"The Real Slim Shady"
Eminem - The Real Slim Shady CD cover.jpg
Single by Eminem
from the album The Marshall Mathers LP
ReleasedApril 18, 2000
Recorded2000
Genre
Length4:44
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Eminem singles chronology
"Forgot About Dre"
(2000)
"The Real Slim Shady"
(2000)
"The Way I Am"
(2000)
Music video
"The Real Slim Shady (Official - Dirty Version)" on YouTube
Audio sample
"The Real Slim Shady"

"The Real Slim Shady" is a song by American rapper Eminem from his third album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000). It was released as the lead single a month before the album's release.

"The Real Slim Shady" was Eminem's first song to reach number one in the United Kingdom and it also peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, giving him his biggest hit up to that point.[1] The song was the 14th best selling of 2000 in the United Kingdom. It won multiple awards, including MTV Video Music Awards for Best Video and Best Male Video, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 80 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[2] It was listed at number 396 on NME's 500 greatest songs of all time.

Premise

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"The Real Slim Shady" was not originally intended to be part of The Marshall Mathers LP. Interscope Records's Jimmy Iovine wanted Eminem to have a song to introduce the album, similar to the way "My Name Is" was the first single on The Slim Shady LP. Eminem, Dr. Dre, Tommy Coster and Mike Elizondo wrote "The Real Slim Shady" just hours before the final copy of the album was due. The first single was intended to be "Who Knew."[3]

Critical reception

PopMatters described this song:

"In a number of songs on the new album, including the current single, 'The Real Slim Shady,' Eminem slams his 'enemies' with comic book intensity. In the video, he wears a superhero costume and an insane asylum straitjacket while rapping, 'I'm sick of you little girl and boy groups, all you do is annoy me / So I have been sent here to destroy you / And there's a million of us just like me / Who cuss like me; who just don't give a fuck like me / Who dress like me; walk, talk and act like me / And just might be the next best thing, but not quite me!' Of course, the irony is built into the song: Eminem's signature style the bleached blond hair, pale skin, humungous T-shirt has spawned droves of lookalikes and wannabes. Voila, he's a teen idol. Poor Em, can't win for losing."[4]

Allmusic highlighted the single.[5]

Will Hermes was positive:

"In the aftermath of Slim Shady, he married the girlfriend he imagined killing, while his mother, immortalized in his hit single 'My Name Is' (I just found out my Mom does more dope than I do), sued him for $10 million for defamation of character."[6]

The defamation case was settled in 2001 for $25,000 as Debbie Mathers' former attorney was awarded $23,354—netting Ms. Mathers just over $1600 for her efforts.[7][8]

LA Times wrote:

"'The Real Slim Shady,' the first single from the album, is a modest step to the mainstream—a fresh and funny, almost PG-rated swipe at everything from the Grammy Awards to shallow teen pop."[9]

IGN cited:

"The album's obligatory 'pop' number is exposed on 'The Real Slim Shady,' which chugs and lurches along to a boinging electro funk beat. It would be a total pop smash if it weren't for the lyrics, though. Leave it to Em to juice it up with ear candy effervescent, but keep the words in the subversive. As with the other Dre crafted tunes on the album, there's plenty of cool special effects bustling about—fart noises, heavy breathing, all of it coalescing with Em's cartoon character on crystal meth delivery. Sure it's pop, but of the most demented nature."[10]

Rolling Stone praised the sound of the single as "slick, bright, melodic funk that's so R&B-ish, you can dance to it".[11]

The song has been in many films, notably 21 Jump Street (2012). It has been one of his best-known songs.[citation needed]

Music video

Actress and comedian Kathy Griffin, who is also known for insulting celebrities in her act,[12] appears in the video as an attending nurse in a psychiatric ward. Griffin said during a July 21, 2005, interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that Eminem selected her for the video because fellow rapper Snoop Dogg told him she was "really funny."[13]

Credits

Information from the interior booklet of The Marshall Mathers LP

Awards

See also: List of awards and nominations received by Eminem

"The Real Slim Shady" was very successful at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, winning awards for Video of the Year and Best Male Video, as well as being a nominee for Best Rap Video, Best Direction, Best Editing and Viewer's Choice. The song was also performed by Eminem at the show with look-a-likes of himself, as in the video.

Year Organization Award Result
2000 Billboard Music Awards Maximum Vision Video Won
Best Rap/Hip-Hop Clip of the Year Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Music: Video Nominated
Choice Music: Summer Song Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Video of the Year Won
Best Male Video Won
Best Rap Video Nominated
Best Direction Nominated
Best Editing Nominated
Viewer's Choice Award Nominated
2001 Detroit Music Awards Outstanding National Single Won
Grammy Awards Best Rap Solo Performance Won

Track listing

UK CD single[14]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."The Real Slim Shady"4:44
2."The Real Slim Shady" (instrumental)
  • Mathers
  • Young
  • Coster
  • Elizondo
  • Dr. Dre
  • Mel-Man
4:44
3."Guilty Conscience" (radio version with new hook) (featuring Dr. Dre)
  • Mathers
  • Young
3:19
4."The Real Slim Shady" (video)  4:44
UK Cassette
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."The Real Slim Shady"4:44
2."My Fault" (pizza mix)3:53
Total length:8:37
German CD single[15]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."The Real Slim Shady"4:44
2."Bad Influence"3:40
Total length:8:24
German Maxi CD single[16]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."The Real Slim Shady"4:44
2."Bad Influence"3:40
3."The Real Slim Shady" (instrumental)4:44
4."My Fault" (pizza mix)
  • Mathers
  • J. Bass
  • M. Bass
  • Bass Brothers
  • Eminem
3:53
5."Just Don't Give A F**k" (music video)  4:39
Total length:21:40

Charts

Certifications

Certifications and sales for "The Real Slim Shady"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[63] 7× Platinum 490,000double-dagger
Austria (IFPI Austria)[64] Gold 25,000*
Belgium (BEA)[65] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[66] 2× Platinum 160,000*
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[67] Platinum 90,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[68] Gold 250,000*
Germany (BVMI)[69] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[70]
sales since 2009
Platinum 50,000double-dagger
Norway (IFPI Norway)[71] Gold  
Portugal (AFP)[72] Platinum 40,000double-dagger
Sweden (GLF)[73] Platinum 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[74] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[76] 2× Platinum 1,240,000[75]
United States (RIAA)[77] 7× Platinum 7,000,000double-dagger
Streaming
Greece (IFPI Greece)[78] Gold 1,000,000dagger

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
dagger Streaming-only figures based on certification alone.

See also

References

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