The Marshall Mathers LP 20 Years On

“The Marshall Mathers LP” has become Em’s third album on the platform to reach the milestone of 4.2 billion streams.

Released ages before streaming platforms were conceived, on May 23, 2000, the album still resonates. It was produced mostly by Dr. Dre and Eminem but also had input from the 45 King, the Bass Brothers, and Mel-Man.

Arguably, MMLP is one of Marshall’s greatest creations.

The album is known for its introspective lyricism, including Eminem’s thoughts on his rise from rags to riches, the criticism of his music, and his estrangement from his family and wife. Eminem’s lyrics are provocative, often blurring the line between his alter ego and reality. His lyrics are considered to have a macabre imagination, an incredible ability to create new rhyme patterns, and a never-ending slew of jaw-dropping punch lines.

The instrumentals of the album shift between slick, bright, and melodic funk that’s so R&B-ish, you can dance to it, and slow, driving, outrageous-bass hardcore raw hip-hop made for cruising in lowriders.

The creation of “The Marshall Mathers LP” is a testament to Eminem’s spontaneous and creative process. The album was recorded over a two-month period in several studios around Detroit. Interestingly, some of Eminem’s favorite material on the album evolved from casual moments in the studio.

For instance, the song “Marshall Mathers” developed from Eminem watching Jeff Bass casually strumming a guitar. Similarly, the song “Criminal” was based on a piano riff Eminem overheard Bass playing in the studio next door. These instances highlight Eminem’s early ability to draw inspiration from his surroundings and transform them into iconic songs.

One of the most energetic songs, “The Real Slim Shady” was added to the album at the last minute, just mere hours before the album was due. It was created in response to concerns that the album didn’t yet have a song that could repeat the impact of “My Name Is” from his previous album. Despite the time crunch, “The Real Slim Shady” became Eminem’s biggest hit ever, peaking at No.4 on the Billboard Hot 1002.

MMLP hit the 4 billion streams mark in mid-December 2023, gaining momentum rather fast. If the trend continues, “The Marshall Mathers LP” threatens to replace “Recovery” in the future. As of now, MMLP gains around 2.5 million streams a day against 2 million that goes to “Recovery”.

Listen to the album below:

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