“The Real Slim Shady” turns 20

It is hard to believe that “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem is 20 years old. A truly iconic music video, chock full of cameos, white t-shirts, and celebrity roasting. The video was released on April 18, 2000 and launched Eminem into super-duper stardom. 

For maximum effect, it is strongly encouraged you revisit the music video before reading this breakdown. Surprisingly, there is not an uncensored version of the video on YouTube. For now, the clean version will have to suffice. 

With that, let’s dig in. 

The Rewind

0:09 – The video begins with Kathy Griffin and a woman of petite stature asking if the “Real Slim Shady” would arise. This is an important moment, as it sets up the story arc for the remainder of the video. 

0:18 – Slim Shady (one of Eminem’s aliases along with B-Rabbit) appears to be in a mental institute. 

0:24 – Celebrity Callout No. 1: Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee
This marks the first of several celebrity callouts.

For those too young to recall, the busty Baywatch actress married the drugged-out Mötley Crüe drummer in 1995. They later went to on to create a poorly filmed sex tape, paving the way for other titans in the celebrity sex tape industry (Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, etc.). 

The relationship resulted in a spousal abuse case forcing Lee to serve six months in the Los Angeles county jail, which Eminem refers to.

Additionally, Pam Anderson has made love to Bret Michaels and Kid Rock. I’m sensing a trend…

0:36 – Celebrity Callout No. 2: Dr. Dre
Eminem claims that, “Dr. Dre’s dead, he’s locked in my basement.” This is an ode to “My Name Is,” where Dre calls Eminem a “basehead.”  

Dre also appears on the back of a milk carton as “Missing” which raises the question…are missing children still appearing on the back of milk cartons? If so, I feel like technology has improved enough that we can resort to other methods to spread the word.

Anyway, call 1-800-LOST if you spot Dre. 

0:39 – Eminem calls out feminist women, saying they are sick of him for grabbing his “you know what” (presumably his penis) and “flipping the you know who” (presumably the middle finger). Apparently these particular feminists find Eminem cute, though. 

0:50 – Eminem admits he “probably has a few screws loose,” but then says it’s nothing worse then, “What goes on in your parent’s bedroom.”

S&M is what goes on in your parents bedroom, according to Slim.

0:55 – Celebrity Callout No. 3: Tom Green
Tom Green was massive from around 1999-2005. His skits, while strange and often provocative, were before their time in a sense, considering the current state of YouTube comedy. 

While it looks like he’s a member of The Incredibles, Eminem’s superhero outfit is actually paying homage to the costume Green wears in his “Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)” video. Slim pulls down his pants to put his “bum” on his victims “lips,” while he lays aimlessly on the sidewalk. Essentially, he’s one step away from giving this man some beef stew. 

This section isn’t so much Eminem shit-talking as it is him asking, “Why me? Why can’t I let loose on TV while Tom Green is allowed to hump a dead moose?” 

1:08 – Eminem pays tribute to the Bloodhound Gang’s 1999 hit “The Bad Touch,” explaining that kids will know what “intercourse” is by the time they hit the fourth grade because they have access to the Discovery Channel. 

Two ten year old boys are then shown watching (presumably) the Discovery Channel, which is featuring a pair of Rhino’s fornicating

1:14 – Despite heavy criticism from GLAAD Eminem was fairly progressive for the year 2000. He says that, “If we can hump dead animals and antelopes, then there’s no reason that a man and another man can’t elope.” Same-sex marriage became legal in select states in 2004 and eventually nationwide in 2014.

With the heavy influence of celebrity soaked within our nation’s culture, is it possible that “The Real Slim Shady” was the underlying catalyst for the legalization of same-sex marriage? Or was it the decades worth of progressive activism against out-of-touch legislation? You tell ME internet commenters!

1:25 -Is this one of the catchiest choruses of all time? 

1:30 – We are first exposed to the “Slim Shady look.” This requires short blonde hair and white t-shirt. Honestly, this was an incredibly easy and low maintenance Halloween outfit circa 2000. Essentially, it was the “3-Hole Punch Jim” of yesteryear. 

1:41 – Celebrity Callout No. 4: Will Smith
Slim goes after Big Willy stating, “Will Smith doesn’t have to cuss in his raps to sell records, well I do, so fuck him, and fuck you too.” This idea would later become a Family Guy gag. 

