The Slim Shady LP
Ah this is something that takes me back to being 14, and it is an album that I still enjoy listening to to this day. Off sick from school one day, I was watching MTV (days before alternative music channels), and Cat Deeley introduced this song as something that is brilliant though likely to cause offence. The song was My Name Is. I had to get the album.
My Name Is is the song that starts the album properly, after a 30 second skit-track. Once you are introduced to Eminem via My Name Is, you are straight into Guilty Conscious, which was arguably more shocking than the previous song. Strange to think that now, and nothing is really thought of it, but at the time, Eminem caused controversy. I love the way the Guilty Conscious works, with both Eminem and Dr Dre acting as evil and good. One of the things which stands out with this track, and indeed the album, is Dr Dre’s production skills; the album sounds lush on the whole. Brain Damage is a great song with juvenile humour with an underlining dark story over drugs. Eminem has the ability, especially on this album, to tell dark stories yet add a twisted humour to it that any age group and relate too.
Bonnie and Clyde is a song which I always loved when I was younger and the album first came out. Well, maybe loved is not the right work, but it certainly struck a chord with me due to it’s personal nature, and even though it’s not massively mature, when you are driven to despair with rage, often the results is something like this song. Human nature I guess.
The album is dripping in sarcasm, as shown in Role Model and pretty much every other track. It is amazing how many people took what Eminem was rapping literally. If that was the case, he was a woman beating murderer who got himself into the most deranged sexual scenarios and survived HIV.
A lot of the songs are not stand out tracks, but they are really enjoyable, and this is a great rap album which appealed to so many different people with clever lyrics, outrageous story telling and superb production.
“My attitude is worse than NWA’s was”. Yes, it is. Though it is still refreshing and welcome to push people with their morale compasses, and sell millions in the process.
Download: My Name Is, Guilty Conscious
Edit: It's been pointed out to me that it was actually the Bass Brothers who did the majority of the production of the album, and not just Dr Dre.