Saturday, December 27, 2014
Über-Photoshopped cover aside, Eminem's first wholehearted venture into hardcore hip-hop via the persona that would soon make him famous is a cool cultural snapshot of the ripple just before the storm... somewhat like the people who saw the hidden potential in Nirvana's Bleach. The EP that would get Dr. Dre's attention and soon catapult the name Marshall Bruce Mathers into the household vernacular is not nearly as good as the Slim Shady LP that would follow two years later but is also not quite as self-aggrandizing as his major label debut. You'll recognize most of the tracks - "If I Had...", "Just The Two Of Us" (a.k.a. "'97 Bonnie & Clyde"), "Just Don't Give A Fuck" as well as their "clean" radio edits - the real gem of this album is "Low Down, Dirty". A huge, sluggish Too $hort-esque beat backs up some of the most ridiculously twisted lyrics from Detroit's soon-to-be-favorite son. Surprising how this one escaped Dre's souped-up production. Silly skits aside, the other notable track on this one is "No One's Iller" - somewhat forgettable but featuring a bunch of guys who I think turned into D12. Nothing epic but always cool to hear proto-Eminem before he was doing fucking GMC commercials. Enjoy.