2011: By 2011, Eminem had proven his historical dominance 10 times over. On March 9 of that same year, the folks at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) revealed that two of Em’s albums had done the same thing—literally.
It was on that day that The Marshall Mathers LP, the Detroit rhymer’s incendiary second major label release, had officially gone diamond, a rarefied certification given to acts who managed to sell at least 10 million units.
The LP was Em’s second to earn that particular distinction, with his 2002 effort, The Eminem Show, being the first. This accomplishment made Em the first and only rapper to have two albums get certified diamond.
The Marshall Mathers LP featured many of what could be called Em’s most defining tracks. There’s “Kim,” a gruesome cut that finds the rapper delivering what, aside from the emotional intensity, feels like the exact opposite of a love letter.
Then there’s “Stan,” a storytelling exhibition that earned its song title a place in the Oxford English Dictionaryover 15 years after its release.
The Eminem Show, an album that arrived just about half a year before Em made his first and only foray into the acting world in 8 Mile, was a similarly definitive opus.
This project saw the rapper up his production game even more as he produced almost all of the album himself. Dre only produced three beats on the project.
With their blend of Em’s signature schizophrenic lyricism and production from himself and Dr. Dre, Em’s second and third albums mark what was pretty much one of the rap world’s all time greats at their absolute peak.
Think Michael Jordan during the Chicago Bulls’ first three-peat, or Michael Jackson around the time Thriller came out. It was a great run.