‘The Slim Shady LP’: How Does Eminem’s Breakout Album Fare 20 Years Later?

At the beginning of his recent “Kick Off”freestyle, Eminem discussed his approach to rap battles in depth, explaining that “the main objective is to destroy, completely fuckin’ obliterate your opponent by saying anything and everything, whatever the fuck you can.”

This approach has served him well far beyond the realms of freestyling though. Two decades into his career, Slim Shady has still managed to keep it real in the face of competition from rising artists eager to match and even surpass his unrivaled success in the industry. Last year alone, “Killshot” became the biggest hip-hop debut in YouTube history, and the Detroit rapper sold more albums than any other star in 2018, including Drake and Taylor Swift combined.
Eminem has been obliterating opponents like this ever since the release of his breakthrough album, fueled by anger and indignation against those who believed a white rapper could never find success in the hip-hop industry. Defying all expectations, The Slim Shady LP went on to be certified quadruple-platinum in the US, selling over 18 million copies worldwide while earning Em his first two Grammy wins as well.
With all of these accolades, it’s easy to see why Eminem’s major label debut became an instant classic and is still regarded as such today. However, much has changed in the world since February 23, 1999, and with any release this controversial, there’s always a chance that what was once deemed revolutionary has now aged poorly. With that in mind, we’re cleaning out the closet and taking a look at how The Slim Shady LP fares twenty years later in 2019.
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