Eminem Ranks No.19 on XXL’s First 5 List

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  • #eminem-xxlfirst5-featured
  • eminem-xxlfirst5-intro
    Since a co-sign from Dr. Dre brought him to mainstream almost 13 years ago, Eminem has grown to become something more than a star, or even one of hip-hop’s all time greats. He’s become an international icon. While there’s been professional and personal ups and downs along the way, one thing has remained constant: an absolutely unbelievable way with words and a person who’s always been willing to rip themselves open for the rest of the world to see. His catalog is proof; see for yourself.<p style="text-align: center;">_________________________</p>With apologies to De La Soul, five is the magic number. It’s usually the amount of albums in a standard record deal, but few MCs ever fulfill their contractual obligations with as much aplomb as they started. Whether an artist peaks early or late, staying consistent over the duration of five albums has proven challenging no matter the era in hip-hop. XXLmag.com decided to rank the best first-five album runs in hip-hop history (<a href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2012/10/xxl-rank-best-first-five-albums/" target="_blank">First 5</a>). A new act and their ranking will be revealed each day of the week throughout the month of October and the Top 5 will be revealed on November 5th. Get in on the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag <a href="http://twitter.com/i/#!/search/?q=%23xxlfirst5&src=typd" target="_blank">#XXLFirst5</a>.<p><strong>Previous Entries:</strong> <a href="http://www.xxlmag.com/features/2012/10/t-i-ranks-no-25-on-xxls-first-5-list/">25</a>| <a href="http://www.xxlmag.com/features/2012/10/first-5-mobb-deep-ranks-no-24-on-xxl%E2%80%99s-first-5-list/" target="_blank">24</a>| <a href="http://www.xxlmag.com/features/2012/10/rick-ross-ranks-no-23-on-xxls-first-five-list/" target="_blank">23</a>| <a href="http://www.xxlmag.com/features/2012/10/krs-one-first-5-list/">22</a>| <a href="http://www.xxlmag.com/features/2012/10/rakim-ranks-no-21-on-xxls-first-5-list/" target="_blank">21</a>| <a href="http://www.xxlmag.com/features/2012/10/first-5-wu-tang-clan/" target="_blank">20</a></p>
  • 1. <i>The Slim Shady LP</i> (1999)
    1. <i>The Slim Shady LP</i> (1999)
    <strong>Released:</strong> February 23 1999<br /><p><strong>Label:</strong> Aftermath / Interscope<br /></p><p>With both critical and commercial success, <i>The Slim Shady LP</i> launched Eminem into stardom. “My Name Is” introduced the world to the brilliant mind of Slim Shady to the delight of critics and the dismay of parents, many of whom decided Em was the one to blame for the ills of today’s youth. While the album also gained notoriety for the lawsuits filed against Shady by his mother among others, it’s best known as the introduction to Dr. Dre’s protégé who would go on to change rap forever.</p>
  • 2. <i>The Marshall Mathers LP</i> (2000)
    2. <i>The Marshall Mathers LP</i> (2000)
    <strong>Released:</strong> May 23, 2000<br /><p><strong>Label:</strong> Aftermath / Interscope<br /></p><p>Selling more than 1.75 million albums in the first week alone is befitting of one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. A deeply personal, at times unsettling, look into the mind of Marshall Mathers, the album examined a troubled childhood and struggles with fame. The controversy surrounding Em from the release of his debut album exploded after the release of his sophomore effort, as people called it misogynistic and homophobic. Protests withstanding, <i>The Marshall Mathers LP</i> went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap Album, where Em performed what many consider his greatest cultural moment of all time, “Stan” with the openly gay Elton John.</p>
  • 3. <i>The Eminem Show</i> (2002)
    3. <i>The Eminem Show</i> (2002)
    <strong>Released:</strong> May 28, 2002<br /><p><strong>Label:</strong> Aftermath / Shady / Interscope<br /></p><p>Following up <i>The Marshall Mathers LP</i> was a tall order to fill, and on <i>The Eminem Show</i>, Marshall proved to be up to the task. Sharper than ever lyrically, Em excelled in a variety of different types of records, the poppy “Without Me,” the deeply personal “Cleaning Out My Closet,” and even taking on Dick Cheney and Tipper Gore. It also marked the first album in which Em handled the majority of the production. </p>
  • 4. <i>Encore</i> (2004)
    4. <i>Encore</i> (2004)
    <strong>Released:</strong> November 12, 2004<br /><p><strong>Label:</strong> Aftermath / Interscope<br /></p><p>Despite catching some flack for a drop in lyricism on <i>Encore</i>, Em’s fourth album was still well received across the board thanks to strong ideas behind songs. The lead single “Just Lose It” occupied a similar space as “Without Me” had on <i>The Eminem Show</i>, while “Like Toy Soldiers” touched on his beef with Benzino and “Mockingbird” addressed his relationship with daughter, Hailie, and adopted daughter Alaina. Despite huge album sales, though, Eminem later expressed that it was during the recording process of this album that he developed an addiction to prescription drugs and that he was unsatisfied with its outcome.</p>
  • 5. <i>Relapse</i> (2009)
    5. <i>Relapse</i> (2009)
    <strong>Released:</strong> May 15, 2009<br /><p><strong>Label:</strong> Aftermath/Interscope<br /></p><p>After a four-year hiatus due to writer’s block and an addiction to prescription drugs, Eminem returned with <i>Relapse</i>, an album that to many, missed its mark. It’s lead single “Crack a Bottle” didn’t flop, per se, but its impact wasn’t close to that of his previous albums. Even Shady admitted it wasn’t his best effort, revisiting the album on <i>Recovery</i>, saying “Let’s be honest, that last Relapse CD was ehhh.”</p>

