Eminem
The Slim Shady LP


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (113 Reviews)
July 19th, 2012 | 44 replies | 6,455 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sound of a man filled to bursting with words finally getting his shot to let it out.

If you wanted a picture to sum up the state of Eminem in the last 12 years it would be a big fat >:(. Every Eminem album following The Slim Shady LP has been a bigger and bigger frown than the last album culminating in the giant slab of self-seriousness that is Recovery. When he pops up on camera he can manage at best a grimace but most of the time those lips remain curled firmly downward. Since Eminem has been this way for quite some time, revisiting The Slim Shady LP might come as a shock to the system. With only a few exceptions, it’s a giant sloppy grin of an album, and its more fun than anything Eminem has touched since.

The key ingredient to the songs here is their unpredictability. Songs like “As the World Turns”, which begins as a routine boasting song, ends with Slim slaying a gay porn watching woman with his earthquake-causing dick. On “Brain Damage” he crafts a story of revenge that climaxes with his mom beating him over the head with the TV remote causing his brain to fall out which is then sowed back into his head. Hard to find many rappers that wrote songs like that and had top 40 singles. Plus, for a guy who claims “This aint a joke/I’m no comedian”, Eminem sure did make a hilarious album. The entire second verse of “Cum On Everybody” in particular makes me giggle like an idiot (“I go onstage in front of a sellout crowd/And yell out loud/All y’all get the hell out now”).

One of the most interesting things about the disc is it’s the only time Eminem shows up on record in pure battle rap form. In particular, “Just Don’t Give A ***” and its sequel “Still Don’t Give A ***” are just total decimations of other rappers. Lines like “You wacker than the mother***er you bit your style from/You aint goin’ to sell two copies if you press a double album” make it very clear how many local Detroit rappers were vanquished by Eminem’s impeccable way with words. He mentions four rappers he had beef with right at the start of verse two of “Just Don’t Give A ***” and the song is so potent it wiped their discographies off the face of the earth, and this was his debut single. But having great lyrical skills alone isn’t enough to make Eminem a battle rap legend. He also turns the pen on himself so much it disarms the person he’s battling, “I don’t know why the *** I’m here in the first place/My worst day on this earth was my first birthday”. Change the first-person pronouns to second person and the line becomes just another battle rap line, but since Eminem shoots himself with it he seems more insane, like a man with nothing to lose.

Not everything works though; whenever Eminem gets dead serious it sends me scrambling for the skip button. “Rock Bottom” is as good as the serious tracks go but the awkward chorus and annoyingly earnest soul singing sink “If I Had”. “My Fault” is a vividly drawn concept song but confusing in its tone since it begins with a hammy skit and ends with Eminem genuinely bawling his eyes out. The sequencing seems to have been done at random; the skits are lame especially when they get stapled to the front of the otherwise excellent “Bad Meets Evil”. But Eminem’s love of rapping saves even the worst moments of the album. Seriously, I cannot stress just how good the wordplay is, you don’t even have to know what song “Livin’ amuck/never givin’ a ***/gimmie the keys I’m drunk/and I’ve never driven a truck” is from to understand what a great rhyme scheme that is.

While the title of best Eminem album still belongs to The Marshall Mathers LP, it’s his debut that’s the most interesting. I’d chalk a lot of this up to it being the only Eminem album with something at stake. Even if every album after this one was just mediocre they still would have sold respectably due to what a phenomenon this made him, but his success wasn’t guaranteed while this was being made and I’m sure Eminem knew that. But even with that kind of pressure bearing down on him The Slim Shady LP is damn impressive in the way it takes risks. It doesn’t play it safe in any sense of the word, nothing on here is for the ladies, no obvious concessions to radio, no R&B singer on the hook, just the sound of an artist fighting to make the debut he wanted to make. And he made fun of Dr. Dre for slapping Dee Barnes on a song featuring Dr. Dre. That takes some balls.



