Eminem "The Slim Shady LP" In Review: 15-Year Anniversary

A decade and a half later, HipHopDX revisits Eminem's official debut album, "The Slim Shady LP," which was released through Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records.

After his independent debut went largely under the radar, Eminem’s career was quickly jump started by the release of his major label debut album fifteen years ago today (February 23). The Slim Shady LP, which was Eminem’s first release to include production from Dr. Dre, has since helped define the star’s career after it debuted at the #2 spot on Billboard’s Top 200 (right behind TLC’s FanMail). While the 8 Mile star holds down the majority of the album on his own, The Slim Shady LP prominently features Dre on “Guilty Conscious” and an emcee he’d later beef with and reconcile with in Royce da 5’9” on “Bad Meets Evil.”

Besides Dre, frequent Eminem collaborators and the emcee’s early supporters the Bass Brothers produced the majority of the album. Ten days after its release, The Slim Shady LP, which introduced many fans to Eminem’s infamous alter ego, was awarded a platinum plaque by the RIAA for selling more than a million units. In November of 2000, a little less than two years removed from its release, The Slim Shady LP had sold enough copies to be certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA. While Eminem has since been named the best-selling Hip Hop artist of all time, his commercial reign no doubt has its roots in this release.

Eminem's The Slim Shady LP Reviews Revisited

Gaining critical attention as much as commercial traction, The Slim Shady LP was reviewed favorably by many websites and magazines. Shortly after its release, Rolling Stone called Eminem “the dizziest Hip Hop clown since Biz Markie first got the vapors.” The same review broached the subject of Eminem’s whiteness—as he himself does on the album—with a note that race did figure into the then-rising star’s career and work. “A hip-hop disciple inheriting a twisted American racial history he didn't create, Eminem probably speaks for a lot of his fans when he asks, ‘How the fuck can I be White? / I don't even exist...’ Eminem earns his buzz as a bona fide rap star one tasteless insult at a time, battling the world with a mouthful of adjectives and a boxful of laxatives.” Like Rolling Stone, a Los Angeles Times reviewer awarded the album three and a half stars calling it an “explosive major-label debut.” “In Eminem's bizarre stories, he battles his conscience in exploits such as robbing an old woman, drugging and sexually assaulting an underage girl and murdering his adulterous wife. He isn't afraid to say anything; his lyrics are so clever that he makes murder sound as if it's a funny act he may indulge in simply to pass the time.” Rolling Stone later included Slim Shady on its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”—it clocked in at 273—as well as its “100 Best Albums of the ‘90s” list.

Eminem The Slim Shady LP Singles & Awards

While the album as a whole fared generally better on the charts than its individual successes, singles like “My Name Is” and “Guilty Conscious” helped turn Eminem from an independent lyricist to a household name. “My Name Is,” which seemed to serve as Em’s formal introduction to the world as much as the album’s lead single, quickly shot up the charts and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for more than two months. The song’s video can be streamed below.

Later, in May of 1999, “Role Model” was released as the album’s second single ahead of the Dr. Dre featuring “Guilty Conscious.” In 2005, both “My Name Is” and “Guilty Conscious” appeared on the tracklist to Eminem’s greatest hits album Curtain Call: The Hits. “Guilty Conscious,” which was one of the few tracks on the album produced by Dre, went on to earn a double platinum plaque of its own and received a popular set of accompanying visuals as well.

Besides the album’s commercial success, The Slim Shady LP also earned Em his first round of major awards, including his first set of Grammys for Best Rap Album and a Best Rap Solo Performance award for “My Name Is.”   

Eminem Since The Slim Shady LP

Just as The Slim Shady LP helped place Eminem on the map as one of the greatest commercial Hip Hop artists of all time, it also attracted the type of criticism that has accompanied the Detroit emcee ever since. Labeled “homophobic” and “misogynistic,” among other things, both Eminem and his music have continued to weather punches from the Hip Hop community in particular and the mainstream media more generally, regarding lyrical content. Following the release of The Slim Shady LP, Eminem quickly became one of the country’s biggest stars and continued to release music.

