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Classic Hate: The Internet Hates on Eminem's 'Slim Shady LP'

The 'Slim Shady LP' is considered a classic today, but looking back at the original reactions reveals just how much the album was hated.

It’s been 18 years since the Slim Shady LP was released. Other than my parents, my best friends, and the Simpsons, there aren’t many things that have been in my life as long as that first Eminem album.

One of the only “classic” albums that I can say I truly experienced from the start, the release wasn't always considered an unequivocal classic. Partly because of his skin color, partly because of his voice, and definitely because of his “colorful” content, Eminem was a lightening rod for hate.

The same things that make him who he is today, that made the Slim Shady LP so fresh, are the same things people hated him for way back when, so for the (belated) anniversary of the Slim Shady LP, what better way to celebrate than with a rousing edition of Classic Hate?

It can often be hard to find examples of classic hate because believe it or not, there was a time when every thought, feeling, and overreaction people had couldn't be shared instantly on the magical entity that is the internet. But compared to when I had to really dig for some classic hate for Illmatic, back in '99 people were just starting to get adjusted to this internet thing and were eager to share their thoughts. A quick search for reviews of The Slim Shady LP brought up some pretty great hot takes from right around the release of the LP.

Naturally, there was a lot of talk about race, a surprising amount of shade thrown on “My Name Is,” the always satisfying “this guy won't be around much longer” hot takes, but these haters below dropped some truly classic hate.

Although I've only heard one song by Eminem, it's obvious to me that this guy has little or no talent.. What is with this guy? His voice is definitely too high pitched and squeaky to rap. This has to be the WORST thing I've heard in a very long time... this is even worse than Hanson (if that's possible).. I am so disgusted that anyone could give this anything more than 2 stars. I don't think this is even worthy of one star, but that's the lowest rating... I have one question: Why is this guy so popular? - I am totally appalled

This guy was ahead of his time, I guarantee he’s one of those people who doesn’t read the article then overreacts based solely on the headline. Even better, he commented on February 16, 1999, a week before the album was released. Dude was hating before there was even a thing to hate - can’t knock the hustle. He may have been on to something, though...coming up next, my Eminem vs. Hanson think piece.

This is the worst cd i have ever listened too. I have two words to summarize it all. It is pooh pooh. The lyrics are great but the music sucks. He sounds like a martian when he sings. This cd is just the poopiest cd i have ever heard. - M y name is down the drain

In a weird way, “the poopiest” makes me kind of want to listen. Also, I need to start calling music “pooh pooh.” I love that fucking bear.

He's a 90's vanilla Ice. Enough said - The 90's Vanilla Ice

But..."Ice Ice Baby" came out in 1990. Isn’t Vanilla Ice the '90s Vanilla Ice?

Hey! My name is Slim Shady! This is my new hot-to-def joint. My real thug name is EmiNeM and I'm a white gangsta rappa. My favorite food is chicken and I like also A Tribe Called Quest. But I'm not stupid. And I'm not fooling you if I'm sayin' that this album is the best cd ever made. period. My idol and best friend is Vanilla Ice. I Hate Beastie Boys cos they suck. I'm the Young Gun! I've got a phat nasal voice wit da dope street attitude. I'm representin da white kidz to da fullest, nahmean?!! I'm da rhymer king. Da Freestyle specialist. Peace Out. Buy my CD and you'll be a better in every way. - Buy this Hip-Hop Classic if you're into Vanilla Ice or NKOTB

I’ve seen a lot of classic hate in my day, but I’ve never seen someone write a scathing review from the perspective of the artist they are hating on while also calling it a classic in the title. Or maybe this really is Eminem? After all, I’d have to assume he does like chicken and A Tribe Called Quest—who doesn't like chicken and ATCQ? This has to be one of the first cases of internet trolling ever. 

