The Eminem Show


The Eminem Show
The Eminem Show
Studio album by Eminem
Released May 28, 2002
Recorded 2002
Detroit, Michigan
(Encore Studios)
(Marshall Mathers's House)
(54 Sound Studio)
Genre Hip hop
Length 77:30
Label Aftermath, Interscope
Producer Dr. Dre (exec.)
Eminem, Jeff Bass, Mr. Porter
Eminem chronology
The Marshall Mathers LP
(2000)
The Eminem Show
(2002)
Encore
(2004)
Singles from The Eminem Show
  1. "Without Me"
    Released: May 12, 2002
  2. "Cleanin' Out My Closet"
    Released: September 17, 2002
  3. "Superman"
    Released: January 27, 2003
  4. "Sing for the Moment"
    Released: February 25, 2003
  5. "Business"
    Released: July 22, 2003

The Eminem Show is the fourth studio album by the American rapper Eminem, released in 2002. It was the best-selling album of 2002 in the United States, with sales of 7.6 million copies.[1] At the Grammy Awards of 2003 it was nominated for Album of the Year and became Eminem's third LP in four years to win the award for Best Rap Album. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling approximately 284,000 units in its first week, which due to a premature release by retailers and street-date violations, counted only a day and a half of sales.[2] The album sold 1,322,000 copies the following week, where it registered a full week of sales.[3][4] The album topped the Billboard 200 for five consecutive weeks.[5][6] The album also spent five consecutive weeks at the top of the UK Albums Chart.[7] It has gone on to sell over ten million copies.[8] On March 7, 2011, the album was certified ten-times-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America,[9] making it Eminem's first album to receive a Diamond certification in the United States. In 2003, the album was ranked #317 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and was later ranked at #84 on the same magazine's best albums of the 2000s decade. The album received critical praise by most music critics and is often debated as Eminem's most personal and best work. Eminem himself acknowledged during an interview with MTV that was recorded on May 25, 2002, that he felt that The Eminem Show was his "best record so far".[10] The Eminem Show was Eminem's first album to be mainly self-produced.

Contents

Release

The Eminem Show was first scheduled for release on June 4, 2002; however, pirated and bootleg copies appeared online on peer-to-peer networks and began surfacing on the streets. Interscope decided to release the album early on May 28 to combat bootlegging. However, many stores in the US began selling it early on Sunday, May 26, and some put the album out as early as Friday.[2] Promotional posters in stores read, "America Couldn't Wait". Due to the premature release by many retailers on a Sunday, the album had only one day of official sales for the chart week and was unavailable in Wal-Mart stores during that period.[2][11] Despite the confusion over the exact release date, the album still managed to have a very successful debut on the charts. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 284,000 copies.[2] This marked the first time an album had topped the charts with such an abbreviated sales week.[11] The album sold 1,322,000 copies in its first full week of sales.[3][4] It sold 809,000 copies in its third week and 529,562 copies in its fourth week, to bring its four-week sales total to just under three million copies.[12][13] The album sold 381,000 copies in its fifth week and topped the Billboard 200 for the fifth consecutive week.[14] The first 2 million copies of the album shipped in the US included a bonus DVD with an exclusive interview and live footage.[11] The Eminem Show was Eminem's first album to include lyrics to all songs inside the CD booklet.[15] It was Eminem's most successful album in terms of charting singles. It spawned two top-ten and four top fifteen singles with "Without Me", "Cleanin' Out My Closet", "Sing For The Moment" and "Superman", which managed to reach the top ten without a widely-available video counterpart (the video was mostly available on the 8 Mile DVD, rarely being shown on music video channels). In addition, "My Dad's Gone Crazy", "Business", "Hailie's Song", and "White America" were selected airplay singles of the controversial album.

Content

Subject matter

The Eminem Show is a reflective album, featuring Eminem's more personal and serious side. This change gives the album a lighter tone, a departure from his previous albums. One of the most noticeable changes is the generally lighter lyrical content. Over the course of the album, he touches on the issues of race in hip hop ("White America"), his childhood ("Cleanin' Out My Closet"), the United States government, and terrorism. ("Square Dance"), his 2000 assault on a nightclub bouncer and his following conviction ("Soldier"), him coming to terms with fate the downside of fame ("Say Goodbye Hollywood"), his status as a rapper ("Sing for the Moment"), and his relationship with his ex-wife Kim and daughter Hailie ("Hailie's Song"). Also, the song "Say What You Say" (featuring Dr. Dre) is an attack on Jermaine Dupri, and was also the first time that The Source magazine controversy was mentioned by Eminem. Unlike The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show's release came off without significant complaints about misogyny or homophobia. Some shock-oriented and extremely explicit lyrics are still present, but for the most part they are toned down. Q Magazine's May 2006 review of the album proposes "His two first albums aired dirty laundry, then the world's most celebrated rapper examined life in the hall of mirrors he'd built for himself."

