When Eminem delivered his third and most personal album to date, many were uncertain what The Eminem Show would have in store. Following up the back-to-back tandem of The Marshall Mathers LP and Devil’s Night, Em had developed a reputation of sorts, especially where the parents of his fans were concerned. Consider that his sophomore classic opened with “Kill You,” a blood-spattered tapestry of gore, murder, mayhem, and sexual assault. On The Eminem Show, however, Em opted to kick things off with “White America,” a satirical ode to one of his biggest demographics.
Grandiose and anthemic, yet brooding all the same, “White America” finds Eminem delivering a state of the union, analyzing his relationship with the people at large. For the first time in his career, Em openly acknowledged his racial identity, and how he served to utilize it for his own benefit. “See, the problem is I speak to suburban kids, who otherwise would have never knew these words exist,” he raps, in the track’s climactic verse. “Whose moms probly woulda never gave two squirts of piss, til I created so much motherfuckin’ turbulence.” It’s an interesting take from Em at his most poised, and one worth revisiting on this fine Fourth Of July. Is Eminem Show Slim’s finest body of work?