I like to equate my appreciation for Eminem and his music to that of wine – it’s an acquired taste. I discovered Eminem’s music at the young age of 12, thanks to my older brother. I admit that my first listen to The Slim Shady LP was surrounded with mixed reviews. I was young. Oblivious to the lyrical content. I was, however, initially drawn to Eminem due to his lyrical delivery; it was different. I also grew to trust my brother’s judgement since he did introduce me to Hip Hop at a ripe age. I was spoiled with the sounds of Wutang Clan, Nas, The Fugees, and Beastie Boys having shared a room with my brother for years as a kid.
So when he came home one day after school, blasting “My Name Is,” I looked up at him as my ears rung from curiosity. What the heck was he listening to? I saw him place the CD down on a desk in our shared room so when he left the room, I investigated. From the opening skit, to the closing track, there I was getting my first taste of Eminem‘s music. As a kid, I was always inclined to do my research so I did just that. I logged into my AOL Account (you guys remember that annoying dial tone right?) and bypassed my parent’s “parental controls.”
After a couple hours of research, I came across Eminem’s Slim Shady LP and what was considered his first (unreleased) project, ever: “Infinite.” Looking back on that day, I’d have to say that my first experience with Eminem‘s music had a lasting impression. When asked who my “Top 5, Dead or Alive” is, he’s the first name I mention.
Fast forward to the present day, I discover that Eminem recently revealed the artwork for his forthcoming project. A year after releasing “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” it was revealed via Instagram that his new album would be “Shady XV” – a double disc album that will contain both classic Eminem Records and NEW original tracks.
Upon seeing this announcement, I thought I’d share my Top 3 Eminem Albums.
“Infinite” was Eminem’s solo debut album that was released prior to his signing with a label. The album only sold 1,000 copies due to the lack of marketing and promotion. But true Eminem fans manage to find this album on their own. For me, this album is raw and pure grit. It portrays a much younger and hungrier Eminem who was still finding his MC identity.
Favorite Track: “Infinite” (Track 01)
“The Eminem Show,” released in 2002, was Eminem’s third major release. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and sold well over 280,00 units in its first week. Eminem’s growth is apparent as he has refined and honed his style of rap at this point. No shortage of skits on this album and it definitely did not lack “hits.”
Favorite Track: “Sing For The Moment” & “Till I Collapse”
“The Marshall Mathers LP” is undeniably one of the best Hip Hop albums of all time. As Eminem’s third studio album, he has already established himself as a contender for being one of Hip Hop’s greats. Released in May 2000, the Dr. Dre-produced album birthed nothing but CLASSIC Eminem material. His mature flow matched with Dre’s heavy production was a match made in Heaven. From Track 01 to Track 18 (minus the bonus track), Eminem’s lyrics and delivery was at its prime.