Musical content

The album opens up with a skit of stage curtains apparently being opened, indicative of the "start of the show". It is followed by "White America" a song in which Eminem touches on numerous subjects ranging from his mainly white suburban youth fanbase, his own amazement at his success, and his reception by parents and politicians, it contains a rock based sound, which remains prominent throughout the album. The next track is "Business", which is a song with a light beat that touches on Eminem's success and talent. Following that is "Cleaning out My Closet" a serious song in which Eminem raps about his childhood and explains the reasons behind his distaste for his mother (some being her drug abuse, constant accusations of him stealing money, attempts to take credit for his success).

"Square Dance" is next, a song which criticizes the Bush Administration for its involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and warns young men of being drafted. "The Kiss", a skit, follows, which is a recreation of Eminem's 2000 pistol-whipping assault of John Guerrra, a bouncer who Eminem witnessed kissing his wife, Kimberly Mathers. "Soldier" follows, a powerful track which takes shots at lawyers, judges, and many who have insulted Eminem or hurt him in some way. This particular song was very well-received by critics for its production and lyrical content. "Say Goodbye Hollywood" is the next track. Eminem raps about "selling" his soul to the Devil and wanting to put an end to the fame and success because it has deadened his character and hurt his life.

"Drips" is the next song, featuring fellow Detroit rapper Obie Trice. The song follows the sexual escapades of both men and concludes with them learning they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease from the same woman. Following is "Without Me" a popular single which ridicules pop artists and displays Eminem's wide range of lyrical talent. "Paul Rosenberg", a skit, follows next. Paul, Eminem's manager, has left a voicemail message for the rapper upset with him after learning he has been shooting his gun behind the studio and instructing him to "leave the fucking gun at home." Following the skit is the single "Sing for the Moment", in which Eminem discusses his fame and the negative effects of it, justifies his actions and admits his mistakes, criticizes authority and hypocrisy, and concludes with Eminem supporting children who seem to have nothing else to hang onto but music.

After is "Superman" featuring Dina Rae. The song explains Eminem's perception of women, explaining that he does not want to get involved in a relationship and does not appreciate the fact that most women are simply attracted to him because of his wealth. "Hailie's Song" is next, a song which Eminem had not planned to include on the album (but did so after Dr. Dre played the track for two female friends who were crying at the end of it). The track is mainly sung as opposed to rapped. The rapper sings the first two verses and raps the third. The entire content of the song focuses on his daughter, Hailie Jade, and his love for her. The final verse touches on his wife and how he has stayed strong through all of the issues he has faced, simply for his loved daughter.

"Steve Berman", another skit, follows in which Eminem is requested to be seen. On The Marshall Mathers LP, a skit with the same title featured Berman criticizing the rapper for the lyrical content of the album. It is implied that Eminem has been called again this time for the same reason, but the rapper is armed with a weapon and the skit concludes with Berman being shot, unbeknownst to listeners whether he is fatally wounded. A skit on Relapse from 2009 indicates Berman survived the shot. "When The Music Stops" featuring D12, follows. The song features each rapper talking about their life and how it has been changed by their fame. "Say What You Say" is next, featuring Dr. Dre. The track insults rappers Canibus and Jermaine Dupri, whom Eminem and Dr. Dre feuded with, respectively. It also touches on Eminem and Dr. Dre's hardworking habits and ends with an insult directed at Dupri by Dr. Dre collaborator Timbaland.

The next track "Till I Collapse" features Nate Dogg. The song is considered a classic and considered by many to be Eminem's best song by many peaple. It is a motivating track which encourages listeners to persevere in times of weakness. Eminem also raps about the denial of his talent by many due to skin color, and criticizes the industry for untalented rappers being popular while those he perceives as having true skill are not popular. The next track is "My Dad's Gone Crazy" featuring Eminem's daughter Hailie Jade (who was 6 years old at the time of recording). The song is comical and opens up with Eminem presumably snorting lines of cocaine when his daughter interrupts him and the song kicks off. Most interpret the song as Eminem explaining that he is comfortable with saying whatever he wants to regardless of how people perceive it. The second verse is laden with profanity and derogatory terms for homosexuals.

The album closes with "Curtain Close" similar to the opening skit, in which the curtains are now being drawn, indicating the "end of the show." Ken Kaniff, Eminem's fictional gay character, is reintroduced briefly at the end of the skit who makes fun of Eminem's song "Without Me" by changing the words at the beginning of the song.

