Review of Marshall Mathers LP2 by Eminem
The majority of the team here at Music Eyz have always enjoyed the music of Eminem aka Marshall Mathers. However in recent years the boy lost his way a little, he still produced great music but lost that special touch. The tracks leaked on youtube such as Rap God and Berserk gave early signs that Eminem was rejuvenated, he has got his mojo back, whatever you want to say Eminem is back and he means business.
Eminem is perhaps the only white rapper with genuine credibility. The only one that can rub shoulders with the illuminati of the hip hop world. Yes the support of Dr Dre, didn’t do Detroit’s finest, Eminem any harm, but he is genuine, has real talent and spits rhyme as good if not better than any of his contemporaries. While most of his peers are shouting about their money, their game or their bitches and hoes, Eminem is much more basic, much more grounded and much more raw than that. He is hip hop. Yes it has a twist of mainstream and he does make some tracks for commercial success, but he is no sell out.
So what of Marshall Mathers LP2 or MMLP2? It was always going to be tough relating his new album, to one of his greatest. Since Eminem first hit the scene with his alter ego Slim Shady, he treated us to something different. He gave us a real look inside him as a person and some of the complex intricacies of his mind. He gave us complex lyrics with changes in pace and pitch, quality production and of course his trademark humour.
Those symbols of Eminem were limited in recent offers from Eminem, in the shape of previous two albums Relapse and Recovery. They were darker and much more personal recordings. Neither received the critical acclaim or commercial success of his first outings, however, as the titles suggest, they were probably important for Eminem himself as he battled his own difficulties. OK, I was sidetracked again, back to Marshall Mathers LP2.
The album is a real mix. The tracks bounce from some laced with humour, some with Dre style production and others leaning on different genres of music. There are some great collaborations, such as Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar. Skylar Grey also appears on two tracks, an artist I feel deserves much more attention than she gets.
Whilst we are on the subject of Dr Dre, his influence feels less powerful on this album. He is credited as being Executive Producer, however it feels that Rick Rubin is a greater influence over the creative direction of Marshall Mathers LP2. This is exemplified by the track Rhyme or Reason, where Eminem raps over a rework of The Zombies classic Time of the Season.
Regardless of who produces, directs or appears on this album, it feels like Eminem has matured. He has come through his number of traumas, problems and disasters and come through the other side. Gone are the Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera insults and in is an introspective, confident and assertive display. Eminem has regained his “I don’t give a fuck attitude”. Its almost like he has taken time to discover himself outside of music and understood his standing, his ability, his quality. Its like he knows he has a place in the Hip Hop hall of fame and he is going to make sure he stands proud in there.
Yes the album is full of hits such as Rap God, Berserk, The Monster, Rhyme or Reason and Love Game. However, Eminem shows versatility. How many 40+ white guys can do the double time rhymes that Eminem does in Rap God. In fact look of the current crop of rappers, 2Chainz, Lil Wayne and even Jay Z, among others. How many of them could even attempt that and come through with such ease?
For me, one of the bigger surprises on the album is the track So Far… it contains what feels a bit like a country backing track. On the track Eminem talks of his home town Detroit, how he can’t forget it as Detroit made him. It is full of humour, full of insults but a great track that sticks out on the album. If you read other reviews, I doubt anybody else will mention this. There is no way it will be released as a single, but I think this is a great piece of work.
Yes the album is offensive. Yes the lyrics genuinely warrant the Parental Advisory sticker and yes, if you were in his company and the lyrics were said in normal life, you would probably cringe. But you know what, this isn’t real life, this is music. I think Eminem has realised that and has gone with it and gone for it.
Ladies and Gentleman, Eminem is back. If you don’t like this album, you don’t like Hip Hop. I would go as far as to say, if you don’t like this album, please don’t read any other article on Music Eyz about urban or rap music ever again. The reason? We are just too different.
Marshall Mathers LP is the clearest indication that Eminem is back and as Michael said in his review of Rap God. Eminem is a Rap God!