Eminem has been all over the news this week following recent comments made by Melle Mel. The Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five rapper explained why he didn't think Em was one of the greatest rappers alive. Though his assessment was rather surface-level, his comments came after Billboard and Vibe listed him at #5 among the greatest rappers of all time. Billboard and Vibe based their criteria on: "body of work/achievements (charted singles/albums, gold/platinum certifications), cultural impact/influence (how the artist's work fostered the genre's evolution), longevity (years at the mic), lyrics (storytelling skills) and flow (vocal prowess)."
It's hard to deny that Eminem hasn't mastered each of these aspects. As a student of the game, his flow and bars were patterned by the legends before him. Treach, Redman, and plenty of other rappers have undoubtedly influenced the unique style that Em cultivated. Then, when it comes to his cultural impact and influence, artists like Kendrick Lamar, and most recently, Kevin Gates have put him in their top 5 rappers dead or alive.
Eminem Goes Diamond Twice
In the conversation of RIAA certifications and Billboard accomplishments, Eminem undoubtedly earned that spot at #5. This week marked the one-week anniversary since Eminem became the first and only rapper to earn two diamond-certified albums. On March 8th, 2022, the RIAA certified two of his albums as double platinum, as XXL points out. The Eminem Show officially reached 11M units sold while The Marshall Mathers LP reached diamond status on the same day.
Both The Eminem Show and The Marshall Mathers LP are two of Em's most celebrated bodies of work. Though controversial, 2000's The Marshall Mathers LP includes some of Em's most revered songs, such as "Kim" and "Stan" - two songs that showcased the depth of his lyrical prowess. Meanwhile, The Eminem Show came at the height of Em's popularity in the mainstream and largely detailed how he grappled with fame, along with a far more political commentary on songs like "Mosh."