Eminem is one of the top selling rap artists of all time. In fact, Eminem is the second highest selling hip hop artist ever. He is only trailing behind 2 Pac in the amount of cds sold.
The controversial rapper has “Shocked and Awed” since his debut in 1999. His first album “The Slim Shady LP” was quickly a top seller. The outlandish first single “My Name Is” produced by Dr. Dre, introduced the world to Eminem, and no air-wave was safe.
Hip Hop critics were fast to embrace the album as a outstandingly creative piece of work. Outside of the hip hop circles, the album received mix reactions, and was bombarded with negative media coverage.
Marshall Mather’s exaggerated character, Slim Shady is arguably the most hilarious and outrageous of Eminem’s three personas. He feels less need to defend his actions or have any remorse as opposed to Marshall Mather’s or Eminem who at least have excuses and some signs of sympathy.
Besides the risky content, the album was also slammed by critics for its lack of substance. All reviews weren’t negative even “Rolling Stones” gave the album a 3.5.
The Marshall Mathers LP proved that Eminem was the biggest-thing in hip hop. The album has sold over 21 million copies world wide. Unbelievably, “The Marshall Mathers LP” has went 9x platinum in the United States alone.
A lot of the sales were due to Marshall Mather’s being the first white rapper on a global stage that white kids — who make up the majority of hip hops business — could relate to the over achieving rapper.
8 Mile was the peak of Eminem’s stardom. He just had one of the most successful albums of all time and a new one on the way.
The documentary, which was loosely based on Eminem’s actual journey to fame was critically acclaimed. The movie did a lot better in the box office than expected and helped the rapper become a house hold name.
The soundtrack featured legendary rappers like Jay Z, Nas, Rakim and Gangstarr. Eminem also brought along rising stars Obie Trice and 50 Cent. The hype from the soundtrack was enough to help launch 50 Cent’s career.
On Eminem’s next album “The Eminem Show”, the Detroit rapper simply said “If I was black, I would have sold half” admitting to the dichotomy that led to his tremendous success.
The Eminem Show was the most widely accepted album of his discography. Eminem turned down the rhetoric and amped up the substance. He dealt with his legal issues, the government, his fame and his daughter in a more mature way.
The album was the number one selling LP of 2002. The growth that was demonstrated on the successful third LP also came with the price of losing some of his hardcore audience, who thought he might have toned it down too much.
Encore was suppose to be the best Em had to offer. The most intriguing parts of his first three albums in one package.
Unfortunately, the weakest side of Slim Shady seemed to be the most present character of the album.
Because of all the filler and completely lackadaisical concepts. Eminem flopped in the eyes of critics and a good portion of his fans. The album still did reasonably well for sales, but nothing compared to his previous efforts.
The album still had a lot of highly praised songs and many fans will contend that overall it was a great body of work, if you are willing to skip through a few tracks.
The Re-Up dropped late 2006. The mixtape was like Michael Jordan’s “I’m Back” statement for Eminem.
It wasn’t a definitive come back and nobody really expected it to be, but fans were getting really hungry for a new solo LP.
The most documented song on the album was “No Apologies”, which was his statement to the world that Eminem was not done.
Eminem and 50 Cent did a lot of back and forth on the album. They also had the single “You Don’t Know”, which helped the mixtape sell over a million copies.
When the rumors began to circulate about Eminem releasing a new album, the hype quickly led to a title “King Mathers”. Immediately a propaganda website was put up at the self described address.
The album was verified by a whole slew of rappers including Cashis, Stat Quo, 50 Cent and Dr. Dre.
The newest album — still not officially titled — will be released even at the end of this year or early next year. The news was recently confirmed by Interscope.
Stay tuned, in the next part we will tell you why his return matters for hip hop.