Many pop stars have flirted with and even flaunted controversy—but never with the uniform gusto of Eminem. On his 1999 major-label debut, The Slim Shady LP, the Detroit-based white rapper was willing to put anybody in his verbal crosshairs, including his wife and mom The following year’s doubly venomous The Marshall Mathers LP brought intense protest from gay, lesbian, religious, and women’s groups, even as it became the fastest-selling rap album of all time and topped many critics’ year-end best-of lists.

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