On this day, 23 years ago (May 23, 2000), Eminem released his third solo studio album The Marshall Mathers LP under Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. The album was produced mostly by Dr. Dre and Eminem, along with The 45 King, the Bass Brothers, and Mel-Man. Featured guest appearances include Dido, RBX, Sticky Fingaz, Bizarre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Nate Dogg, and D12.
Criticism centered on lyrics that were considered violent, homophobic, and misogynistic, as well as a reference to the Columbine High School massacre. Future second lady Lynne Cheney criticized the lyrics at a United States Senate hearing, while the Canadian government considered refusing Eminem’s entry into the country. Despite the controversies, it received acclaim from critics, who praised Eminem’s lyrical ability and considered the album to have emotional depth.
The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, staying atop for 8 consecutive weeks. A significant commercial success compared to the release of The Slim Shady LP just the previous year, the album sold 1.78 million copies in its first week, which made it among the fastest-selling studio albums in the United States. The album produced mega hit singles like “The Real Slim Shady”, “The Way I Am” and “Stan”. Among other publications, Rolling Stone named it the best album of 2000.
The Marshall Mathers LP has been included in numerous all-time lists and is widely regarded as Eminem’s greatest album. It has sold 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, and is certified Diamond (11x platinum) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Rap Album at the 2001 Grammy Awards, while “The Real Slim Shady” won Best Rap Solo Performance.
You can revisit the classic below: