The Marshall Mathers LP
Though the template of laying irreverent societal critique over bouncy Dr. Dre beats is left essentially intact, Marshall Mathers is darker and meaner. It mixes homophobia and misogyny with murder fantasies. The epic narrative "Stan" was Eminem's attempt to reconcile his responsibility as an influential public figure with his role as an entertainer and artist. But the distance between art and reality wasn't as clear as the song would lead us to believe, and the violent fantasy "Kim" reportedly led his wife, the song's subject, to attempt suicide. This is volatile, obscene and great art.