This is an interesting point to debate. From the « Infinite » album to the « 8 Mile » soundtrack, we cannot deny Eminems musical and personal evolution.
Of course, Eminem doesnt sound the same on the « Slim Shady LP » than on the « Eminem Show », but he doesnt have to.
On the Infinite album, Eminems goal was to be known by the public. He had put a lot of verbal energy and exposed some personal problems.
In the Slim Shady LP, Eminem appears to be more scary. The Slim Shady LP exposes a new born character : Slim Shady, Eminems evil alter ego.
In his debut album, Eminem has developped a concept with producers Jeff and Marky Bass that worked very well : the concept of a shock rapper.
Eminems goal was to shock people and thus to attrack their attention.
He was supposed to be the « Marilyn Manson of rap ».
At the time Marshall wrote the album, he still had a lot of issues and was facing financial and personal problem. The Slim Shady Lp appears to be a perfect reflection of Marshalls life before he became famous.
It also exposes the American ghetto life in its harsh reality.
Slim Shady is a symbol for the violence contained in Marshalls illest thoughts.
There are many references to drugs and Marshall gave a complete enumeration of the drugs he used to take. in the song « Im Shady ».
Most of Eminems targets change, the things or people that used to annoy him can be very different within several years of difference.
The « Marshall Mathers LP » is probably Eminems most offensive and verbally violent album. It was first supposed to be called « Amsterdam » because of its many references to drugs.
At the beginning of his career Eminem really needed to distinguish himself from so many pop artist. He wanted people to know that he was a rapper, not an ordinary pop singer. The fact that he was white and that his hair was dyed blonde certainly increased the confusion in peoples mind. So Eminem decided to attack many pop artists such as NSync, Britney Spears. Boy and girl groups were targetted first. In The Real Slim Shady », Eminem claims :
« Im sick of you little boy and girl groups, all you do is annoy me/
So I have been sent to destroy you. [bzzt] »
This was also a good way to get some attention. Eminem also disses some artists in the « Marshall Mathers LP » in reaction to what they said about him. Christina Aguilera is one of those artists Eminem made look ridiculous in his album.
But the « Marshall Mathers P » has been much more controversial than that . Because of his frequent use of the word « faggot » (Eminem was not the first rapper to do this) and his references to domestic violence, Eminem has been attacked and protested against by feminists and by activists from the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation).
The period that separates the « Marshall Mathers LP » from the « Eminem Show » (The « Devils Night » album had been released in the meantime), has been a period of big trouble for Marshall in his personal life. He was facing Court charges and could have been sent to jail for five years because of the incident thar happened with Kim and the argument with Douglas Dail from ICP.
At this time, Marshall was living dangerously.
« The Eminem Show » exposes a man that has become more mature. Eminem has made some mistakes, he has learnt from them and wants to share this with his public. He has abandoned the mask and the chainsaw, but in fact hes still rebellious. Rebellious against censorship, rebellious against the goverment
Eminem also wants his public that is composed by a majority of young people to learn from him. He wants them to know that unprotected sex is bad and can lead to desease. This is the main topic of « Drips », featuring Obie Trice.
He also wants to show them that hes got a sensitive side. Hailies participation certainly helps people to discover the artists real side.
From the negative rodel model he was in the past, Eminem has certainly become a positive role model to the young generation. But that doesnt mean hes ready to accept anything just to sell records. Eminem goes on speaking his mind like he usually does. Eminem losing his edge ? Dont think so. Take a loo at « Nail In the Coffin », where Eminem does an excellent job in killing Benzino verbally. Take a deeper look at the « White America » lyrics
Eminem is not and will never be a commercial rapper. Of course, hes become rich, but he never forgets where he came from and when he raps, he is still « underground ».
He is used to speaking his mind and, as far as Im concerned, I think he always will during his whole career. Eminem doesnt make music to please people : hes got something to say and he expresses his message with assurance.
If you ask me if Eminem has lost his edge, Id rather say no. Eminem still got the same verbal energy than at his beginnings when he spits his verses and never fakes his feelings.
He has earned a lot of respect from numerous people for that.
Eminem still go the mind of a rebel. Did you forget hes the spokesman for « White America » and that he came with a plan to ambush this Bush administration ?