcore rap album was ever nominated in this category. At the ceremony, Eminem performed "Stan" in a duet with openly gay artist Elton John playing piano and singing the chorus, as a response to claims by GLAAD and others who claimed his lyrics were homophobic. GLAAD did not change its position, however, and spoke out against Elton John's decision. Despite significant protests and debate, The Marshall Mathers LP went on to win Best Rap Album.
In 2002, French jazz pianist Jacques Loussier filed a $10 million lawsuit against Eminem, claiming the beat for "Kill You" was stolen from his song.
Credits for The Marshall Mathers LP adapted from Allmusic.
The list of best-selling music artists includes artists with claims of 75 million or more record sales in multiple third-party reliable sources. The claimed sales figures and the total certified sales figures (for each country) within the provided sources include sales of albums, singles, compilation-albums, music videos as well as downloads of singles and full-length albums. The artists in the following tables are listed with both their claimed and certified sales figures and are ranked in descending order, with the highest claimed sales at the top. Artists with the same claimed sales are then ranked by certified units. Sales figures, such as those from Soundscan, which are sometimes published by Billboard magazine, have not been included in the certified units column. Currently, The Beatles are listed at the top of the list as they are considered the highest-selling band based both on sales claims and certified units. Elvis Presley, who is listed the second on the list is considered the highest-selling individual artist based both on sales claims and certified units.
All artists included on this list, which have begun charting on official albums/singles charts have their available claimed figure(s) supported by at least 20% in certified units. That is why Cliff Richard, Diana Ross, Modern Talking, Charles Aznavour, Bing Crosby, Nana Mouskouri, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Tom Jones, The Jackson 5, Dionne Warwick, The Andrews Sisters, Luciano Pavarotti and others have not been included on this list. The percentage amount of certified sales needed increases the newer the artist is, meaning, artists such as Taylor Swift and Rihanna are expected to have their claimed figures supported by over 60% in certified units. The certified units are sourced from available online databases of local music industry associations. Note that all certified units are converted from Gold/Platinum/Diamond certification awards based on criteria provided by certifying bodies.
The requirements of certified sales are designed to avoid inflated sales figures, which are frequently practiced by record companies for promotional purposes.
The claimed figures are sourced to articles that use the term records (singles, albums, videos) and not albums. However, if all available sources for an artist/band say albums, such sources can only be used if the certified album units of the said artist meet the required percentage amount. Note that this list uses claimed figures that are closer to artists' available certified sales. In other words, inflated claimed figures that will meet the required certified sales amount but are unrealistically high from available certified sales, will not be used.
The Rolling Stones
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Black Eyed Peas
Certification systems have been established periodically throughout the past half century, thus certification-databases are not able to cover all sales. Some (or all) records released and sold prior to the certification system's establishment year may not be found within the available searchable certification databases. Year of establishment (from largest market to smallest based on Retail Value each market generates respectively):
Certified sales might sometimes be larger than actual sales if stores order more albums than they are able to sell, due to certifications generally being determined by shipments, not actual sales. Often; however, actual sales are larger than certified sales as Record labels must pay a fee to obtain certifications. Record Companies most of the time apply for certifications when a record reaches a multiple certification-levels, meaning certifications might not be visible in the databases for more than a short period of time after an album reached a certification level. Due to music piracy begun in 1999–2000, global music sales declined, which consequently opted certification-bodies to reduce their certification levels. See the changes in Certification-award-levels in the following markets:
According to a report in 2009 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, an estimated 95% of music downloads are done illegally. Illegal downloads are not included in the certifications and figures of artists' sales. The tables are to include two sources only for each claimed figure.
Note 2 Michael Jackson's sales: According to the Wall Street Journal and diverse news sites, the 750 million units sold by Michael Jackson is an inflated figure that was initially claimed by Raymone Bain (2006), who was the singer's publicist at that time, without any factual evidence and probably in an effort to promote album sales. From 2006 until present time, several sources such as MTV, Reuters or Billboard have claimed that Michael Jackson has sold 750 million units, however, Adrian Strain, a representative from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has said that this figure is unreal.
