Personnel includes: Eminem (rap vocals); Nate Dogg, Dr. Dre, Obie Trice, Hailie Jade, D-12, Dina Rae.
THE EMINEM SHOW won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
THE EMINEM SHOW was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Award for Album Of The
Year. "Without Me" was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Record Of The Year and Best Male Rap Solo Performance.
As one of the most controversial figures in hip-hop history, Eminem can be forgiven for being somewhat self-obsessed. THE EMINEM SHOW's opening cut "White America" sums up the notorious rapper's self-defense by keenly observing that while the color of his skin has something to do with his widespread popularity it's also the reason his lyrics are examined so scrupulously by critics who otherwise wouldn't bother. "I could be one of your kids" he proclaims, getting right to the heart of the matter. Despite the abundance of introspection, Eminem doesn't back up a single step on any of the themes that made him such a hot property. He's still into glorifying violence, as on "Soldier" one of the many cuts where he waves his broken-home/dysfunctional upbringing like a flag to justify the hatred that seeps from every pore of THE EMINEM SHOW.
Over the course of the album, he threatens to brutally murder so many members of his family that one begins to lose track, but this is just the kind of hard-ass image that's helped make him an icon. The aforementioned cut finds the former Marshall Mathers making one of his most telling statements; "I'll never be Marshall again." It's clear that the Eminem identity allows him to fully vent his rage and get lauded (by some) for it instead of imprisoned. In his continuing effort to show that he's as hardcore as any black rapper, he extends his rancor Professor Griff-stye to Jews on the skits "Paul Rosenberg" and "Steve Berman," the latter of whom we hear getting shot for whiningly taking Em's music to task. Love him or hate him, Eminem makes no apologies, and THE EMINEM SHOW is as strong a statement as he's made to date.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.106) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002"
Rolling Stone (7/11/02, pp.107-8) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[This] may be the best rap-rock album in history....THE EMINEM SHOW has the self-assurance of an artist at the top of his game and 'the' game..."
Spin (1/03, p.70) - Ranked #5 on Spin's list of 2002's "Albums of the Year" - "...On his fourth album, Eminem reflects and shows some real vulnerability, flipping in a blink from evil, sexist drip to sympathetic daddy/son to media-mad trickster."
Entertainment Weekly (6/7/02, pp.73-4) - "...Em reveals the supposedly real Marshall: embattled entertainer, fervent defender of the First Amendment, and yes, devoted father...like a therapy session in which the shrink becomes a human beatbox..." - Rating: B
Q (12/02, p.66) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 2002"
Uncut (1/03, p.95) - Ranked #19 in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year"
Uncut (8/02, p.118) - 3 out of 5 - "...As ever the wit is razor sharp....He's still baring enough of his soul for THE EMINEM SHOW to be compelling theatre."
CMJ (6/24/02, p.4) - "...Jam-packed with the same vitriol that made Eminem a household name to begin with..."
Vibe (8/02, pp.155-6) - 4 out of 5 - "...[The] capacity to mix social commentary and self-parody and turn the whole thing into an amazing record is what makes Eminem so interesting..."
NME (Magazine) (6/1/02, p.36) - 9 out of 10 - "...A more personal, vulnerable, even-gulp!-mature artistic vision....SHOW is bigger, bolder and far more consistent than its predecessors...introspective without being self-pitying, expansive in scope without being pompous, exploring new directions without disappearing up its own arse. Its genius is mighty. It's the greatest 'Show' on earth."