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The Eminem Show

by Eminem

Released May 26, 2002 via Shady Records / Aftermath / Interscope

Reviewed June 1, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
‘Till I Collapse (73%), Sing For The Moment (53%), Without Me (42%)

Listening to early ’00s Eminem is like catching a nice slice of trashy reality TV. The era was TRL with Carson Daly, The Real World: Las Vegas, The Osbournes, and when The Eminem Show came on, the world eagerly tuned in. Despite the gargantuan financial success of The Eminem Show, it remains a sorely underrated period in Mather’s career. Despite having enjoyed the height of his reach in the late ’90s and throughout the ’10s, Eminem seemed to best understand the state of hip-hop at the turn of the millenium. Twenty years later, the blend of Eminem and Dr. Dre production feels familiar throughout the years, and seems to have peaked in shelf life around those early 2000s. Sitting squarely in between the childishness that defined his genesis, and the delusion that has defined his more “mature” albums down the road, Eminem’s warped perceptions of reality as a patron of the Hollywood lifestyle is one of his most convincing plights.With any Shady product, you’ll have take or leave all that comes with his tortured attitude; and frankly, The Eminem Show has the most likeable and redeeming qualities of any of his albums. – DeVán (8/10)

Few artists stack up as ‘products of their time’ in the way that Eminem does. But even fewer artists have even come close to experiencing the massive commercial success that the Detroit rapper enjoyed at his peak. The Eminem Show follows 1999’s Slim Shady LP and 2000’s The Marshall Mathers LP; all of which solidified his name in hip-hop history, with these records standing as one of the most successful three albums runs ever. And while The Eminem Show was by no means a reinvention of neither Slim Shady nor Marshall Mathers, it might be the most dynamic offering of his. The edgy personality, immature theatrics, and deliberate positioning as a pop culture villain is no less prevalent, but it comes alongside a more complicated depiction of the controversy magnet that was Eminem at the time. Blurring the lines between Marshall Mathers and his alter-ego Slim Shady, Eminem displays a rather consistent level of self-awareness even while indulging in his usual antics. He acknowledges his position of privilege within hip-hop as a white rapper, which allowed him to not only withstand all the criticism—but capitalize on it. This is a central theme that intersects with his own self-perception as they relate to the unimaginable level of fame he reached. The hour-plus runtime makes the show last a bit longer than it needs to; but nonetheless, The Eminem Show represents many of the best qualities of prime Eminem: Tongue-in-cheek humor and political commentary alongside some self-awareness. – Dominick (8/10)

Eminem's grip on the industry stood at a choke hold in the early 2000s; his hands dealt the cards. Becoming the poster child for things that frightened modern day society––drugs, risqué behavior, racy ramblings, outright influence and intimidating presence––Eminem found himself on the end of backlash from all angles. Whipping up a whirlwind of angst and spite, Eminem's aura around this time attracted trouble from the likes of the FCC. It's a rare occasion for an artist to garner as much attention as Eminem in the early ’00's. Capturing the mainstream's minds, along with the underground's hearts, is something that can be near impossible to pull off as cleanly and effectively. The Eminem Show is often cited as the tipping point in Eminem's career. The last great hurrah from one of the artform's finest wordsmiths. The Eminem Show sits comfortably at the top of the pop rap paradigm. – Peter (7/10)

Jacques: 9/10 | Dominick: 8/10 | DeVán: 8/10 | Pablo: 7.5/10

Peter: 7/10 | Cam: 6.8/10 | Jared: 4/10 | Ben (Synth): 3/10

Community Reviews:

Definitely a hip-hop classic, but it grew off me. Can't deny this was a 10/10 way back in 2020, but now? Some songs are bad. “Superman” is a bad song, and same to “Hailie's Song.” This album still offers some of his best songs, like “Soldier” and “Cleaning Out My Closet,” two tracks that define the Eminem persona perfectly and hold up the hype for this album. Eminem manages to stay on top of every beat that Dre produces with his great raps, especially on “White America” and “Say Goodbye To Hollywood,” where he gets really introspective and calls for the listener's full attention because he goes hard bar after bar. “Without Me” is also another classic Shady persona song, but the outro became really cringe. The features are great, mostly for all of D12 on “When The Music Stops,” where they all have great verses. And how could you forget the hook Nate Dogg provides on “'Till I Collapse?” May be one of his best hooks ever. Overall, a great Eminem album, happy 20-year anniversary! – @keegan.rap (9.4/10)

​​The Eminem Show is a really great album and a highlight in his expansive discography. This album captures everything great about Eminem’s music and has stood the test of time as one of the greatest rap albums of the 2000’s. @writtenbygolden – (9/10)

Eminem’s golden trilogy ends with his most poppy and boring tracks. When people bring up the downfall of Eminem, I’m shocked that this is a high point in his very inconsistent discography. All the instrumentals are boring synthesized pop rap beats, while Eminem’s vocal delivery and rapping is super tacky. The high point of the album is Eminem’s lyricism, as he is still at his peak rhyming ability and he has things to talk about—at least when he’s not doing the same stuff he did on MMLP. Still one of Eminem’s more bloated, inconsistent, and wack releases starting the downfall of his career. –@balock_head05 (4/10)


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