In May of 2000, a little more than a year removed from Slim Shady, the rapper dropped his third album, The Marshall Mathers LP, which became the fastest selling solo album of all time with nearly two million albums sold its first week on shelves. Continuing his penchant for flamboyant shock-value, Em’s “The Real Slim Shady” preceded “The Way I Am” as a controversial single on his third album. In 2009, HipHopDX placed Em’s junior release on a list of the ten best albums of the 2000s. “Unprepared to deal with the swell of fame, love and hate brought on by his debut, Eminem was in the middle of a perfect storm when crafting the MMLP,” HipHopDX said at the time. “He dealt with his newfound fame, fan obsession, influence on kids and family issues, all while thumbing his nose at critics.”

Nearly two years removed from The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem released his fourth album, The Eminem Show in 2002. That year The Eminem Show was easily named the best selling album of the year and continued the rapper’s successful streak at album retailers and award shows alike. Following Best Rap Album awards for The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP, Em’s Grammy in the same category for The Eminem Show made him the first Hip Hop artist to win the award for three consecutive releases. That year, HipHopDX awarded the album four and a half stars. “Eminem's evolution as an artist has come to a head on The Eminem Show. From underground hero to hip hop superstar to one of the world most controversial people, Eminem has moved to the next level.” 

Eminem continued to release music throughout the ‘00s as a solo artist as well as a member of D12. In 2004 he released Encore before taking a musical hiatus for several years. That year DX gave the album three and a half stars with a note to fans that it is “undoubtedly Em's worst major solo release” and “surprisingly not funny.”

After five years of inactivity with album releases, Em returned before the end of the decade with Relapse in 2009, putting his substance abuse on prominent display. Like Encore, DX awarded Relapse three and a half stars. “For one of the very few superstars in Hip Hop who has made his career on lyrical content, it is pretty disappointing that after a five year hiatus he came back with so little to say, without his trademark colorful canvas.” Seemingly making up for lost time, Eminem released Recovery the next year. That album received a half star rating bump from this publication and features Lil Wayne, P!nk, and Rihanna. “Em adapted with the times,” DX wrote at the time, “and even during his musical missteps, he’s pushing himself to experiment. After all, it’s not 2003 anymore.”

Last year, Eminem released the sequel to his popular major label sophomore album with The Marshall Mathers LP 2. While the album was included on HipHopDX's list of disappointing albums of the year, it received a four star rating nonetheless. "Sure, it may be one of the better LPs you hear in 2013, but make no mistake: The Marshall Mathers LP 2 only serves to tarnish the original’s legacy, whereas titling it something else could’ve just meant another passable addition to Eminem’s night-and-day catalogue."

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132 Comments

  • hip hop

    mmlp2 was "disappointing"? hiphopdx is retarded. in Em's own words "It isnt as mcuh as a sequel to the MMLP as much as it is just a refelction of those times." O MMLP2 he talks about his legacy with the first mmlp. thats y he has a song caleed "Legacy" on the album.

  • LURKN

    yall r dumb as shit sayin hes mainstream and all. Of course he is fucking mainstream. But what is somewhat before they are mainstream, fucking underground. Eminem's official debut was Infinite and 1996. He was underground for about 3-5 years. Most people only listen to his shit these days or songs off his albums. Before you talk shit about eminem, go listenin to 97-99 em. People saying he doesn't give a shit about his fans, wtf. It's Slim Shady, he doesn't give a shit about anything if you realized but you wouldn't realize cause you dont even listen to Eminem. All of yall just listen to his mainstream shit. go listen to three six five and if i get locked up tonite. If you don't think he's the best rapper alive, you have to at least admit, he is the greatest lyricist of all time.

  • Anonymous

    Well, just remember Slim Shady is better than anyone of you, mad?

  • Anonymous

    i never wanna hear this,mmlp,chronic/chronic 2001,doggystyle or any death row compilation ever again. PLAYED OUT

    • Big 18th Street Gang, E'z up to the homies worldwide!