Production

The album also saw Eminem take a substantially more predominant production role; most of it was self-produced, with longtime collaborator Jeff Bass co-producing several tracks (mainly the eventual singles). Dr. Dre, in addition to being the album's executive producer, produced three individual tracks: "Business", "Say What You Say", and "My Dad's Gone Crazy". In an interview with The Face magazine in April 2002, Eminem said that he treated the album like it was a rock record, in terms of production, incorporating the use of guitars whilst still having elements of hip-hop. He said that he wanted to capture the '70s rock vibe, which he felt "had this incredible feel", for most of the record. He said that he "tried to get the best of both worlds" on the album.[16]

Censored version

The clean version of The Eminem Show censors all profanities, compared to his previous albums, in which the words "goddamn", "bitch", "ass", and "shit" were allowed. This album allowed no profanities, and the profanities were either muted or back masked.[citation needed] Following this, the censored version even took out entire sentences because they were too sexually charged. In fact, the entire song "Drips" is removed in the clean version and is just heard as four seconds of silence moving on to "Without Me", due to thinking there were so many profanities that editing the song would be pointless. But some copies feature an edited version of "Drips." Though there was a clean version of the song, it was left only on the PA version of the album. However, in the skit "The Kiss", it can still be clearly heard that Eminem shouts "Motherfucker!" on the censored version. "Hailie's Song" censors "abort her" when he says "God, I'm a daddy, I'm so glad that her mom didn't abort her."[17] Also, in "White America", in Eminem's speech the word "flag" is backmasked when he says "To burn the flag and replace it with a parental advisory sticker".

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 75[18]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[19]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[20]
HipHopDX 4.5/5 stars[21]
NME (positive)[17]
Pitchfork Media (9.1/10)[22]
PopMatters (mixed)[23]
RapReviews (8/10)[24]
Robert Christgau (A-)[25]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[26]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[27]

Initial critical response to The Eminem Show was distinctly positive. It was viewed by many critics and fans as a growth in Eminem as an artist. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 75, based on 20 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[18] Alex Needham from NME gave it a positive review, calling it a "fantastic third album" that "is bigger, bolder and far more consistent than its predecessors".[17] In his review at AllMusic, Stephen Erlewine said the album "proves Eminem is the gold standard in pop music in 2002, delivering stylish, catchy, dense, funny, political music that rarely panders".[19]

With a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani said The Eminem Show "reveals a little bit of the real Marshall Mathers" that "displays a—dare I say it?—more 'mature' Eminem." And he called "Without Me" "a pop-friendly ditty that displays enough of Eminem's talent for tight rhymes and well-timed controversy to validate his perpetual upward climb."[27]

David Browne at Entertainment Weekly concluded, "[l]ike its predecessors, though, The Eminem Show is a testament to the skills of its star. The sludgy rapping of such guests as D12 only confirms Eminem's dizzying prowess, gob-spewing individuality, and wickedly prankish humor." He gave it a grade of B+.[20]

Robert Christgau gave the album an A- and said "I like it and I enjoy it; I think it represents an articulate, coherent, formally appropriate response to Eminem's changing position and role, one that acknowledges the privileges and alienations that accrue to all fame as well as the resolution of Marshall Mathers's worst traumas and the specifics of his success."[25] while the reviewer at Pitchfork gave it a 9.1/10 rating, and said "he's playing the same old marshall vs shady real-or-fake game as usual ... and its as interesting and complex as it ever was."[22] Uncut said "Behind the hype and the swagger, he's still baring enough of his soul for The Eminem Show to be compelling theatre.

The reviewer at HipHopDX admired both the musical and lyrical aspects of the work, and gave a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars: "Em flows on beat so effortlessly and naturally you'd swear it was his everyday style. Overlooking his lyrics would be a crime though."[21] RapReviews gave it a rating of 8 out of 10[24] and Rolling Stone gave it a 4-star rating.[26]

