68.) Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
Eminem has always elicited, in me, contradictory feelings. On the one hand at his best (here) he's a gifted artist and as technically proficient a rapper as has ever been and on the other hand he's still these things but he's also a misogynistic homophobe who relishes in tales of murdering his wife.
Hmmm... What to do. What to do
I've certainly had a hard time with a lot of Em's work, but even as brutal as it gets, and it can get brutal (I always have a particularly hard time with "Kim") I have a certain fondness for The Marshall Mathers LP. For my money, It's Em's best work as an artist and as a producer. As a whole it works better than anything he's ever done and "Stan" will always stand as being one of the greatest, and certainly most interesting rap singles ever released.
Back in 2000 when The Marshall Mathers LP was released, Eminem was a controversy courting and very polarizing artist whose work was simultaneously lauded and derided. Now, no one really cares. That's amazing to me. I know he still records and his last record went number 1 and all, but shit, it didn't register a blip on my radar. I hated that single.
I figured Eminem was an artist that was going to be reckoned with for a long, long time. An artist that would challenge the public constantly by using his flaws to point out ours, but instead he's still writing Mariah Carey diss tracks in 2009. While it's clear I've struggled with his work, he was at least doing that - causing me and others to struggle to like his music despite the sometimes unsavory topics.
Now, he's just boring.
But, there was a moment back in 2000 when Slim Shady was it and I can't take that away from him. Listening to The Marshall Mathers LP today, it is clear that despite what's become of Mr. Mathers, he had at least one sharp, devastating, classic record in him. The Marshall Mathers LP hits the same marks today that it set out to nearly ten years ago and that's the mark of a truly great record.
But it still looses points for "Ken Kaniff."
Posted by Pat Driscoll