Due to recent remarks made by Melle Mel, Eminem has been featured extensively in the media this week. First, the rapper from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five gave his reasoning for not considering Em to be one of the greatest rappers currently active. Although his evaluation was superficial, it was made after Billboard and Vibe ranked him as the fifth-greatest rapper ever.
“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 on the mic), “lyrics” (storytelling skills), and “flow” (vocal prowess) were the criteria used by Billboard and Vibe for this ranking.
It’s difficult to argue that Eminem hasn’t gotten these skills down pat. His flow and bars imitated the legends before him as a game student. In addition, Treach, Redman, and many other rappers have influenced Em’s distinctive style. But, then, in terms of his cultural influence and impact, rappers like Kendrick Lamar and, most recently, Kevin Gates have ranked him among the top 5 rappers, both alive and dead.
Eminem merits his position at number five in discussing RIAA certifications and Billboard achievements. This past week was the first week since Eminem became the first and only rapper to have two albums recognized as diamonds. According to XXL, on March 8th, 2022, the RIAA awarded double platinum certification to two of his albums. On the same day that The Marshall Mathers LP attained diamond status, The Eminem Show officially sold 11M units.
Two of Em’s most well-known bodies of work are The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show. Even though it was divisive, Em’s 2000 album The Marshall Mathers LP included some of his most cherished tracks, including “Kim” and “Stan,” two songs that revealed the depth of his lyrical skill. The Eminem Show debuted at the height of Em’s mainstream career and primarily focused on his struggles with fame and provided a far more political commentary on songs like “Mosh.”