1999 was a totally different world from the world we live in today. When you listen to The Slim Shady LP today, You can tell that it was a true reflection of that change that was occurring during the world, The envelope was continuing to be pressed among modern Culture and it left gray hairs within FCC officials all over the world.
Much like the WWF with the Attitude Era in the late 90s, Music Culture paralleled with that rebellous mentality as well with guys such as Marilyn Manson(whom was a nightmare to Soccer moms) leading the charge in Rock Music. But the nightmares didn’t stop there. It would only get much worse for them as Dr Dre would introduce his new protegé Marshall Bruce Mathers III into the world.
The first time I heard Eminem’s music was on the video Hi My Name is which was what I thought at first was nothing but a parody rap. Similar to how Weird Al Yankavoc use to do so therefore I didn’t really take him serious. But it wasn’t until I heard some of the content of the song is where I started to think “Wait did he just say what I think he said?” “That was quite offensive” Then I found out that Dr Dre was the mastermind behind this creation. Dre signing Eminem let me know that this guy may be good because Dr Dre wouldn’t co sign any joe schmo. So I gave his album a shot and little did I know what surprises were awaiting me when I heard this album.
What surprised me about the Slim Shady LP was that Eminem was possibly the first white rapper that I heard that could SERIOUSLY spit. You can also tell that by listening to Eminem that his style was heavy influenced by guys such as Big L, Redman, and Masta Ace, Especially when you hear a song like his single I Don’t Give a Fuck which is clear inspiration of how Redman be rocking the mic. But the difference is Eminem is STILL Eminem and not copying anybody.
He proves that he’s no Redman or Big L clone throughout this album as he introduces us into the sick twisted mind of his alter ego Slim Shady. The concepts on this album are very original and told in a view where I’ve never heard in hip hop during that time.
Examples of this is the very spooky Bonnie and Clyde 97 where he’s talking to his daughter about why he had to kill his daughters mother and dumping the body in a river. Very offensive but in a sick twisted way shows Eminem’s creativity. He also talks about his childhood as he paints the picture of him being bullied and beaten into oblivion in school on Brain Damage which is one of the albums highlights.
The Good ol Doctor makes his only appearance on the album’s third single titled Guilty Conscience where they take on the original concept of being good and bad consciences in 3 different stories effecting 3 different lives. People have complained about the Dre beat not knocking as hard but the way the stories carry out makes this complaint null and void. Em(playing the bad guy) and Dre(playing the Good guy) go back and forth in influencing peoples decisions.
Another pretty funny song is My Fault where Eminem introduces us to a female Character named Susan who ODs on Mushrooms. This is one of those songs that you can picture the event occurring at one of these late night College parties so this song certainly touched that demographic.
But what people tend to forget is that Eminem came up from the bottom of the barrel. This is probably why he reached superstar status because people wants to champion an underdog. People can relate to artists whom show humility on wax which is totally missing in todays rap market. You can feel Eminem’s struggle on songs If I Had which he talks about how he can wish the cards he dealt with being broke. Rock Bottom also tells of his desperation with having no money to support his daughter and his rapping being his last option to survive. Its these songs that can pretty much be relate able to anyone whom is going through serious problems at the moment
Role Model is one of my favorite tracks on the album as well. You can see the obvious influence of Redman’s style on here once again as the punchlines he executed were done with shock value mixed with humor. This was also the song that started the slight feud with Canibus. The Dr Dre Beat sounds very strange as it sounds like he was underwater producing this but somehow it works out to where it fits Eminem’s style.
A couple of songs could have had better production but nevertheless this is one of the best albums I’ve heard from 1999 and Eminem’s entire catalog. This was the album that made Eminem’s career and SAVED Dr Dre’s as well. Both of them were at a desperate point of their lives to where they needed each other and you can feel that risked it all in making this album work. He showed on this album that he’s a serious artist and basically erased the ingenious generalizations of every white rapper being the next Vanilla ice
Vic Rating: 9.0 Outta 10