DJ YRS Jerzy’s Wednesday Throwback: The Best of Eminem
By DJ YRS Jerzy
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
This week was big for hip hop and the world has acted accordingly. It’s not every day, or every year for that matter, when Eminem comes out with new music, but he delivered a new albumthis year. Yesterday, Eminem dropped The Marshall Mathers LP 2 and everyone is tuned in, so it made since to reflect on his career.
Throughout his career, Eminem has dealt with several ups-and-downs and he let it all pour out in his music. Starting out in the early 1990s, Eminem broke through following his Infinite album and The Slim Shady EP. Eminem released “Just Don’t Give A Fuck” and has not looked back since then.
Eminem released seven more albums from the span of 1999 to the present day. Along the way, Eminem helped shed light to D12, 50 Cent, Obie Trice, and others. This week, for Wednesday Throwback, we decided to go in-depth on Eminem instead of just delivering one song.
Watch Eminem’s career timeline below:
“Just Don’t Give A Fuck”
The hip hop world was first introduced to Eminem when he dropped “Just Don’t Give A Fuck.” He already had Infinite out, which dropped in 1996 and did well locally. But, The Slim Shady EP dropped in 1997 and introduced Eminem to a bigger audience following the release of “Just Don’t Give A Fuck.”
Watch “Just Don’t Give A Fuck” by Eminem below:
The Slim Shady LP
Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine paid attention to Eminem after The Slim Shady EP came out and they soon paid him to come to Los Angeles. It took little time for Eminem to sign with Aftermath/Interscope and the rest is history. The Slim Shady LP came and it showed Eminem’s dark humor and produced a hip hop classic.
Out of the gate, Eminem posted a hit single with “My Name Is,” which became a Top 40 hit on Billboard. This song helped establish Eminem as a household name in the hip hop world. Eminem didn’t look back and he and Dr. Dre helped craft a new sound that revitalized the good doctor’s career.
During the run of The Slim Shady LP, Eminem had a hand in helping Dr. Dre post a major hit in “Forgot About Dre.” The song came out around the same time Eminem dropped “Guilty Conscience,” which again showed his dark humor. It was clear after this album, Eminem was going to be sticking around for a while.
Watch “My Name Is” by Eminem below:
Watch “Role Model” by Eminem below:
Watch “Guilty Conscience” by Eminem ft. Dr. Dre below:
Watch “Forgot About Dre” by Dr. Dre ft. Eminem below:
The Marshall Mathers LP
Interscope Records didn’t waste any time getting Eminem back into the studio after they saw how popular he really was. “My Name Is” became what the label wanted out of Eminem, in terms of a sarcastic, funny, record. Eminem gave them “The Real Slim Shady” as a sequel, of sorts, but the fame began to weigh on him.
Only wanting to rap and not a fan of the fame or the pressure, Eminem delivered a middle finger to everyone getting on his nerves. Yes, “The Real Slim Shady” came and it was a hit, but Eminem also delivered “The Way I Am.” The song was not as big of a hit, but the message was clear and critics have enjoyed it for over a decade.
Eminem showed more depth and the downside to fame on The Marshall Mathers LP, partially-self-titled to show his personal side. Fans still talk about “Stan” and how deep/weird/unusual the song is. This album is also playing a part in today’s time, as this is the namesake of Eminem’s current album.
Watch “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem below:
Watch “The Way I Am” by Eminem below:
Watch “Stan” by Eminem ft. Dido below:
Eminem’s performance at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards
In 2000, Eminem was gearing up for the release of The Marshall Mathers LP and he ended up making himself a legend along the way. Regardless of who is doing the list, anytime it comes to the greatest moments of the MTV Video Music Awards, people always point to Eminem’s performance at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. He performed “The Real Slim Shady,” “The Way I Am,” and “White America” during the set.
Watch Eminem’s set at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards below:
D12 – Devil’s Night
By 2001, Eminem established himself as the biggest rapper in the game with two multi-platinum albums under his belt. Due to his success, Eminem was granted his own label, Shady Records and he signed his Detroit friends, Bizarre, the late Proof, Kuniva, Swift, and Fuzz Scoota, who together are D12. In 2001, Eminem put their Devil’s Night album out and he delivered their hit single, “Purple Pills.”
Watch “Purple Pills” by D12 below:
The Eminem Show
Proven as both a rap star and a record executive, Eminem had much more creative control when it came to The Eminem Show. His third studio album showed Dr. Dre being more comfortable than ever with Eminem running the show. This album had a lot more personal issues on this album, showing once and for all he wasn’t all jokes.
Still, Eminem gave fans of “My Name Is” and “The Real Slim Shady” something they could enjoy in “Without Me.” The song is arguably the best out of the three singles and it continued Eminem’s run. But, he also showed off his serious side with “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” which talked about his childhood.
After delivering two singles off the album, Eminem released the “Superman” single, which detailed his failed relationships. In the song, Eminem referenced his failed marriage with Kim Mathers and his relationship with Mariah Carey. The Eminem Show has since gone diamond and is a hip hop classic.
Watch “Without Me” by Eminem below:
Watch “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” by Eminem below:
Watch “Superman” by Eminem ft. Dina Rae below:
The year of 2002 was very good to Eminem and he kept his movement going, even after The Eminem Show turned a few months old. He would soon release his “Lose Yourself” single, which was in promotion of his first film, 8 Mile. Partially biographical, it shows the growth of a factory worker to a rap star.
Eminem directed the film and he starred in it alongside Mekhi Phifer and the late actress, Brittany Murphy. The film’s soundtrack featured music from Jay-Z and Nas, containing his “You Wanna Be Me” diss track. But, Eminem would have another single off the soundtrack, the title track.
