For this week’s installment of #ThrowbackThursday, we’re going to revisit the second single from Eminem‘s highly acclaimed The Marshall Mathers LP: The Way I Am.
The Way I Am was the follow-up single to The Real Slim Shady and is the only song on the album that was written solely by Marshall himself. That solo writing credit didn’t even need to be written because, if you listen to the song closely, you can hear the brutally sincere and honest emotion from the rhymes. It’s a truly special trait that not many artists in modern day carry.
The Way I Am, which is the very first song Em ever produced by himself, is an unapologetic, remorseless song that is all about defending himself while throwing shade at boy bands, label execs, certain fans and basically the world. A major reason Em gained such an enormous fanbase in the early-mid 2000s was because of this “f*ck the world” attitude that shines through the lyrics.
I don’t owe you a motherf*cking thing, I’m not Mr. N’Sync, I’m not what your friends think, I’m not Mr. Friendly, I can be a prick If you tick me my tank is on empty
No patience is in me and if you offend me I’m lifting you 10 feet
In the air, I don’t care who was there and who saw me destroy you
Go call you a lawyer, file you a lawsuit
I’ll smile in the courtroom and buy you a wardrobe
I’m tired of all you, I don’t mean to be mean but that’s all I can be is just me
The song peaked at #58 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 2000, which was (and still isn’t) anything special. However, the Marshall Mathers LP went on to sell more than 1.76 million copies in the US in the first week, becoming the fastest-selling studio album by any solo artist in American music history.
The Way I Am is one of the more memorable songs of Em’s classic discography and will always be on the gym playlist, even 15 years later.