Listening to “The Slim Shady LP” by Marshall Mathers, known to most of us as Eminem, it almost feels like a good, raunchy comedy film more than a music project. Even though he is a really talented MC and there are some mean beats on this album, a lot of what I appreciated the most were the lines and scenarios that had me laughing pretty hard. Eminem rose to prominence under the tutelage and production of Dr. Dre, and Dre does make an appearance and is a co-producer on this record, which is rated #352 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The absurdity starts right off with “Public Service Announcement”, which is followed up by the most recognizable track here, “My Name Is”. It’s a funky groove, but it mostly just makes me laugh. That sensation continues on the next song, “Guilty Conscience”, which is a back-and-forth between Dre and Eminem. I don’t think I have ever heard this song before, even though it was one of the singles from the album. Like every track on this record, this isn’t exactly radio friendly. That said, one of the “anecdotes” and lines in this song from Eminem is one of the funniest things I have heard in music. It’s pretty off-color and I’m not going to quote it here, but… poor Grady.
Listening to this album is kind of like seeing a pretty extreme stand-up comic. There are definitely moments on this record, including parts of “Guilty Conscience”, that make you cringe or shake your head given their extreme nature. That said, I understand that is part of the approach, and in general, I find it all pretty entertaining with a few limited exceptions. What else would you expect from an album that has two songs titled “Just Don’t Give a Fuck” and “Still Don’t Give a Fuck”. Honestly, I enjoyed both of them just as I did the rest of this album. You don’t have to take things too seriously all the time, and this album was a good escape for an hour plus.