The Eminem Show (Advanced Copy)

posted May 18, 2002 12:00:00 AM CDT | 52 comments

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For months now there has been a lot of rumors about The Eminem Show, things like his lyrics are personal, his sobriety has made him more focused, he freaks multiple new flows and rhyme styles. For once, the rumors couldn't be more accurate. Gone are the days of rhyming about having sex with animals, no more drugs, no more gay-bashing, no more Kim-killing. Saying that his lyrics are personal are an understatement. His life's worth of frustrations, from his upbringing to his marriage to his controversial image, has manifested itself in every word spoken on this album. He does this with a new and improved flow that only Jay-Z could hope to compete with.

Believe it or not, Slim's flow stands out more than anything on this album. Check the rock-styled White America, the southern bounce of Superman, or the Dre-banger Business. Em flows on beat so effortlessly and naturally you'd swear it was his everyday style. Overlooking his lyrics would be a crime though. White America sees Em discussing the issues that he and hip hop present to white people. He comes to conclusion like if I was black, I would have sold half. Cleaning Out My Closet features the albums most personal rhymes as he lets us know just how he feels about his parents. His third verse, dealing with his mother, is truly something to behold. Whether it is dealing with groupies (Superman), troubles with the law (Soldier), his life (Sing For The Moment), or the state of hip hop (When The Music Stops), Slim gets it all off his chest. It isn't all negative though, Hailie's Song shows a new side of Marshall Mathers as he sings to his little girl. While his third verse steals the show because his flow and lyrics are off the meter, the first two in which he sings make the song. Why? Because he knows that he will get ripped for singing but he did it anyway.

Sounds pretty serious doesn't it? It really is, the blazing single Without Me and the cute Hailie-assisted My Dads Gone Crazy are the only real light-hearted songs on the album. Flows, lyrics, but what about the beats? To put it simply, it is damn near impossible to keep your head still. There are classic Dre beats like Business and Drips, the heavy-hitting Squaredance, the massive hand-clap driven beat of Till I Collapse, guitar-fueled tracks like Sing For The Moment and the incredibly hard When The Music Stops. Eminem has a musical backdrop that he deserves.

Lyrically, Em never falters, but The Eminem Show does not go off without a hitch. A number of choruses miss the mark. White America, while fitting, is irritating and the choruses for Superman and Soldier come across pretty cheesy. Say Goodbye To Hollywood is really the only bad song on the album, the chorus is wretched and the beat just seems to be off. Unfortunately, it tarnishes an otherwise flawless album.

Of course there will still be criticism from the haters, but they will have a hard time finding things to bitch about. Eminem's evolution as an artist has come to a head on The Eminem Sho'. From underground hero to hip hop superstar to one of the world most controversial people, Eminem has moved to the next level. Perhaps more importantly, he has taken hip hop with him as he has raised the measure by which an emcee should be judged. While Jay-Z and Nas argue about who is the king, hip hop's court jester has decided to take the throne.

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