1:46 – Slim lays into critics saying he does not give one shit about a Grammy. Ironically, in 2000 Eminem took home the Grammy for Best Solo Rap Performance for “The Real Slim Shady.” He’s won 15 total Grammys and has been nominated a staggering 44 times. 

1:56 – Celebrity Callout No. 5: Britney Spears
Slim ends up attending the Grammys, but is adamant about not sitting next to Britney Spears. This leads us to our next celebrity callout…

1:59 – Celebrity Callout No. 6 – Christina Aguilera 
Slim says:

“Shit, Christina Aguilera better switch me chairs, so I can sit next to Carson Daly and Fred Durst, and hear ’em argue over who she gave head to first, Little bitch put me on blast on MTV, ‘Yeah, he’s cute, but I think he’s married to Kim, hee-hee.’”

There is a lot to digest here, so sit tight. 

Basically, Fred Durst performed a song with Aguilera at the VMAs that year. Limp Bizkit called him out for it, essentially saying, “What the fuck, dude?” 

Durst legitimately told a reporter after the incident that he, “Did it all for the nookie, man.” Classic Durst, am I right?! 

Carson Daly then stated in another interview that it was him Aguilera was referring to.  

Christina firmly states in yet another interview that she gave none of them nookies. 


2:09 – Aguilera is portrayed by a dime store sex doll. Slim then claims that he has “audio” (a sex tape) of them he could show the world. Likewise, he would tell everyone that she gave him an STD. 

This is not confirmed true, at all. Eminem put in the line to stir up rumors about her, because she publicly stirred up shit about Eminem and his wife Kim

2:15 – Celebrity Callout No. 7: Boy bands
Slim calls them annoying. He also claims that, “He has been sent here to destroy them.”

Honestly, that’s quite possible. While Backstreet Boys and NSYNC (and O-Town anyone?!?!?) were at the peak of their powers in 2000, they went out in a giant-ass blaze of glory quickly after this video was released. Their run ended in 2003-04, while Eminem released monster albums The Eminem Show (2002) and Encore (2004), all the while winning an Oscar for “Lose Yourself” in between (2003). It’s clear that Eminem won the battle and the war. 

2:30 –  Eminem’s cohorts D12 make an appearance, who would later feature Eminem in their smash hit, “My Band.” 

2:45 – Eminem states something I think is 100% true and a reason why he skyrocketed in popularity.  

Slim boasts that he raps about content you and your friends joke about in their living room, only he has the balls to say it. Like it or not, there is a clear cut market for this. It’s the reason Barstool is such a massive sports media entity and Bill Burr is one of the more beloved comedians. The world is much more politically correct (oftentimes for the better), but Eminem was something new for mainstream radio. 

3:04 – Slim tells us at the rate he’s going, he’ll be thirty in a nursing home, and the only one still flirting. 

Likewise, he’ll be “pinching nurse’s asses” while he’s masturbating with a bottle full of Jergens. However, his entire box of Viagra does not appear to be working. Sad times, indeed.

3:14 – This part really freaked me out as a kid. 

After a woman refuses to take her order from the fast food restaurant, Slim spits in her onion rings. This led me to believe that every time I ordered a Whopper it was riddled with saliva. 

3:46 – The boy band phonies reappear, singing along to the chorus on a sidewalk. The blonde haired, camo pants wearing frontman appears to have recovered from Slim planting his bare ass in his face. 

4:18 – The video concludes with Slim standing in line to take his daily dose of prescribed medication, though he grabs two cups of pills and downs both of them. 

4:22 – Eminem ends the video saying, “I guess there’s a Slim Shady in all of us. Fuck it, let’s all stand up!” 

A somewhat positive message to cap off one of the more iconic videos of our generation. In a way, we should all strive to be like Slim Shady, boasting a carefree attitude, and not letting the perception of others dictate the way we think and feel. 

At the same time, let’s do so without ass planting random strangers and spitting in onion rings, ok? 

Nate is a graphic designer as well as an avid appreciator of live music, pop culture of most kinds, and cats. Devon Rexes to be exact. He lives in Fargo, ND with his pop culture-loving wife Melissa Vosen Callens and 3 Devon Rexes: Huey Lewis, Joan Jett, and Stevie Nicks. They're pretty rad. Send your questions, comments, concerns, swag, and music to [email protected]. Follow Nate on Twitter @natecallens and Instagram @fargonate. Cheers!

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