By saying ‘best album’ I’m referring of course to, The Eminem Show.
Released in 2002 and by far his most coherent, polished, structured, themed and impressively presented and crafted album – it has now been certified Diamond by the RIAA (ten million in the US).
A lot of people are mistaking this as Em’s first Diamond album, but in fact The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) has sold over ten million copies in the US too, but for some reason has never been reported as certified.
Supposedly Interscope need to pay for certifications and just never did so with his masterpiece. Which is odd. I mean, why do it now, with The Eminem Show but not with The Marshall Mathers LP.
This is another huge notch under Shady’s belt however and yet more salt in the wound to his detractors in echoing what now seems like a prophetic statement he made in “You’re Never Over”, when he said “I’ma own so many belts, only place they can hit me is below em”.
Between the monster sales and success of Recovery as an album and perceived comeback stamp, the album’s two monster number one singles, the slew of Grammy nominations (and subsequent focus), the one billion YouTube views mark, the thirty million Facebook likes mark and now this… that statement really does seem to resonate on a whole new level now doesn’t it?
But, in amidst his wealth of recent achievements (and career achievements period), let’s not forget how significant this one in particular is. This means he now has TWO albums in his catalog which have sold over ten million copies in the US alone. That is an amazing feat for any artist and… I’m not sure of too many others that have actually done that. I mean, as far as I can work out and unless I’m mistaken, Michael Jackson ‘only’ has one Diamond album, and then a few which come close. I say ‘only’ with noted irony of course as, even one is amazing but I say that to point out, if Michael Jackson: arguably the biggest artist in history, any genre… hasn’t achieved more than one, I can’t think of too many other people that may have.
I’m sure others must have or there would of been fuss made over the fact Em is the first to do it but, it’s especially impressive given the kind of artist he is. It’s impressive enough as a pop star but, to be such an absolute public menace, to be such a ballsy, uncompromising, relentless, meticulous, crafted poet and to be so dedicated to grit and hip-hop and do it, in spite of that or rather… because of that… speaks volumes of how important and clever an artist he really is. If you’ve been alive in Eminem’s era, you’ve witnessed a timeless word-smith controlling a generation.
Speaking of The Eminem Show, my analysis of that album and period is the next in my ‘Evolution of Eminem’ post series. So look out for that.
Em’s fourth major album Encore is also not too far off Diamond, having sold seven million in the US. So maybe in another ten years that will be Diamond too? who knows. But, the good thing is, the two Diamond albums in Em’s history are, in most people’s opinion (mine too) his two best.