Ranking Eminem: Which CD Is Best?

eminem-attends-hailie-jades-high-school-graduationIsn’t about time for Eminem to come out of hiding and drop a new album?   Sure we got a couple singles last year including “Kings Never Die” with Gwen Stefani on the Southpaw Soundtrack, but it’s been three years since his solid comeback “The Marshall Mathews LP 2“.   Pictures of his grown up daughter, Hailie have been seen much more later on social media than any mention of her dad.    Let’s spotlight Eminem’s discography with a countdown of his albums from Worst to Best.    Note:  We’re not counting the bootlegs, the EP’s, multi-artist soundtracks (8 Mile), or the compilations (like The Curtain Call:  Greatest Hits).   The criteria for ranking will weight the following four categories that I’m called the STUD Scale:  

Staying Power (will this album still be relevant years from now?)  Up to 20 pts.

Tens (essential tracks that would earn a grade of 10)  Bonus of 2 pts for each classic (max 10 pts).

Universal Opinion (sales, consensus reviews from fans, critics, magazines….)     Up to 10 pts for going platinum, 4 or 5 Mic Reviews, Awards

Duds (songs that you will be skipping over)   Up to -10 for too many misses, silly skits, and what were you thinking songs!


8.   INFINITE  (1996)  You’ve got to start somewhere.   Eminem’s debut was an artist confused and trying to identify which direction he wanted to go.  S(3), T(0), U(2), D(-3) = 2

7.  RELAPSE (2009)    After coming back after a five year hiatus, we expected so much more.  Drugs, Proof’s death, and maybe some rust caught up with Eminem.  S(7), T(2), U(3), D(-5) = 7

6.  MARSHALL MATHEWS LP 2 (2013)    Debuted at #1, won a Grammy for Best Rap Album, “Berzerk”, “Rap God” and “Monster” with Rhianna highlight a solid album.   S(14), T(6), U(7), D(-2) = 25

5. ENCORE (2004)    Critics and fans alike go back and forth on “Encore”.  For every weak track like “Big Weenie” and “Ass Like That” you get a classic like “Like Toy Soldiers” or “Mockingbird”.   S(15), T(6), U(8), D(-4) = 25

eminem_recovery_album_cover_24.  RECOVERY (2010)   This what fans were hoping for after the disappoint of Relapse.  “Not Afraid”, “No Love”, and “Love The Way You Lie” brought Eminem back on top of his throne as the rap king.   S(17), T(6), U(8), D(-2) = 29

3.  THE EMINEM SHOW (2002)  Rolling Stone Magazine ranks it #317 on the list of Greatest Albums of All-Time.  “Cleaning Out My Closet”, “Sing For The Moment”, “Till I Collapse”, another Grammy for Best Rap Album and 10 Million Worldwide sales.    S(18), T(8), U(9), D(-2) = 33

2.  THE SLIM SHADY LP (1999)    Essentially Marshall’s debut album, this is where Eminem shocked the world.  Some of the cleverest rhymes ever, the profanity, the violence, the genius was all there.   The Slim Shady persona was created here.   S(19), T(10), U(9), D(0) = 38

Eminem_Marshall_Mathers _LP

  1.  THE MARSHALL MATHEWS LP (2000)   At the time, it was the fastest selling solo album in music history.  This is Eminem at the top of his game.  32 Million Albums sold, “Stan”, “The Way I Am”, “The Real Slim Shady”, and “Marshall Mathews” are all in Eminem’s Top 10 singles of his career.   S(20), T(10), U(10), D(0) = 40