My first exposure to Marshall Mathers. A white rapper? He looked like a wanna-be, then you listen to the lyrics and feel his passion and hear his flow. Intelligent, creative, so offensive and over the top, but yet so brilliant in his clever rhymes. Eminem changed the rap landscape. Favorite verse: I get imaginative with a mouth full of adjectives, a brain full of adverbs, and a box full of laxatives
(Shittin on rappers) Causin hospital accidents
“THE WAY I AM” – MARSHALL MATHERS LP
Straight forward lyrics, no apologies, Eminem’s autobiographical early masterpiece. He even did a version of this live with Marilyn Manson. Loved the line about not interrupting him for an autograph when he’s eating dinner with his family. Favorite verse: I’m not Mr. N’Sync, I’m not what your friends think, I’m not Mr. Friendly, I can be a prick
“CLEANIN’ OUT MY CLOSET” – EMINEM SHOW
So many classics on this CD, ‘Til I Collapse, Hailie’s Song, Sing For The Moment, Without Me, Soldier- but this song spoke to me with lyrics of his childhood, messed up family life, and the will to press on. Dr. Dre’s influence mixed so perfectly with Eminem’s style but ultimately Eminem increased Dr Dre’s street cred. Favorite verse: But the smartest shit I did was take the bullets outta that gun, Cause I’da killed him; shit I woulda shot Kim and them both
“LOSE YOURSELF” 8 MILE
Loved Eminem’s movie chemistry with Mekhi and Brittany Murphy, even Kim Basinger as his mom, was great casting. If you saw the film, you saw Marshall at his best, freestyle rap battles, destroying his opponents. The pre-fight anticipation is perfectly captured in “Lose Yourself”. Favorite verse: Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity, To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, Would you capture it or just let it slip?
“FINAL RAP BATTLE”
“MOCKINGBIRD” – ENCORE
His confession to his daughter, Hailie, about why he wasn’t living with her mom. Emotional song about making sense of his crazy lifestyle, trying to be the best dad but apologizing for missing Christmas. It’s so sincere, unflattering at times, yet it maintains a sweet honesty and real emotions. Favorite lyric: Cause all I ever wanted to do was just make you proud, Now I’m sitting in this empty house, just reminiscing Lookin’ at your baby pictures,
“BEAUTIFUL” – RELAPSE
After a long break, Eminem put out his weakest CD (in my opinion and even to Marshall!). Yet, “Beautiful” with the Paul Rodgers intro is epic. It’s inspirational, it’s hopeful, dramatic, and in typical Eminem style – it’s autobiographical, attacking the demons that almost brought him down and out. Great Detroit video that takes the song in a new direction. Favorite line: Now I could have either just Sat on my ass and pissed and moaned Or take this situation in which I’m placed in And get up and get my own
“NOT AFRAID”, “LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE” – RECOVERY
I’m usually a fan of a group’s early work but this is my favorite Eminem CD of all-time. It feels like a comeback and track after track is memorable. “So Bad”, “Going Through Changes” (with an Ozzy sample!), “Cold Wind Blows”, “Space Bound”, “No Love”: all 10 out of 10 songs. Pink, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, all fit in perfectly and don’t feel like gimmicks like guest starts usually feel like on rap CDs. The 2 big hits are Eminem at his best: Not Afraid – like Lose Yourself, a power ballad that I’ve worn out and use as my ringtone! Favorite Verse: but it’s time to exorcise these demons; These motherfuckers are doing jumping jacks now!
Love The Way You Lie – greatest video in Eminem’s discography, passionate as can be and an intensity that is unrivaled. Rihanna did a version of this song where she sings the majority of the song and Eminem adds a counterpoint. Both are epic. Favorite Verse: Maybe our relationship isn’t as crazy as it seems, Maybe that’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano, All I know is I love you too much to walk away though