      No doubt, those albums are definitely played out big time. That Slim Shady album was wack as fuck, homie. You can't drive around blasting a track such as "My Name Is," you'll just look like a straight up baboso. I never even owned any of those albums you mentioned. I can't stand Eminem and never really was a fan of DeathRow shit, except for a select bit of 2Pac material.

  • lastwordmobster

    Slim Shady one of the best to ever to do it! we're trying to do the same, check out some of our new music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhSKx171WGk

  • Anonymous

    Trilla > The Slim Shady LP

  • Anonymous

    god damn DX must be on Eminem payroll

  • Anonymous

    THISALBUM WAS A 5/5

  • So Icy Boi!

    really Hip Hop DX!!?? Eminem is da wackest honky crack4 of all time! Lil Wayne's 'Tha Block Is Hot' wuz da greatest album dat came out in 1999. dat album wuz an instant gangsta rap/underground hip hop classic. Weezy definied da 90s, he wuz da best selling artist of da decade and outsold Feminem'z wack ass white album. swag

  • Leisure Martini

    wen is d Monster tour coming up by d way

  • Leisure Martini

    No matter wat his critics say, his lyrics r very relevant, and audacious. And they r going to remain so.. Here is a fan-rap dedicated to him: http://www.leisuremartini.com/eminem-tribute-nasty-souls/

  • RMAC

    ...damn im old if this is 15 yrs now.... ....my intro into EM......heard "my name is".....hated it to the highest degree........slept on him for another 6 months....... ....while walking to my job at the commissary with my boys in the summer....ask my dude "lemme skim through your CD book" (yea im old as fuck).....saw he had SSLP.....put it in my discman....skipped track 2.......WAS BLOWN AWAY AFTER THAT, THE ALBUM WAS NOTHING LIKE I EXPECTED----BUT IN THE DOPEST WAY POSSIBLE.......then my obsession with the EM began....(talking about searching the internet for any other songs/verses i've havent heard yet)......and continued for next 5 yrs.....after then.....it's been different to say the least.....(the re-up verses/songs, and BME:the sequel were dope to me.....everything else was "ok" to "ehh" to "dumb) ..........I miss those days when an NEW ARTIST (HIP-HOP wise) got me excited like that, where the SKILL AND TALENT force me to find and absorbed everything they have done & get me excited for what they will do n the future......... .....suffice to say..........hip-hop broke my heart......and this version of me is gone..........

  • Upto gee

    Everybody always argues, just enjoy the 15th anniversary and listen to the damn album.

  • Crip4Life

    eminem was a bitch for a long time. whatever you muthafuckas think, eminem aint shit. in OAKLAND, we aint got no white feminem muthafucka trying to rap in here haha. one thing about this faggot, he makes 14 out of 16 tracks about his fucking family, WHO THE FUCK DO THAT? fuckin boring wigger, we dont give a fuck about his mom or daughter. fucking sellout bitches fuck outta here!!!!!!!!

    • Crip4Life

      nigga fuck eminem. he a sellout cause he sold his soul to tha devil for fortune, money and fame. just like 98% of the mainstream rappers. they all fake, FUCK em all. UNDERGROUND FOR MUTHAFUCKIN LIFE!! #ESGN

    • Anonymous

      You probably listen to old ass c-Bo or some shit. Gangbangimg ass niggas always diss eminem but then tell u some shit about luni corleone, t nutty or some other wack muthafuckas.

  • Anonymous

    Itunes announced that Port of Miami has been downloaded 8.5 million times since Mastermind was assigned a real release date. In related news, Animal Ambition won't be released on Itunes because it doesn't have a Drake feature.

  • Earnest

    The real problem with MMLP2 was that it was overstuffed. I pared it down and added the bonus tracks on Spotify, and the result really does capture the feel of MMLP. https://play.spotify.com/user/earnestp/playlist/029pEqBKPfAZhZzdfpjqcE

  • whitepeople

    Not one mention of 'Rock Bottom' or 'If I Had'.....two songs that today would never be made or released since they are so personal and real. Good job DX.

