On this day 17 years ago, Eminem solidified himself as a legendary figure in the hip-hop firmament with the release of the endlessly influential The Marshall Mathers LP. It was his follow-up to his monstrous 1999 debut The Slim Shady LP, which garnered critical acclaim and won him two Grammy awards. With Mathers, he built on the promise he had shown the hip-hop community with songs like "My Name Is" and not only became funnier but, in a seemingly impossible feat, even darker the second time around.

This collection of tracks has arguably gotten even better with age, blending lyrical complexity, thematic density and raw, middle-fingers-raised anger into an undeniable force of nature. The music moves from funky R&B-style grooves (see "The Real Slim Shady") to sub-busting bass behemoths (such as"Amityville") and Eminem never misses a beat, literally. With Dr. Dre manning the production alongside, Slim Shady helped raise the bar for how an emcee should be able to write and how he should sound in his delivery.

In that summer of 2000, for better and for worse, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing Eminem's music or one of the many organization/public figures coming out in vehement opposition to something he did or said. Its legacy continues to live on, with TIME magazine voting it one of the 100 greatest albums of all time and Rolling Stone putting it in similarly exclusive company. More than that, it has continued to inspire countless rappers to dig deeper and explore the blackest of psychological corners for their lyrics and story. In what would be one of hip-hop's most successful commercial decades, The Marshall Mathers LP stands out as one of its most lasting achievements.