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i bought this cd for my 12yr. old daughter without viewing first. 2 days later i listened and was totally blown away and shocked. the words on the uncut version were very explicit i was disgusted and horrified that i allowed her to hear this cd needless to say she will not hear it again in my house it will be in the trash. - vulgur and degrading

Man, in just two whole days, Eminem caused irreparable damage to the children of America. Just look at his daughter now

In a genre that has given us such deplorable subhuman feces such as Missy Elliot,Busta Rhymes,Puff Daddy,The Wu Tang Clan and various other Anthropoidian garbage along comes Eminem.Armed only with his witty epigrams tantamount to that of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain he spits out the most profusely vulgar,misogynic and ostensibly stupid sewage imaginable bending over for a cheap laugh while he's at it.Juxtaposed to all of that is the signature monotonous drum machine thud and Rice Krispies that no Hip-Hop opus would be complete without.And on top of all of this is the fact that he's a white guy who thinks he's a kaffir trapped in a white(subhuman)mans body(presumably because he was raised in "da hood"). As I write this my insipid generation is flocking in droves to buy this thing.Why????So that you can listen to this cretin belittle himself by irresponsiblely glorifying a hedonistic,ultra-epicurean,scumbag lifestyle?If thats your pursuit of happyness then so be it.Me?I'll be running this country someday.Adieu future Gestapo victims. - Eminem is the product of a cro-magnon

Sweet Baby Jesus! Hate is supposed to make me feel better about myself, not run and go grab a dictionary. This dude just Pitchfork-ed the fuck out of his review years before Pitchfork even existed. If I understand what this guy is saying, he thinks Eminem is the next Hitler. I don’t remember a Hitler and Rihanna collaboration, but maybe I missed that in my WWII history class.

It should come as no surprise that the general internet populace wasn't exactly on the same wavelength as Eminem, but by '99, Eminem already had buzz in the hip-hop community. Surely, the early online hip-hop community championed this charismatic rebel right from the get-go, right? RIGHT??

Im kinda new to this newsgroup, but i got somethings i gotta get off of my chest.  First of all, I know Eminem gets hated on more than jsut about anyone now adays, but I really can't stand him.  OK not really him, its his fans. Everytime I meet someone who likes eminem they tell me how great a battle rapper he is and how he disses people so hard.  Does anyone ever wonder y we he doesn't diss someone who can really rhyme?  Kid Rock, Will Smith, boybands?

None of these people are even real MC's. My second beef is how he doesn';t even raelly battle rap in my opinion.  Since when did talking about chopping peopleup with chain saws and shit qualify as a real dis?  What happen to metaphors and witty word play. I don't hear none of that coming from Em…. - Hatin Eminem 

Man, sometimes the internet amazes me. People were reacting to stans before Eminem even wrote “Stan.” This guy doesn't hate Em, he hates Em fans. Oh, no, wait, he hates Em too. So much so that he's willing to ignore facts. It’s a fact, Eminem was a battle rapper. He was. Literally. Maybe that narrative didn't emerge nationwide until 8 Mile? I know, it’s technically subjective, but it’s also pretty much a fact that Eminem is all about witty wordplay. I get hating his voice, but his lyrics are what made him Eminem. To say they weren’t witty or powerful feels flat out false. I think I'm giving a guy who went on to call Aftermath “Afterwack” too much credit.

Let’s move on...

Ive got to get this off my chest!!!  Fuck them hyped up artists!!!! I know a lot of you cats out there jerk off on artists like DMX and that Eminem dude, but I personally they SUCK and don't have skills at all!!!  When it comes to rhymes and personality even my grandma would beat that muthafuckin' DMX in a battle!!!... to this day I'm still wonderin' why everyone thinks he's original!!!

Sounds like he's rhymin' and suckin' dicks at the same time!!! (Okay, that's original in its own way!!!) OVERRATED, that's what those muthafuckaz are!!!???!!! - Fuck them hyped up artists!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Pitchfork-thesaurus guy, take a lesson from this dude. Nobody needs confusing, verbose critiques when there's writing about Eminem rhyming and performing oral sex at the same time. It’s completely inaccurate—should have stuck with “nasally”—but at the very least it’s funny. It gets the people going. Anyway, I can't really pinpoint this guy's issue; is he mad at Eminem, DMX, or the hype machine?

Man those are some dumbasses. People back then were so stupid. How could they not see greatness right in front of them?!? Thank god we are better, wiser, and more educated on the Slim Shady LP now. Nobody would dare speak ill of that album these days.

I have to say, hate is much more interesting when there's a real face put it to. We may not be able to shame the genius behind "My name is down the drain," but we can tweet shame those two and argue with HipHopDX.  

We look at instant reactions and microwave journalism as products of the internet era, and sure, of course, but they also reflect human nature more than social media. Some of these hate artifacts really don't sound much different than the hate we see today for any rapper. Haters gonna hate, and it's impossible to gauge an album's impact at the time of its release.

So remember to be careful what you say on social media—or you might just end up the subject of another edition of Classic Hate.



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