This is my Grand Theory of Eminem. I observed this just after the release of The Marshall Mathers LP, and it seems to be holding true for The Eminem Show. Here's how it goes:
Conjecture 1: The first single from any new Eminem album will be in pantomime style, nothing too controversial, so as to get sales of the album ticking over, selling to those who would otherwise be turned away from rap.
Evidence: My Name Is, The Real Slim Shady, Without Me.
Conjecture 2: He then follows up with the real rap material, that sells the album to fans of genuine gangsta rap. These singles will typically be more controversial or thought-provoking than the first. Thus his album has a second "burst" of purchasing activity, and his sales figures soar even higher.
Evidence: Guilty Conscience, The Way I Am, Stan Update: Yup, Cleanin' Out My Closet fits perfectly here.
Conjecture 3: The rest of the album is much more in keeping with the second wave of singles, typically even more outrageous and arguably more entertaining.
Evidence: Murder, Murder, Kill You, Criminal, Drips
Conjecture 4: (c/o dokool)
Any tracks he participates in for albums other than his own are of higher quality. Basically, if he collabs with another artist, his verses have a much better chance of being lyrically impressive.
Well, I agree. Plus, his appearances on other people's album tends to be the highlight of the album.
Evidence: Scary Movies
, The Last Hit
, When to Stand Up
, Patiently Waiting
, Don't Approach Me
So there you have it. I'm sure I'm not the first to notice this, but nevertheless the guy is clever. He knows how to sell albums. He almost said it himself once, talking about My Name Is, "I just put that single out to trick people, so you'd think 'Oh, he's friendly', to make them buy my album. Then they put it in, and every other word is 'fuck'."
Anything to add? Go ahead and /msg me.