This album was released on February 23rd in 1999. This was Em’s breakout album. He struck gold with the single My Name Is… and became known as “that white guy who can rap.” It’s pretty much an updated, extended, and more polished version of the Slim Shady EP, which was released on December 6th in 1997.
Public Service Announcement
My Name Is… produced by Dr. Dre
Guilty Conscience featuring Dr. Dre produced by Dr. Dre & Eminem
Brain Damage produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
If I Had produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
97 Bonnie & Clyde produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
Role Model produced by Dr. Dre & Mel-Man
My Fault produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
Cum on Everybody featuring Dina Rae produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
Rock Bottom produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
Just Don’t Give a Fuck produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
As the World Turns produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
I’m Shady produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
Bad Meets Evil performed by Bad Meets Evil produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
Still Don’t Give a Fuck produced by The Bass Brothers & Eminem
The album begins with the Public Service Announcement skit, in which Em warns listeners not to take anything on the album too seriously. Slim Shady is a character, just like Padlock Jones or Cal Chuchesta. I mean, Padlock Jones is a real person, but nobody really values anything he says.
My Name Is… is the listener’s formal introduction to the Slim Shady character. Basically, Slim Shady is everything you don’t wanna be. Apparently trying acid fucked up his whole life. I don’t know how I feel about that line. I fuck with acid heads, and all of them seem pretty stable to me. I get what he was doing though. LSD users are frowned upon, and viewed as degenerates. Slim Shady is supposed to be white trash. The beat from Dre makes me think of old southern rednecks living in trailer parks. Slim Shady’s a troll. He says the most outlandish shit he can think of to try and get a reaction out of the listener.
I don’t give a fuck, God sent me to piss the world off
Kanye did the same thing with Yeezus when he said “I AM A GOD.” It’s just what rappers do I guess. The song is dope. The cartoonish lyrics are entertaining, and the production’s pretty decent.
Guilty Conscience is one of the more creative collaborations with Dr. Dre. It’s not really something I’d ever care to hear again due to the cinematic structure. It seems like they were more focused on telling a series of dramatic stories than crafting a listenable song. It’s an interesting track though. It highlights both of the artists’ abilities as rappers. The production isn’t that great, but it’s tolerable. I really liked how Em was talkin’ out the side of his neck towards Dre about how he abused Dee Barnes. It’s cool that he talked shit to everyone including the people that put him on. The best thing about the song is the music video, despite the outdated editing. Brain Damage is the first song on the album that really stood out as being great to me. It’s probably part of why Em gets labeled as “school shooter music” too. He tells a story about rebelling against his bully in junior high school. I got bullied in junior high school too, but it made me want to kill myself rather than kill anyone else. That’s beside the point though. The song has a good beat, and Em rhymed his ass off. It’s dope af. It’s followed by the “Paul” skit, performed by Paul Rosenburg, in which he asks Eminem to “tone it down.” If I Had is another average track. The production’s nothing special, and the verses are good, but not great. Nothing about the song is bad. It just doesn’t really stand out in any way. Well, I actually wasn’t really feelin’ the female vocals in the background. I don’t know who those are by. It’s a decent song, but I’m never gonna listen to it again. 97 Bonnie & Clyde is much better than Jay-Z’s ’03 Bonnie & Clyde. The song is about Eminem spending time with his baby daughter with his wife’s dead body in the trunk of the car they’re riding in. It reminds me of Hopsin lmao. At least Em was being original when he did it. Hopsin’s Ill Mind of Hopsin 9 is just done in poor taste. The Bitch skit is performed by Zoe Winkler. It’s just her talking about how disturbed she is by Eminem’s music. She was a victim of Marshall Mathers’ trolling I guess.
Role Model is Eminem at his best. I really like the beat. It has the sound of water bubbling. I always thought that was a cool sound to put in music. The song is loaded with absurd quotable lines.
Some people only see that I’m white, ignorin’ skill
‘Cause I stand out like a green hat with a orange bill
But I don’t get pissed, y’all don’t even see through the mist
How the fuck can I be white? I don’t even exist
The music video was pretty good too. The Lounge skit was completely unnecessary. The hook on My Fault is terrible. It’s definitely a lowpoint on the album. The verses are pretty good, but the production isn’t that great. I’m not fuckin’ with it. Cum on Everybody is supposed to be a parody of the typical club westside club record. The bassline reminds me of the Paid in Full beat. I’m glad the trend of incessant female background vocals in club records died out. The hook is pretty generic. The verses are really entertaining, but they’re not good enough to make the song worth returning to. It’s decent though. Rock Bottom is definitely a standout track. It’s kinda like Spaceship by Kanye West, except a lot more depressing. He raps about working a minimum wage job, hating it, and not getting the respect he knows he deserves. It’s a typical rap song about “the struggle.” It’s just super well done.
Just Don’t Give a Fuck is one of the more popular tracks from the album, and rightfully so. It’s fucking awesome. I love the aggressive battle rap bars, and the production is pretty solid too. The disses towards Vanilla Ice are dope af. There’s not much to say about it. It’s exactly what I expect to hear when a qualified Hip Hop DJ says he’s gonna put on some Eminem. Even Padlock likes it. The Soap skit was a parody of soap operas. As the World Turns is incredible. The story he told about fucking that girl to death was actually hilarious. I usually don’t like when Em sings, but the hook on I’m Shady wasn’t bad. The verses are absolutely outrageous. “Outrageous” in a cool way though. The outro is pretty much a sequel to the aforementioned “Just Don’t Give a Fuck” track. It’s yet another fantastic song.
This album is great. You’re not gonna like this project if you’re a prude who only likes super deep, political rap. It’s super sharp, animated lyricism from a white trash rapper who had nothing to lose at the time of its recording. This shit is dope.
Favorite Song: Bad Meets Evil
Least Favorite Song: My Fault