Essential Album of the Week #56 Eminem - The Eminem Show

This was the first rap album I ever bought, I think. But prior to that... I remember Eminem being one of the very first rap songs I ever heard when I was 10 years old, through the older brothers of some friends - they'd listen to rap to pump them up before competitions and we'd want to be "cool" so we'd ask them to let us listen. I think the actual first rap song I ever heard was "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" from SSLP, and a close second was DMX "X Is Coming".

I have so many memories associated with this album. I got it right when it came out and listened to it on the way to and from school every single day on the bus, and I remember worrying about being judged for it because girls didn't really listen to hip hop, and the "cool music" to be into at the time was ACDC and other classic rock. I remember being in 7th grade science class and one of the boys grabbing my CD out of my purse and opening up my CD player to check out what I was listening to, and him ragging on Eminem.

This is still an album I come back to. I don't know much about hip-hop, but from a consumer standpoint, it's amazing - the majority of the songs on the album have a good flow that's often melodic at times and allows you to rap (or sing) along, the rhyme schemes are solid, the material and song content is interesting to listen to and doesn't get boring after repeated listening. It introduced me to the concept of skits on an album (NSync and other pop bands don't have them, so that was totally new for me) and made me learn that I pretty much despise them (except for on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, if those are considered skits, but that's another subject). However, this remains one of very few albums I can listen to the whole way through.

Also, I was considering posting this in the General Discussion Thread but it seemed dumb, and it's actually super relevant to here... I run a lot and do a lot of distance races, and I'll organize my playlist in a specific order timed out to end around how long I expect to be out there. Every race, I put Till I Collapse at a point in the list where it's a bit before my projected finish time... a week and a half ago, it came on about a half mile out from the finish of my marathon at the exact time I legitimately wanted to collapse. Helped me keep pushing, ended up crossing the finish 2 minutes under my goal time and PR'd by 11 and a half minutes. It's interesting to see how a song can be so motivational, even after, what, 13 years of listening? And it's still completely relevant.

/r/hiphopheads Thread