Marshall Mathers LP Turns 15

I’m not okay.

I was probably 14 or 15 at the time. TRL was becoming a juggernaut and I was printing Em lyrics in typing class. I went out to The Wiz and bought it. The cashier pointed out the Parental Advisory sticker (she’d also sold me other tagged albums before) I said, “I know.” and handed over my money.

What would follow was a year of obsessive listening, understanding that not everyone is a happy camper and that there are people who happily talk shit and will hit back. I wasn’t a devout rap fan. I’m a New Yorker and at the time, we know our shit was hype. The rest of the country hadn’t even touched what New York or Los Angeles had with the genre and then here comes Marshall with Detroit on his shoulders, a blonde mop on top and the Mr. Just Don’t Give A Fuck attitude. I had the album on repeat. It’s a lyrical backflip, wordplay and exposing piece of rap that few other albums have ever managed to do. He was struggling with fame, he was struggling with his identity, he was in the beginning stages of addiction, struggling with being the only guy who was willing to be as wild as his lyrics. He was well aware of the target on his back and vented the frustrations into the album that would encapsulate a strange time in pop history. He wound up in verbal sparring (and physical altercations) with lesser rappers (Fucking Benzino) and wind up on top.

I wound up understanding that there was Marshall and there was Slim and there’s Shady. I understood that in order to survive we just make different masks, different personas to cope with the disaster of it all. MMLP came to mark a time in my life where I had no idea what I was doing (still done) felt like I had to have multiple personalities in order to make things happen for myself. It’s true. I created them and they are working, they battle each other a lot of the time but they’re also conflicting representations of who I can be. The irony is that that’s exactly what happened with MMLP; it captures moments from 2000, it captures moments from Em’s life, Marshall’s life, Slim and Shady’s life. It’s a triptych telling one version of events that modern albums don’t do anymore.

It’s a concept record.

The closest we’ve come to another series of albums on that level is Kid Cudi’s Man on The Moon but it’s taking three albums to do what Marshall did in one.

For all the pop and radio friendly tracks, Remember Me, Amittyville, Drug Ballad carried some of the heaviest pieces of lyricism that showed the raw lyrical power that Em posses. It’s why he’s the king of freestyles. It’s why, fifteen years later he can comfortably call himself a Rap God.

MMLP 2 pales in comparison, it’s admittedly a copy paste version of MMLP and stumbles where Recovery soared but he was right when he said “I can put out the same album twice and you retards will buy it.”

Sigh.

Fifteen years later. I love it.

Top 10 NFL excuses worse than the Patriots ‘Deflator’ explanation

they spent more time working on deflated balls than they did on players suffering brain injuries and spousal abuse.

For The Win

(USA TODAY Sports Images) (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In a website that rivals moon-landing deniers and 9/11 truthers for self-delusion and pomposity, the New England Patriots unveiled the website wellsreportcontext.com on Thursday to deny all the fairly-reasonable claims made in the report of the same name that was released last week and led to a four-game suspension for Tom Brady. Among the greatest whoppers in the “context” was the revelation that the assistant manager who boasted that his name was “the deflator” only coined that term because of his desired weight loss. Yeah, and my name is Jenny Craig. So, here at FTW, and in honor of David Letterman’s impending retirement, here are our “Top 10 NFL excuses worse than the Patriots ‘deflator’ explanation.”

10. Peyton Manning loses in the playoffs because he’s looking ahead to the Pro Bowl.

(Getty Images) (Getty Images)

9. The Jags have struggled for years due to immense pressure from their…

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WNBA veteran Swin Cash draws inspiration, toughness from her mom

For The Win

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Before she was a WNBA star, before she won two Olympics gold medals and two titles at UConn, Swin Cash was just a kid trying to become just like her mom, Cynthia Cash-Smith — a left-handed basketball standout at McKeesport High School.

The left-handed part is important.

Swin is right-handed but as a kid she modeled her game after her mom’s, meaning she tried to do things left-handed as much as possible. It was a cute thing. But as she grew up, it ended up being a huge advantage in her game.

“I used always want to mimic everything that she did, so later in games when people tried to force me left that’s where I naturally want to go even though I’m right-handed so I think just things like that, the aggressive way that she played the game, being fearless that’s something I got from…

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ESPN historian reveals inside story of the network’s breakup with Bill Simmons

For The Win

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

ESPN announced earlier this week that Bill Simmons, arguably the network’s biggest star, will be leaving the company at the end of his contract. ESPN president John Skipper told the New York Times that ESPN and Simmons “weren’t going to [agree] to terms” on a new contract, and announced Simmons’ departure one day after the columnist bashed Roger Goodell on the Dan Patrick Show.

Simmons has been at the center of many controversies during his tenure at ESPN. Simmons was suspended last fall after criticizing Goodell and has been involved in public feuds with fellow ESPN employees. James Andrew Miller — author of Those Guys Have All the Fun — wrote an insider’s account of the Simmons-ESPN breakup for Vanity Fair, and revealed a number of key issues that soured the writer’s relationship with the network. According to Miller, the tension between Simmons and ESPN hit an all-time…

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