Picks and Pans Review: The Marshall Mathers Lp
When Eminem broke into the mainstream with 1999's controversial The Slim Shady LP, some attributed the Detroit rapper's success to the color of his skin—Eminem, né Marshall Mathers, is white. But after selling more than 3 million records and nabbing a Grammy, it's clear that his potent rhymes and unique perspective are the true keys to his success. Proof of his talent—if not his taste—is amply displayed on this bestselling and very, very vulgar CD. (Parents beware: The version of the hit single "The Real Slim Shady" included on the profanity-laced album sold in most stores is not the sanitized Top 40 radio version.) With producer Dr. Dre's bouncy beats and catchy hooks, Eminem weaves an upside-down fairy tale of revenge and mayhem that takes on dark irony in light of his recent arrest on gun charges. When he gleefully disses his own mom (as well as his wife), you wonder if he's kidding. On "Stan," set to a trip-hop groove, Eminem raps about an obsessed fan who takes his idol's violent fantasies to a tragic conclusion.
Bottom Line: Not for the faint of heart