My Name Is Anniversary – Eminem’s Big Break Boosts Hip Hop – Eminem has gifted us with many unforgettable tracks throughout his 20+ year career. It would be hard to try and rank his tracks or verses from say #1-10. I’m not sure how I would rank them, but as I look at it now, I don’t think that the track “My Name Is” would make it in my top #25. I’m not sure why, it definitely has some great lines, but the beat has been played out and this factors in to why many would never consider this of Eminem’s best. Eminem has also had far more successful tracks in terms of sales and popularity. However many young people forget that this track single handedly put Eminem on the map and pushed hip hop into the mainstream on television and in the media.
Not to say that hip hop was not already in the mainstream, but it never took top billing over other musical genres. With the release of the video for “My Name Is”, hip hop became the biggest musical medium in the world. YoMTVRaps! had been canceled, there were no programs on Fuse or MTV dedicated to rap/hip-hop music, and while rap was celebrated on these networks – Biggie and Tupac received large amounts of air play for every video they released – the greater masses had not accepted hip hop as mainstream yet.
In walks Eminem, a white artist who could appeal to both the urban hip hop crowd as well as the caucasian suburban crowd and fans of other genres (hard rock/heavy metal). Not only did he have the look but many enjoyed the unfiltered lyrics and images that Eminem brought with his music. Throw in the fact that he was working with one of the most revered producers in rap history, Dr Dre, and it was just the artist that “White” America was waiting for.
The video blew up on all the music networks, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing the chorus for the song. The beat could be heard on the radio and tv usually being used to parody some aspect of life. “Slim Shady” was everywhere, insulting someone, mocking anyone, but impressing everyone. The man clearly had lyrical talent, if you listened to the rest of the “Slim Shady LP”, and without this, the hip hop craze and fervor would have died down and not lasted. Instead the Lil’ Waynes and Drakes of the world owe much of their popularity to the likes of Eminem and 2Pac. Tupac inspired Marshal Mathers who then inspired a generation of rappers that are still coming out today.
While not his greatest track by a large amount, “My Name Is” may be Eminem’s most important track of his career and biggest contribution to music. It launched an already healthy musical genre onto the world stage. Rap through the 80’s and 90’s was a million dollar industry, with the coming of Eminem and the track “My Name Is” to set it off, rap became the billion dollar industry it is today.