Recent reviews by this author
Girls Aloud Sound of the UndergroundFour Tet Rounds
Blur Think TankThe Libertines Up The Bracket
Sugababes Angels with Dirty FacesColdplay A Rush of Blood to the Head
user ratings (1978)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012



1614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And if you dont like my review. Good. Cause I still dont give a fuck.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012



1614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No seriously though, I'll be around for at least a little while to keep editing this thing.

LifeAsAChipmunk
July 18th 2012



4854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

An interesting review to say the least. I'm not really sure what to make of this.

It gets quite informal, which I don't usually mind but "whenever Eminem gets all dead serious it
sends me scrambling for the skip button" is unnecessary or could be phrased differently.

Key word is 'me', it is ideal that reviews are formal/not personal. Even worse is the mention of
skip button. You could just as easily said that it's not worth you time or that that is when the
album reaches it's lowest point (other than the unnecessary skits, that is).

I'll pos because whatever, it doesn't really matter.

"While the title of best Eminem album still belongs to The Marshall Mathers LP, it’s his debut
that’s the most interesting."

I definitely agree with this statement. I just might 5 this album as well as MMLP.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012



1614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like casual reviews, little personal details that make the review more Imteresting to read.


camaraderie
July 18th 2012



988 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This rules.

YoYoMancuso
July 18th 2012



11027 Comments


good album, alright review, pos though cuz i like the style of the review

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012



1614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks!

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2012



1614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fixed a few small errors


dcalderon
July 19th 2012



298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pos'd. I don't like this album as much as MM LP either. Some great songs, but not quite as consistent as MM or even Eminem Show.

I actually kinda like when Eminem gets serious.

conesmoke
July 19th 2012



5199 Comments


Awesome album!

SCREAMorphine
July 19th 2012



1752 Comments


Not a bad review, I can't get back into Eminem though I still admit he had a few good albums.

Ayashi
July 19th 2012



267 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fun fact: I was born in 1990, and yet I didn't really "discover" Eminem until this spring because I was a metalhead as a kid. I have now racked up over 4000 plays on last.fm. SSLP, MMLP and the Eminem show are all classic album, and it's amazing how relevant Em still is today. His flow is ridiculous, and Recovery was a solid comeback.


AFAIK, he wrote "If I had" after Infinite failed and he tried to kill himself. It was on the SSEP, too. The song still gives me the chills, it's the best one on here, I can't believe you dissed it! Knowing that makes it so freaking emotional. Also love Rock Bottom and everything else.

Shady till my dying day fuckers.

TomArnoldsArmpit
July 19th 2012



3005 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is this even out yet

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2012



1614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Eminem Show isn't a classic. I'll be reviewing that at some point too.

Ayashi
July 19th 2012



267 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The only bad/mediocre song there is Drips, I think. It's just a little foul and stupid. I feel the rest are all brilliant songs. The Marshal Mathers LP was his serious, angry album, and on the Eminem show he's just having fun and showcasing his flow. However it also has plenty of serious tracks. Much to love. Anyway, do review that later and I'll make sure to read it

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2012



1614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If I Had is mad corny. Even if he did write it when he did.

IndianaWarLord
July 19th 2012



310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

such a breath of fresh air when it comes to the murky, one-note world of popular rap.

LifeAsAChipmunk
July 19th 2012



4854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I was born in 1990, and yet I didn't really "discover" Eminem until this spring because I was a metalhead as a kid. I have now racked up over 4000 plays on last.fm. SSLP, MMLP and the Eminem show are all classic album, and it's amazing how relevant Em still is today. His flow is ridiculous, and Recovery was a solid comeback."

Same thing for me, bro. I often avoid some of the more popular music and I never really listened to the radio. But I recently tried to get into hip hop in the last year and I thought Eminem would be a good place to start. Thank God, too.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2012



1614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

God please don't start dissing pop music, that shit is straight annoying.

LifeAsAChipmunk
July 19th 2012



4854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What? I love pop music, I've just never really "actively searched for and listened to them" until recently. :/



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy