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Hip Hop History: May 23'rd - The Marshall Mathers LP

On May 23rd 2000 Eminem dropped his third studio album The Marshall Mathers LP.

17 years ago today, Eminem gifted the world a classic. The Marshall Mathers LP is the third studio album from Eminem and came just 1 year after his breakout hit album The Slim Shady LP. With the success of The Slim Shady LP Eminem had started to become disenchanted with his new found fame. Special interest groups had labeled him a "misogynist" and an "advocate for domestic violence". His frustration with this situation can be heard in the lyrics to songs like "Real Slim Shady" and "The Way I Am".

Eminem - The Way I Am

Music video by Eminem performing The Way I Am. (C) 2000 Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records

The Marshall Mather LP was created in a 2 month period with extremely long session days, sometimes lasting upwards of 20 hours a day. Em even called these sessions "creative binges". Much of the album was written spontaneously and Eminem recalls that some of his favorite moments from the album came from him and Dr. Dre "f*cking around" in the studio.

The album contained 3 of Eminem's biggest hits: "Real Slim Shady", "The Way I Am" and the absolute monster hit "Stan". The six and a half minute epic samples Dido's "Thank You" and tells the story of an obsessed fan named Stan. The story is told, primarily,  through the perspective of the Stan character who is writing Eminem a series a fan letters. As Eminem doesn't respond the letters become progressively more and more hostile leading the character to act out violently, inspired by the lyrics of Eminem. The final verse is Em finally getting the oppertunity to respond and putting together that the person sending the letters is the same person who Em just watched a news report about.

Eminem - Stan (Short Version) ft. Dido

Music video by Eminem performing Stan. (C) 2002 Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records

The Marshall Mathers LP sold 1.76 million copies within its first week of release making it the fastest selling rap album in history. It more that doubled the previous record holder Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle released in 1993 and topped Brittney Spears' record for highest 1-week sales by a solo artist. It spent a staggering 8 weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts and sold over 8 million copies by the end of 2000.

Eminem would follow up The Marshall Mather LP  with The Eminem Show two years later in 2002 and the movie 8 Mile in November of the same year.