The rap game is full of one hit and one album wonders these days. But when one of the titans of the game comes out with a new album, everyone drops what they are listening to and scours the internet for leaked tracks and release dates. Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP2” is the final piece in the trifecta of monster releases. First is was Kanye’s “Yeezus” in June, then Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta…Holy Grail” in July, and then it was MMLP2 a few days ago.
Everyone has their own opinion and none of them are wrong. The TSB Crew is scattered all over the country and has a mixed bag of reactions to the new album.
It’s been 13 years since Eminem released the “Marshall Mathers LP”, and while my favorite CD will always be “The Eminem Show”, this one is definitely coming close. Coming off “Recovery” I had no idea how he was going to approach his next CD. Let’s just say he did an outstanding job! He didn’t put this album out to put other rappers on notice that he is back. Each song on the album is great and the deluxe version, which is the one I purchased has a couple of bonus songs that are better than the standard album. Marshal Mather’s definitely came back to his complex rhyme schemes, jokes, and battle raps. He has gotten his life back on track and became better in the process. AMAZING!
Eminem is one of the greatest rappers of all time. His 3 album run of the Slim Shady LP, the Marshall Mathers LP, and the Eminem Show LP is one of the best 3 album streaks of all time. However, that dude is gone. Don’t get me wrong. He’s still a rap god. He’s one of the top 10 greatest rappers of all time but after the MMLP2, can we safely say that he’s past his prime? The production on this album is awful and the choruses are largely annoying. He can still rip a microphone to shreds but I’ve kind of grown tired of the same spiel of mommy/daddy issues and pop culture ripping. Listen for Brainless, Rap God, Evil Twin and maybe Bezerk and download Don’t Front (featuring Buckshot) and throw out everything else and forget they were ever made.
When Emimem debuted with The Slim Shady LP nearly 14 years ago, he changed the landscape of the rap game. “Slim Shady” was completely different from anything we had ever heard before. The Marshall Mathers LP followed up a year later and sold 27 million copies. I loved Em’s lyrics and could figure out from day one that he was here to just piss people off and have fun. I was also able to figure out that the homophobic lyrics and slurs were his equivalent of other artists dropping “N-bomb” after “N-Bomb”. It’s not for everyone and that’s fine. That being said, 99.9% of rap songs have been about selling drugs, shooting someone, professing how hard you are, “bitches and hoes”, or how rich you were. Shady instead told us about how awful his life was growing up in a trailer park, his father leaving his mom, how bad of a parent she was, and his inner demons. His ability to mix his life and pop culture references into songs had me hooked from day one. My problem with Em has always been that he’s a great lyricist, but his beats were mediocre at best. There are very few songs that I’ve been able to roll the windows down to, and let the bass thump. This is why I’m loving MMLP2. Banging beats and old school funny/pop culture/life experience lyrics. “Rap God” is one of his all-time greatest tracks (if you can get past the multiple homophobic references in one verse). Shady rips off this uzi like verse that left me breathless. I’m a sucker for samples of old-school rap and rock, as well as Shady’s anthems. So, “Bezerk” is going to be played often. “Survival” is actually on the “Call of Duty: Ghosts” sound track and is a solid anthem that fits in perfectly with that game. “Love Game” feat. Kendrick Lamar and “So far…” are awesome uses of mixing samples from different genre’s of music and laying them on a rap track. Watch for “Monster” feat. Rihanna. I have a feeling this could be a big pop hit.
So Eminem released his first album since Recovery in 2010 and there has been quite the buzz surrounding it. As with most things, some people loved it while others hated it. I have no problem identifying with the latter. I heard Berserk a while back and was completely disappointed and quite frankly, a little scared. Eminem has written “scary” music in the past, two of which that come to mind are “Stan” and “My Fault.” This is not to say that they weren’t great songs that just happened to each come with a serious message. However, after hearing that Joan Jett and the Beastie Boys were sampled, I didn’t have the same excitement that I did for past albums. I won’t pretend that I didn’t try. I went and searched out leaked lyrics and read, with serious interest, the lyrics to “Bad Guy.” I was enthralled. And then I read a few more and was left with a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe I’m looking too much into this. Maybe I’m just not a fan anymore. And maybe, just maybe, this isn’t Em’s best work. After all this, I won’t be going out of my way to buy this album, and I am a huge advocate for buying music, not illegally downloading it (call me old fashioned). If someone really wants to prove me wrong, give me some reasons why I should give this a shot, and I might just do that.
Encore, Relapse, and Recovery were all huge disappointments to me. I’m pretty sure even the biggest Stans out there weren’t feeling any of those albums from cover to cover. When Eminem released his first single off of MMLP2 “Berzerk”, I was worried we were set up for another clunker of an album. But then he released “Rap God”, and the Marshall Mathers LP 2 was instantly back on my radar.
A lot of people aren’t feeling the MMLP2, and I personally wish I could hand out q-tips to all the nay-sayers so they can clean their ears out. Eminem’s wordplay and delivery is unique in the sense that there probably isn’t another rapper out there who could pull it off. “Rap God” might be one of the best rap songs of all-time. Seriously. The first time I heard that 3rd verse I was floored. I had no idea that Eminem had that Busta Rhymes/Mac Lethal/Watsky flow in his bag of tricks. “Bad Guy” is classic Eminem. “Survival” is a banger. “Monster” ft. Rihanna is another banger. “Legacy” has that “Stan” feel to it, and “Wicked Ways” from the deluxe edition is one of my favorites. The production overall is gritty, but overall I’m definitely satisfied. 4/5 stars.
As the reviews from other TSB members roll in, we will update the post. If you have an opinion on the album, please leave it in the box below.