A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Eminem's second album, THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP, is darker than his first. Many of his songs reflect on the consequences that come with fame. Eminem claims to be surprised at the notion of being accountable for his music and its effects on kids, and he clearly rejects that responsibility while waving his favorite finger at the rest of the world. As he did on his first album, Eminem uses the shock value of his lyrics to get attention, and he does it with a dark sense of humor that requires a strong stomach. Unfortunately, he also says some very hateful things that escape all sarcasm. The homophobia is abhorrent, and needs to be addressed with kids who are listening to this music.
Is it any good?
Offensive content aside, there is some great music on this album. The singles "Stan" and "The Way I Am" are excellent, with catchy hooks and dark lyrics. "Stan" features a haunting chorus by Dido, and "The Way I Am" has a driving beat and an impressive rhyme scheme. Eminem brings out the complex problems of pop culture. He's talented but offensive, intelligent but negative, and although his albums are only appropriate for the most mature teenagers, every elementary school playground in America has heard this music.