    • Anonymous

      2pacforever: 2pac never sold out because he never lived long enough, he was 25 when he died. If he was still alive, he'd be a sellout.

    • Will $teel

      my thoughts exactly. The title of da article is "revisiting The Slim Shady LP" n yet half the article is about what Em did after he released the LP. Like ppl dont already kno that!! lmao all he did was mention his singles. Joke of an article. So bad that I thought Roman Cooper wrote it but surprisingly it wasnt.

    • 2pacforever

      ever heard of main stream rap music?? notice how the majority of them suck to people that actually know music? lol Eminem is CLEARLY untalented but he makes so much much money because all of his fans are retarded and brainwashed by the mainstream media...he doesnt give a fuk about his fans lol... all the fans are doing is supplying his pocket with cash that he always raps and yaps about... 2pac on the other hand he never changed he was hungry when he sold over 80 mill and NEVER SOLD OUT!!

  • Sneakerassassin

    Wow how time flies!! For early release sneakers go to www.sneakerassassin.com

  • Anonymous

    Ems best album. He's still dope but not like he used to be. I don't think he has the same ferocity in his bars as he did on this album. But when you're worried about the mainstream instead of the music. Sadly tde is going the same route. I dont care what you kids say section 80 was the classic. Gkmc a good album but not as raw as sec 80 and oxmoron is no where near his debt or his mixtapes.

  • Anonymous

    Port of Miami was alot better.

  • john mickins

    listening to this album now this joint is vastly OVERRATED. thank god for dre because i think personally he sells what he did off this album off dre's name and legacy alone. 2nd album clearly better and recovery arguably his best effort to date...

    • Anonymous

      I personally listen to Recovery more than this but from a critical perspective this is way more creative, lyrical, the production is less generic, and there aren't any corny lines on here and there are quite a few on Recovery.

    • Anonymous

      album sounds very immature to me for people to actually be labeling it a classic He could spit, but wasn't saying a lot of important serious stuff. Made me laugh at the time, but the shock value has long disappeared.

    • Anonymous

      may god have mercy on your soul

  • 901DATSME

    One of my favorite album

  • Anonymous

    This is how white people kill hip hop

  • Anonymous

    I think it's foolish to say that any sequel or prequel tarnishes the original's legacy, including the Marshall Mathers LP 2. If anything, if the subsequent releases are subpar, it should make you appreciate the original more. It seems every rapper, director, writer, and artist in general has that excellent piece of work that haunts them. "Oh it's good but it's no Illmatic..." "Scorsese will never top Goodfellas" "Nothing Eminem does will ever live up to The Slim Shady LP" "Oh they're making another Planet of the Apes movie? It's gonna suck for sure!" Stop comparing shit and just enjoy it for what it is.

  • Anonymous

    Slim shady lp is his best album. The only one eminem album I can still listen to today from start to finish.

  • swanofdeath

    Slim Shady LP2??

    • SSLP2 Tracklist..

      1. PSA 2014 2. GoodBye 3. Steve Berman (Skit) 4. Guilty Conscience Part II ft. Dr. Dre 5. 14' Bonnie & Clyde 6. Dear Critics (Skit) 7. I'm Still Shady 8. Bitches ft. Slaughterhouse 9. Guess Who ft. D12 10. Dear Fans (Skit) / Never Gave A Fuck

    • Will $teel

      Ems prolly my fav rapper of all time(SSEP thru Eminem Show mainly) but he wont ever collab wit Tech N9ne. Sorry but its true cuz he know he has TO BRING IT to not get MURKED by Tech N9ne. Lyrically right now Tech is on another level. N dont give me that he collabed wit him on "Wake Up Show" cuz that was when Em ALWAYS brought it. Now he seems bored.

    • Anonymous

      Nah missing a public service announcement, and he's def gonna throw Yela and SH (and an additional Royce feature) on his next album if he makes another one. If his next album is the SSLP2 I'd say there's a really good chance of a Tech N9ne feature too. Also doubt he's gonna make a 5th song with Rihanna this soon, but who knows.

