MUSIC HISTORY CLASS: The Marshall Mathers LP

History Lesson

On this day in 2000, Eminem’s third album, The Marshall Mathers LP, became the fastest selling album of all time, turning 1.76 million copies in its first week. Eminem’s sales bounced the week-one sales record from the legendary Ms. Britney Spears and her sophomore record, Oops…I Did it Again (which sold 1.3 million records in its first week). Yet, Mathers was just getting started. All in all, The Marshall Mathers LP has sold over 19 million copies (!) worldwide, with over 10 million records being sold in the United States alone. That is enough to be certified Diamond. The album also solidified Slim Shady as a force of mayhem that was not going anywhere soon.

Many, including Rolling Stone and Time, consider The Marshall Mathers LP one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.. Buoyed by hits such as “The Real Slim Shady,” “Stan,” and “The Way I Am,” The Marshall Mathers LP did much to scare the living daylight out of suburban mothers across the nation. With its themes of domestic violence (specifically Eminem’s figurative abuse of his then wife, Kim), redemption, and anger, The Marshall Mathers LP certainly had “shock value” down pat. During the musical black hole that was the turn of the millennium, where bubble-gum pop, boybands, and post-grunge ruled the airwaves, Eminem’s brand of in-your-face, no-holds-bar rhetoric blew the lid off of more than one conservative pundit. And if there is one thing teenage, suburban boys across generations swear allegiance to it is driving their parents and social conservatives insane.

Written by Michael Meeze (follow him on Twitter)

Michael McCarron

Michael is the Founder and Director of the Philly-based LGBT+ non-profit, Punk Out. He enjoys moshing endlessly, forgetting his karaoke performance from the previous night, and pushing that Big Gay Agenda.

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