The discography of American rapper Eminem includes eight released studio albums, four compilations, two extended plays, thirty-one singles, five video albums and one soundtrack. His music has been released on record labels Web Entertainment and Interscope Records, along with subsidiaries Aftermath Entertainment, Goliath Artists and Shady Records. Eminem is the best-selling hip-hop artist of all-time and the best-selling artist of the 2000s with US album sales at over 32.2 million during the decade. Eminem has sold over 42 million albums in the United States as a solo artist. His worldwide albums sales stand at more than 100 million. He has earned forty-two platinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[A] In this discography, music videos and collaborations are included as well.
In 1996, Eminem released his first studio album, Infinite, under Web Entertainment. The album sold about a thousand copies and failed to rank on the national charts. After signing a contract with Interscope Records and Aftermath Entertainment, the rapper released his sophomore and commercial debut album The Slim Shady LP in 1999 and reached the number two spot on the 200Billboard, and received four platinum certifications in the United States from the RIAA. In the same year, the rapper, along with manager Paul Rosenberg, founded the imprint label Shady Records. In the subsequent year, Eminem released his third studio album The Marshall Mathers LP, which sold 1.76 million copies in its first week of distribution, breaking records for the fastest-selling hip hop album of all-time and the fastest-selling solo album in the United States. With more than ten million copies sold, the album was the third best-selling record of the year in the United States, where it also earned nine platinum certifications. The lead single "The Real Slim Shady" became Eminem's first song to enter in the top ten of the Hot 100Billboard. "Stan" was the most successful single outside of the States, while it failed to reach the top fifty in the rapper's home country. VH1
The Grammy Award for Best Rap Album is an award presented to recording artists for quality albums with rapping at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".
In 1995, the Academy announced the addition of the award category Best Rap Album. The first award was presented to the group Naughty by Nature at the 38th Grammy Awards the following year. According to the category description guide for the 52nd Grammy Awards, the award is presented for "albums containing at least 51% playing time of tracks with newly recorded rapped performances". Award recipients often include the producers, engineers, and/or mixers associated with the nominated work in addition to the recording artists. Stan
The Eminem Show is the fourth studio album by American rapper Eminem, released on May 28, 2002. It was the best-selling album of 2002 in the United States, with sales of 7.6 million copies. At the 2003 Grammy Awards it was nominated for Album of the Year and became Eminem's third LP in four years to win the award for Best Rap Album.
The album debuted at number one on the U.S. 200Billboard chart, selling approximately 284,000 units in its first week, which due to a premature release by retailers and street-date violations, counted only a day and a half of sales. The album sold 1,322,000 copies the following week, where it registered a full week of sales. The album topped the Billboard 200 for five consecutive weeks. The album also spent five consecutive weeks at the top of the UK Albums Chart. It has gone on to sell over ten million copies. On March 7, 2011, the album was certified ten-times-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, making it Eminem's second album to receive a Diamond certification in the United States. Singles
The music industry or music business consists of the companies and individuals that make money by creating and selling music. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate within the industry are: the musicians who compose and perform the music; the companies and professionals who create and sell recorded music (e.g., music publishers, producers, recording studios, engineers, record labels, retail and online music stores, performance rights organizations); those that present live music performances (booking agents, promoters, music venues, road crew); professionals who assist musicians with their music careers (talent managers, business managers, entertainment lawyers); those who broadcast music (satellite, internet and broadcast radio); journalists; educators; musical instrument manufacturers; as well as many others.
The current music industry emerged around the middle of the 20th century, when records had supplanted sheet music as the largest player in the music business: in the commercial world, people began speaking of "the recording industry" as a loose synonym of "the music industry". Along with their numerous subsidiaries, a large majority of this market for recorded music is controlled by three major corporate labels: the French-owned Universal Music Group, the Japanese-owned Sony Music Entertainment, and the US-owned Warner Music Group. The largest portion of the live music market is controlled by Live Nation, the largest promoter and music venue owner. Live Nation is a former subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, which is the largest owner of radio stations in the United States. Creative Artists Agency is a large a management and booking company. Entertainment Culture
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.