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  • VoiceofReason

    not even top 5? very interested to see which 18 other rappers you put ahead of one the greatest ever

    • http://twitter.com/thaNorthStarMN thaNorthStar.com

      eminem only has 3 really good albums

      • http://www.facebook.com/izzy.reynard Izzy Reynard

        Yeah: Relapse, Recovery and Infinite. The rest (minus Encore) are classics.

  • MyFirst5opinion

    I honestly would have at least put him in the top 15. at least…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.jack Ronald Jack

    This list shows how really hard it is to have 5 dope albums.

  • overdose

    da fuck? number 19? xxl is shit. u shoulda put eminem at least on top 10. VoiceofReason is right. who tha hell did you guys put on top of eminem? this guy made a name from nothing fellas. eminem should even be considered as another man who made history on hip hop. Fuck this shit. im outta here. Revise mothercucka!


    4 of these 5 albums are excellent. Lil Wayne and Kanye West will have a higher ranking than eminem. book it. this list is a fuckin joke

  • sosa

    Man had 2 classics(MMLP and Eminem) and one close album.Also as an all around MC eminem is amongst the top 10 no question.Big influence to people.

  • Ash

    all this list shows is how fucked the music industry is… this man one of the greatest MC’s of all time and has the power to lyrically shred any motherfucker on any given day when he steps up. #fucktheindustry

  • 8====D~~~~(.)(.) = babies

    i actually thought relapse was his most cohesive conceptual album .. i hated it at first but i didnt get it .. it was fucking dope .. the beats are the best from all his albums .

  • 8====D~~~~(.)(.) = babies

    ice cube .. americas most , death certificate ,predator lethal injection, war and peace . need to be top 5 . outkast southern playa , atliens , aquemini , stankonia, speakerboxx/love number 1 .

  • d__

    pharoahe monch better make this list.


      pharoahe only has three albums solo- and Organized Konfusion only had 3 as well. Can’t mix the group with the artist (ie Wu Tang) so he’s disqualified. One of the top 10 all time for sure though

  • realshit

    xxl be trippin on somtething!!!!! Eminem has classics under his belt, there def aint 18 better rappers…wayne will probably tell you eminem has better albums, how you gon put him ahead of em!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/thaNorthStarMN thaNorthStar.com

      wayne only listens to himself

  • da pain

    why not the infinite album?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jewel.alli Jewel Alli

    I think he deserves better than that btw go check out icbergartistmanagement(dot)com for online music promotion at a great price !

  • hot ice

    now that’s crap, he can’t be number 19…..even the second place is an insult to mashal.

  • real

    yall are retarded how the fuck is em 19 when hes the best to ever do it? Hes better than pac and big so how the hell you rate him 19 in todays music?

    • http://twitter.com/thaNorthStarMN thaNorthStar.com

      u jus sayn he is the best bcz u r white

  • ashy andrew

    Relapse might be my favorite. Didn’t really have commercial success but might be his best “rap” album. I wish he put out that Relapse 2. That would be a dream come true if he put that out. He went back to his origianl style and voice. For me, its all about SSLP, MMLP, and Relapse. st rapping aout crazy shit, no dramatics about life, fame, family, just rapping.

  • ashy andrew

    I want to take pills just like he did! He’s so cool.

  • Izzy Reynard

    How in the fuck is he this low? I’m not saying he’s number one, but shit! Are there really 19 better artists with five better starting albums then Em? And XXL you cheated by including Relapse. If you included Infinite instead, his worth would lengthen, although even with Relapse he’s better then 19. If Wayne is even on this list, I’ll drown myself.


    No. Infinite instead of Relapse and put it in the top 10.