During the promotional run for The Eminem Show and 8 Mile, Eminem signed 50 Cent to the label. The 8 Mile soundtrack contained the “Wanksta” single from 50 Cent that helped establish him as a hip hop superstar. But, in terms of impact, 8 Mile is a hip hop classic.
Watch “Lose Yourself” by Eminem below:
Watch the 8 Mile trailer by Eminem below:
Eminem went into CEO mode in 2003, helping 50 Cent and Obie Trice get introduced to the hip hop world. Behind the scenes, Eminem was also working with Dr. Dre on his long-awaited album, Detox. But, it had been two years since Eminem released a new album and all people had from him were diss records aimed at Ja Rule and Benzino.
Personally, Eminem was going through some things, mainly his drug addictions and it impacted his album. Encore came in 2004 and it had plenty of hits and good music, but there were also some questionable tracks. It was clear, Eminem’s head wasn’t fully in the game.
Following Encore, which had a goodbye theme to it, Eminem went on hiatus. This album saw Eminem extend an olive branch to his rivals, such as Ja Rule and others on “Like Toy Soldiers.” The video is dramatically ironic, as the video is a premonition of Proof’s 2006 death, but other classic tracks included “Mockingbird.”
Eminem continued his run with the satirical records with “Just Lose It,” the first official single off the album. Even though he said it was not aimed at Michael Jackson, the music video says otherwise. The video is filled with jokes on the king of pop and it led to Michael Jackson taking aim against Eminem for one of the funniest beefs in recent history.
Listen to “Encore” by Eminem ft. 50 Cent and Dr. Dre below:
Watch “Just Lose It” by Eminem below:
Watch “Like Toy Soldiers” by Eminem below:
Watch “Mockingbird” by Eminem below:
Watch “Ass Like That” by Eminem below:
Curtain Call: The Hits
By 2006, it was somewhat evident Eminem had no plans of returning with a new album anytime soon. At this point, he had not revealed he was going into hiatus, so he delivered Curtain Call: The Hits, a greatest hits collection. This song made it clear Eminem was taking a bit of a break from the game and he released “When I Gone,” which symbolized his departure from the game for the time being. Eminem also included the “Shake That” single with Nate Dogg on the compilation.
Watch “When I’m Gone” by Eminem below:
Watch “Shake That” by Eminem ft. Nate Dogg below:
Eminem Presents: The Re-Up
Late in 2006, Eminem made a partial return to the game with his compilation album, Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. The album featured both Eminem’s “Jimmy Crack Corn” single with 50 Cent and the “You Don’t Know” single with 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, and Ca$his. During this same period of time, Eminem was also on Akon’s hit single, “Smack That,” providing a song-defining verse.
Watch “You Don’t Know” by Eminem below:
Watch “Smack That” by Akon ft. Eminem below:
In 2007, there was speculation about Eminem putting out a new album, but it never came. Instead, there were news reports about Eminem almost dying from a drug overdose and gaining a lot of weight. The news was scary, without a doubt, and most felt like Eminem was officially done with the game.
But, Eminem returned early in 2009 with “Crack A Bottle” single with 50 Cent and Dr. Dre with plans of a new album. His first album in five years, Eminem released Relapse, which also produced the “We Made You” single. This single was created in the same vein as “My Name Is,” “The Real Slim Shady,” “Without Me,” and “Just Lose It.”
Eminem also released “Beautiful,” which showed off more of his serious side. But, in the end, this album was also met with mixed reviews like his previous album. Soon, his bosses at Interscope Records were calling on Eminem to switch out of the Relapse phase, effectively ending any chances of Relapse 2 coming.
Listen to “Crack A Bottle” by Eminem ft. 50 Cent and Dr. Dre below:
Watch “We Made You” by Eminem below:
Watch “3 AM” by Eminem below:
Watch “Beautiful” by Eminem below:
Eminem at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards
Eminem’s history at MTV Awards precedes himself, as he already had a classic performance at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. Eight years later, Eminem performed the new Relapse tracks at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. But, Eminem ended up being a part of history when Bruno ended up putting his butt in his face. Eminem stormed off, but later revealed it was all a part of the act.
Watch Eminem’s performance at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards below:
Watch Eminem and Bruno “incident” at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards below:
Lil Wayne expressed interest in working with Eminem for years. After reaching out several times to no response, Lil Wayne said he may diss him to get his attention. Eminem soon got in contact with Lil Wayne after Relapse and, at this time, Lil Wayne was considered the top lyricist in the game, so fans were excited to see what they came up with. They delivered “Drop The World,” which was included on the Rebirth album.
Watch “Drop The World” by Lil Wayne below:
After the release of Relapse, a lot of people felt Eminem would’ve been best to have never released another album. Many felt, Eminem should’ve simply ended his career after the release of the album. Eminem, however, felt differently and he was working on Relapse 2 before Jimmy Iovine asked him to change it up.
Relapse 2 became Relapse: The Refill and then Recovery was in the works. Eminem showed himself from a mature point-of-view, reflecting on his past issues on the lead single, “Not Afraid.” It did not take long for Eminem to top the charts and then he delivered the “Love The Way You Lie” single with Rihanna, a chart-topping classic.
Eminem rounded the album out with his “No Love” single with Lil Wayne, a collaboration he had wanted since 2007. Most regarded Recovery as a classic album and a complete reversal of Relapse. This album would be Eminem’s final release before another hiatus.
Watch “Not Afraid” by Eminem below:
Watch “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem ft. Rihanna below:
Watch “No Love” by Eminem ft. Lil Wayne below:
Watch “I Need A Doctor” by Dr. Dre ft. Eminem and Skylar Grey below:
Eminem made his return this year with The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which fans can read up on and purchase here.
Follow DJ YRS Jerzy on Twitter @IAMDJYRSJERZY.