    • Sslp2 tracklist

      1. Guess who's back 2. On this road 3. City in Ruins (feat. Imagine Dragons) 4. Spits Flow 5. Rap Lord 6. Demon In me (feat. Skylab Grey 7. Expectations 8. What we have (feat. Rihanna 9. Nothing to Lose 10. Fuck you all.

    • Anonymous

      That's what I predict for Em's next album. Tracks like So Far... and Love Game really reminded me of SSLP Em so I think he could pull it off, and do it better than MMLP2.

  • Jon

    I swear you guys misspell on purpose. The song is "Guilty Conscience", not "Guilty Conscious". The latter doesn't make sense and the video title you embedded has the correct spelling.

  • Anonymous

    wow i feel old, one of the 1st and favorite albums ive ever bought, still bump that shit to this day

  • ashmanashman

    just before I saw the paycheck ov $8439 , I didnt believe that...my... neighbour woz realy erning money part-time online. . there neighbor started doing this for only about nineteen months and resently cleared the morgage on their villa and bourt a brand new Mazda MX-5 . over here.......http://x.co/3wwKH

  • ashmanashman

    just before I saw the paycheck ov $8439 , I didnt believe that...my... neighbour woz realy erning money part-time online. . there neighbor started doing this for only about nineteen months and resently cleared the morgage on their villa and bourt a brand new Mazda MX-5 . over here.......http://x.co/3wwIQ

  • Anonymous

    SSLP, SSEP, and MMLP are Em's 3 classics IMO. Em Show doesn't quite hit the mark for me but it's still a borderline classic. The rest of his stuff ranges from horrible (Encore) to excellent (MMLP2, HTS).

    • Anonymous

      Infinite is hands down his best album lyrically, followed by Relapse, the SSLP, and then I'd probably go MMLP 1 or 2 before TES. I do agree that MMLP is his best overall album though.

    • yes

      WEAKER VERSES?! Are you kidding me?! The Eminem Show was lyrically Eminem's best album. I'm not gonna say it's his best album period, but lyrically speaking it is. Just like conceptually, Relapse is the best in that regard. I think I'd have to go with MMLP as his greatest though. He had that chip on his shoulder, the bite in his words you could feel it ("BITCH I'MA KILL YOU! YOU DON'T WANNA FUCK WITH ME! GIRLS NEITHER, YOU AIN'T NOTHIN' BUT A SLUT TO ME!) you could just FEEL the words.

    • Anonymous

      Stuck in the past? I've only really gotten into Em (and hip hop) in the past 4 or so years so I'm not nostalgically attached to those albums or anything. The Eminem Show is amazing, but the album felt kinda safe. It was basically a toned-down MMLP with slightly weaker verses.

    • nah

      em show is easily arguable as his best. typical fan whos stuck in the past and only lists the controversial projects lol please

  • Anonymous

    Seriously fuck these comment boards. I don't mind the Lil Wayne stans or the Rick Ross vs 50 comments cause it's ONE dude with ONE comment that's just trying to get a rise from people. But when some dude posts 100 times about weird shit (dude named 00000) and pushes all the productive comments back to other pages it's so infuriating. Can't even have a discussion cause of this retard

  • insanemacbeth

    "I'M AS NORMAL AS NORMAN BATES/ WITH DEFORMATIVE TRAITS/ A PREMATURE BIRTH/ THAT WAS FOUR MINUTES LATE!". yeah, the bredda's sikk.

    • Oudge1983

      my roomate's mother makes $72 /hr on the internet . She has been without a job for 7 months but last month her pay was $21924 just working on the internet for a few hours. check out the post right here,,,,,,,,,, WWW.Works6.COM

  • Anonymous

    Black guys are Butthurt and pissed because one of us is the best in rap music.

    • Anonymous

      Lol, calling me a stan and you feel the need to put Allah after Rakim's name. Have you heard some of Em's best verses? Like any verse off the Infinite album (especially the title track and It's OK,) 3 AM and Stay Wide Awake, Don't Front, etc?

