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Eminem-The Eminem Show Review
By Shawn McKenzie 05/30/2002
Guess who's back, back again. Em is back, call your friends.
Okay, I had to do that.
I find it funny when a rapper doesn't release an album in a year or more it like
they are staging a "comeback." (Just don't call it a comeback, according to LL
Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out.") That's neither here nor there, but, despite
last year's album Devil's Night with his old group D-12, this is his
first album since 2000's Grammy-nominated album The Marshall Mathers LP.
As personal as that album was, it doesn't compare to the constant references to
his personal life on this new album, The Eminem Show. The thing that is
unique about Eminem's writing and performances is that he has created a violent,
disturbing, and frequently funny fictional world for himself in the form of Slim
Shady. On The Eminem Show, he tones a lot of that down and talks about
his real life problems more often, and a lot of the humor is gone.
There are a few funny moments. There is a skit involving the long-suffering
manager of Eminem, Steve Berman, where he gets shot right before he finally
gives Eminem a compliment instead of a complaint. Even though I know Eminem has
had violence in his real life, I take the violence on his albums with a huge
grain of salt. It is mostly presented in such a cartoonish way that I don't take
it any more seriously than Kenny getting constantly killed on "South Park."
The reason I think Berman getting shot is funny is because his character has
berated Eminem on all of the previous albums (including the D-12 album), and now
he ironically gets shot right before giving Eminem his first words of praise. I
guess you would have to be there.
Those skits and fictional funny songs are few and far between though. Most of
the songs are rants about people who have hurt him and people he doesn't like.
The controversy over his anti-homosexual rants on previous albums is barely
referred to on this album (with the exception of the line "so now I'm
catchin' the flack from these activists when they raggin'/actin' like I'm the
first rapper to smack a b___h, or say f____t" on "White America.") He seems
to just be letting out all of his problems on this album, and it makes it a more
serious one. I wish he had addressed his problems in a semi-funny,
semi-fictional style, like on the song "Stan" from the previous album.
The two songs on the album that stand out in terms of his letting everything out
are "White America" and the appropriately-titled "Cleaning Out My Closet." On
"White America" he takes on the government's and the media's perception of him.
On "Cleaning Out My Closet," he rants against everyone in his personal life who
has done him wrong (especially his mother.) Both songs are disturbing only by
the fact that they delve from the world of fiction.
One thing I have discovered is that Eminem is best when he is either by himself
or with his producer and mentor, Dr. Dre. Songs like "Drips" (with guest Obie
Trice) and "Superman" (with guest Dina Rae) are just gross without being
particularly creative. They almost sound like songs that might have originally
been rejected from the D-12 album.
Overall, The Eminem Show isn't a bad album. It just feels like a
transition album. Hopefully Eminem will get back to the cartoonish fictional
violence and misogyny that we all know and love!
This album also includes a DVD with bonus stuff on it if you buy one of the
first two million copies (I hope this review isn't too late to convince you to
go out and buy it before the DVD supplies last!) It includes an interview with
Eminem where he expresses his opinions on Internet piracy, his jabs at new
targets (including the confusing one at techno artist Moby), and more. It also
includes live performances of "The Way I Am" and "The Real Slim Shady," a
trailer for the Curtis Hanson-directed movie 8 Mile (the
semi-autobiographical movie starring Eminem coming out November 8), a music
video for the song "I Just Don't Give a F__k," and a short Internet cartoon
called The Slim Shady Show (which seems to be mostly parodying HBO's "OZ.")
I wish it had included the video for the first single "Without Me, " which
includes Eminem dressed up as a dancing, goofy Osama Bin-Laden hiding in a cave,
but oh well.
Check out the album for yourself:
If you like The Eminem Show, check out
his first album:
Give his Grammy-nominated second album a
Just to be complete, check out his album
Buy these albums at
BUY THIS ALBUM NOW!
Buy this album when you get the money...
Burn a copy of your friend's album...
Listen to your friend's album at his/her house...
Throw away your friend's album or use it as a coaster!
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