Attention spans are shorter in 2014. Even the best music seems old in a matter of weeks. Thus, I’m regularly amazed by the consistency with which I still listen to Eminem’s masterpiece, The Marshall Mathers LP. The album came out exactly 14 years ago today and I don’t think a month has passed in the time since that I haven’t listened to it in some form or another.
For me, the best art is what’s most provocative. Greatness is not an accomplishment. Anyone can be great. To push any medium forward, you need to shock, and provoke, and terrorize. By that criteria, it gets no better than The Marshall Mathers LP. Within a minute of the first song, Eminem is “raping his own mother, abusing a whore, snorting coke” and at 11 years old it served as a brilliant introduction to the underbelly of society that figures of authority go to great lengths to shield you from.