    • Anonymous

      Lol Em Aint Seeing Rakim Allah.. Just Stop Clueless Em Stans

    • Intellectually Superior

      Slim Gaydy is one of the worst rappers ever and he is UGLY. He is even uglier than Ross and shitty cents. That pale albino thin lipped pinochio nose scrawny crackhead cant rap for shit. He just rambles about nothing with an annoying nerdy voice. Only drug addicts tolerate that trash he wastes studio time and electricity creating. Watch all the butt hurt homosexual feminem stans try to attack.

    • Anonymous

      actually it might be. all hardcore hiphop fans appreciate em and all the GOAT rappers place him in their top 5 or top 10 of all time.

    • Anonymous

      em is some white sensation rapping about other pop artists it ain't gonna be for you if you are a hardcore hip hop fan.

    • Anonymous

      Em would smoke Rakim in a battle easily and Em's music is better IMO. No disrespect to Rakim, he's #3 in my top 5 of all time for basically inventing hip hop lyricism. Also ignore the racist stans like wasd, they're just mad cause apart from Em white rappers usually suck and don't blow up.

    • insanemacbeth

      silly devil posting ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^, l.m.a.o.

    • wasd

      actually em is. he just playin the modest shit cuz you niggggers will get sensitive.

    • insanemacbeth

      naaaaaaaaaah, bredda. as EM said, he's a product of RAKIM..........errrrrr, 'THE GOD EMCEE'. ie., no one is better than THE 18th LETTER!

  • 0000

    when ppl get money they leave case dam machine takes to long

  • 0000

    sating by atm smileing as if they wer waiting for someone in store or they just took out money and happy for few mins or more standing

  • 0000

    zum joun skate board dc shoes rob dy dek lil wayne

  • 0000

    white ppl zumies jounerys wack sports goods places

  • 0000

    blc girls few food stores lot sneakers stores

  • 0000

    white middle age lady sounded like

  • 0000

    press 4 for costmer service m mall 4 page

  • Anonymous

    Can you please ban this 0000000 motherfucker, HipHopDX? Thanks.:)

  • rob1

    Great piece. Great album. Hasn't totally aged well, in my opinion, but still remember enjoying it. The start of something epic.

  • 0000000

    ancor like if big azz boat left it their size of 4 wash lanuandry bags big ones

  • 0000000

    walk out 7/11 i just came from 2 times sand out see sand hills

  • 0000000

    by 7/11 sand hills beach

  • 0000000

    big ass ancor in front board walk

  • 0000000

    one i went to around corner few blocks away by beach sand hills

  • 0000000

    and theirs 2nd 7/11 in belmar going towards wall by bridge an big lake high way

  • 0000000

    when u first walk in 7/11 by beach to left

  • 0000000

    dresssed up like a club them

  • 0000000

    white laddies 49 years old standing by atm at 7/11 than walk out diddent buy nothing

  • 0000000

    dude walking with laddies younger 21

  • Andy Singh

    I was 13 when this was released and today at 27, I still listen to the album. It's brilliant

  • 0000000

    21 to 22 years old 51 or 49 years old

  • 0000000

    white trucks small or smaller trucks little newer type or new family cars

  • 0000000

    14 or 15 years ago plane m aanverstity eminem cd a

  • 0000000

    younger white boys 2 or 3 together 21 or 22 beach

  • 0000000

    older laddies 5 of em walking maybe 1 dude with em like 48 to 51

  • 0000000

    laddies older in 5s walking white bys in 2 or 3s walking

  • 0000000

    mostly white few blc

  • 0000000

    white trucks lot trucks small big few newer cars yonger n older ppl

  • 0000000

    lot ppl by beah more than normal on sunday

  • 0000000

    14 years ago 2001 15yrs yea ""annvirsaty assnn v first album 98

  • Anonymous

    My favorite EM album. This shit had me brainwashed in 6th grade. lol.

  • Anonymous

    I'll never forget the first time I heard My Name Is

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