September 5, 2002

Eminem Stars in His Own Show

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Marshall Mathers (A.K.A. Eminem) may have a movie, 8 Mile, slated for release this year, but he still has the talent and time to produce this latest album, The Eminem Show — and what an album it is.

Some may argue that the expectedly controversial rapper has matured and lost some of his trademark vulgarity by not mentioning sex with his mother or Christina Aguielera nearly as often or as angrily. But this album truly proves that Eminem belongs among the prominent artists on the hip-hop scene, a fact many in the music industry haven’t wanted to admit.

An album must have more than two good tracks in order to justify the loss of $20 and this CD was worth itself in dollars ten-fold.

Of course, as usual, the radio stations have completely played out Eminem’s first single from this album, “Without Me.” The heavy beat and blatant attack on the character of musician Moby are of course memorable.

The song, “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” originally appeared months ago as the background for the thirty second trailer of 8 Mile. The beat for this track is so well integrated with the lyrics, and Eminem never lets us forget his disgust for both of his parents. The music of “Sing for the Moment” is completely unoriginal (it steals a chorus from Aerosmith’s “Dream On”), but its distinct and impressive lyrics redeem the song. Mathers never fails to say something powerful; of course, whether or not he is saying anything meaningful is up for discussion.

“Soldier” and “‘Till I Collapse,” the latter featuring Nate Dogg, are perfect for the needs of a subwoofer-based stereo, but to be honest, Nate Dogg has done better. His performances at the Up In SmokeTour were better than any song he has produced or accompanied on any album. Unfortunately for him, N.W.A. surprised the audience at that show by pulling Snoop, Dre, and Ice Cube back onto the stage for a sweet reunion, clearly upstaging Nate Dogg.

If I were to select a Grammy album of the year now, it would definitely go to Eminem.