Nineteen years ago this week, Eminem followed up his breakout record The Slim Shady LP with the then-hugely anticipated Marshall Mathers LP. At the time of its release, it was one of the fastest-selling studio albums by any solo artist in American history, knocked Britney Spears from the top of the charts, earned a Grammy for Best Rap Album and courted plenty of controversy for Eminem’s shocking lyrics.
Five facts about Marshall Mathers LP.
1. Privately, Eminem’s label Interscope worried the album lacked singles – so after the first delivery of tracks, Eminem returned to the studio and wrote both ‘The Way I Am’ and ‘The Real Slim Shady’.
2. One title considered for the album was ‘Amsterdam’, inspired by a trip Mathers and friends took to the famously liberal Dutch capital.
3. The clean version of ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ excises the 16th song, ‘Kim’, entirely. Hardly surprising: it’s a murder fantasy in which Eminem abducts and kills the titular Kimberly Scott, his high school sweetheart and mother of his daughter Hailie. The song was reportedly written while Kim was refusing Eminem access to Hailie, although come the release of ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ the pair had married.
4. Also censored on the record is a line on ‘I’m Back’ that made reference to the Columbine High School massacre of April 20 1999.
5. The single ‘Stan’ revolves around a hook sampled from British singer-songwriter Dido’s song ‘Thank You’. And Dido has good reason to be thanking Eminem. Her album ‘No Angel’ sold modestly on its 1999 release – but after she made a cameo in the ‘Stan’ video, it was rereleased and went on to shift 22 million records worldwide.
Listen to ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ below
The album is available for purchase on iTunes
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