The record became Eminem's third to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and also swept the MTV Music Video Awards, winning four awards for Best Male Video, Video of the Year, Best Direction, and Best Rap Video. It won Album of the Year & R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year at the 2002 Billboard Music Awards.[28] It won Best International Album and International Album of the Year at the Brit Awards and the Juno Awards respectively in 2003.[29] It also won Best Album at the 2002 MTV Europe Music Awards.[30]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Curtains Up" (skit)   Eminem 0:30
2. "White America"   Marshall Mathers, Jeff Bass, Luis Resto, Steve King Eminem, Jeff Bass 5:24
3. "Business"   Mathers, Andre Young, Ron Feemster, Mike Elizondo Dr. Dre 4:11
4. "Cleanin' Out My Closet"   Mathers, Bass Eminem, Jeff Bass 4:58
5. "Square Dance"   Mathers, Bass, Resto Eminem 5:24
6. "The Kiss" (skit) Mathers, Bass Eminem 1:16
7. "Soldier"   Mathers, Resto Eminem 3:46
8. "Say Goodbye Hollywood"   Mathers, Elizondo, Resto Eminem 4:33
9. "Drips" (featuring Obie Trice) Mathers, Obie Trice, Denaun Porter, Bass Eminem 4:45
10. "Without Me"   Mathers Eminem 4:50
11. "Paul Rosenberg" (skit) (performed by Paul Rosenberg)     0:23
12. "Sing for the Moment"   Mathers, Bass, Resto, King, Steven Tyler Eminem, Jeff Bass 5:40
13. "Superman" (featuring Dina Rae) Mathers, Bass, King Eminem, Jeff Bass 5:50
14. "Hailie's Song"   Mathers, Resto Eminem 5:21
15. "Steve Berman" (skit) (featuring Steve Berman)     0:33
16. "When the Music Stops" (with D12) Mathers, Ondre Moore, Porter, Von Carlisle, Rufus Johnson, Feemster Eminem, Denaun Porter 4:29
17. "Say What You Say" (featuring Dr. Dre) Mathers, Young, Feemster, Elizondo Dr. Dre 5:09
18. "'Till I Collapse" (featuring Nate Dogg) Mathers, Nathaniel Hale, Curtis Jackson, Resto Eminem 4:57
19. "My Dad's Gone Crazy" (featuring Hailie Jade) Mathers, Young, Feemster, Elizondo Dr. Dre 4:28
20. "Curtains Close" (skit)   Eminem 1:00
Sample credits

Charts

Chart (2002) Peak
position
Argentinian Albums Chart[citation needed] 1
Australian Albums Chart[31] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[32] 1
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[33] 1
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[33] 3
Canadian Albums Chart[34] 1
Czech Republic Albums Chart[citation needed] 1
Danish Albums Chart[35] 2
Europe Albums chart[citation needed] 1
Finnish Albums Chart[36] 1
French Albums Chart[37] 2
German Albums Chart[38] 1
Hungarian Albums Chart[citation needed] 2
Irish Albums Chart[39] 1
Italian Albums Chart[40] 1
Netherlands (Mega Album Top 100)[41] 1
New Zealand Albums Chart[42] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[43] 1
Polish Albums Chart[44] 7
Swedish Albums Chart[45] 1
Swiss Albums Chart[46] 1
UK Albums Chart[47] 1
US Billboard 200[48] 1

Certifications

Region Certification
Argentina (CAPIF)[49] Platinum
Australia (ARIA)[50] 8× Platinum
Austria (IFPI Austria)[51] 2× Platinum
Belgium (BEA)[52] Platinum
Brazil (ABPD)[53] Gold
Canada (Music Canada)[54] Diamond
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[55] 2× Platinum
Finland (IFPI Finland)[56] 2× Platinum
France (SNEP)[57] 2× Platinum
Germany (BVMI)[58] 2× Platinum
Greece (IFPI Greece)[59] Platinum
Hungary (Mahasz)[60] 2× Platinum
Mexico (AMPROFON)[61] Gold
Netherlands (NVPI)[62] Platinum
New Zealand (RIANZ)[63] 8× Platinum
Norway (IFPI Norway)[64] Platinum
Poland (ZPAV)[65] Gold
Portugal (AFP)[66] Platinum
Sweden (IFPI Sweden)[67] 2× Platinum
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[68] 3× Platinum
United Kingdom (BPI)[69] 4× Platinum
United States (RIAA)[9] Diamond
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[70] 5× Platinum

Singles chart positions

Year Song Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 UK Top 40 Hot Rap Singles Rhythmic Top 40 Top 40 Mainstream Top 40 Tracks
2002 "Without Me" 2 1 5 1 1 1
"Cleanin' Out My Closet" 4 4 5 2 7 5
2003 "Business" 6
"Superman" 15 10 5 10 9
"Sing for the Moment" 14 6 10 18 5 5

See also

Album precession

Preceded by
We Invented The Remix Vol. 1 by Various Artists
Nellyville by Nelly
Billboard 200 number-one album
June 2, 2002 – July 6, 2002
September 1, 2002 – September 7, 2002
Succeeded by
Nellyville by Nelly
Home by Dixie Chicks
Preceded by
Destination by Ronan Keating
UK number one album
June 1, 2002 – July 7, 2002
Succeeded by
Heathen Chemistry by Oasis
Preceded by
18 by Moby
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
June 3, 2002 – July 14, 2002
September 23–29, 2002
Succeeded by
By the Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers

References

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