Even if you’re not an everyday fan of the almighty Slim Shady, you might want to take a moment to indulge in a new spin on the Marshall Mathers experience.
The sequel to Eminem’s third studio effort and his first album in three years, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 follows a decade of musical development in the rapper’s material. And on MMLP2 Eminem has outdone himself: fresh and smooth, the album explodes like a volcano; its taunting rhymes flow like hot lava.
There is a little something here for everyone between its varied instrumentation, use of old school jams, and featuring of hot new artists.
For those who favor old Eminem, the album’s opening track, “Bad Guy,” tackles that with smooth grooves and angry hooks that solidify the song as classic Shady-dom. Its explicit lyrics also house plenty of that classic Eminem aggression. “Bury this bitch alive, hide the shovel, and then drive off into the sunset,” he spits on the track. For those not partial to such violent lyrics, the song’s sensuous and edgy beat is just as extraordinary, and when combined with its sexy, angelic hook, it turns “Bad Guy” into a definite masterpiece.
Of course, MMLP2 is not all old-school throwbacks. After “Bad Guy,” Eminem surprises fans with a rare stylistic choice in the song “Rap God,” on which, for a brief moment, he spits fast-paced and venomous rhymes in a way unheard of in his past releases. While this dynamic departure from his previous material is impressive, the ”supersonic speed” Eminem is getting press for makes up only a small part of the track. The remainder of the song reverts to predictable Shady, with commercial sounding beats and classic Eminem rants.
A change in lyric delivery isn’t the only surprise on the album. “Survival” will appeal to listeners who prefer real instrumentation to the electronic beats that have been prevalent in his last few albums.
Eminem also manages to use the sample in a creative and artful way. “BerzerK” uses Billy Squier’s “The Stroke,” with a delivery as energetic as the Beastie Boys’. The track, incidentally, also features the Beastie Boys’s “The New Style” and “Fight for Your Right.” He samples The Zombies’ classic 1968 tune “Time of the Season” too, in ”Rhyme or Reason,” to tasteful, yet comical results. And Rihanna reunites with Eminem on “The Monster,” which uses catchy background echoes and upbeat drum tempos to great effect.
Besides Rihanna, the LP also features Kendrick Lamar, Nate Ruess (of fun.), and Skylar Grey, among others.
If you want a Vegas ride full of emotions, as well as hip-shifting beats to get down to, then this LP delivers in spades. If you were never a fan of Eminem singing or his comical attempts of extreme corny proportions, you may think MMLP2 wouldn’t fit in your musical collection. But despite the few off-putting songs, the majority of the tracks sustain the album’s credibility.
Authentic, yet masterfully poetic, Eminem revisits his personal roots as well as the storied history of old school hip-hop here. While his last album received critical and commercial success, this may just be the best of Slim Shady yet. Eminem stays true to the lyrical content that has made him a fixture of much controversy, but his innovative sampling keeps it original.
There is nothing like this on the market right now.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 hit the music scene November 5, 2013, and is available at all major retailers.
Article by Autumn Leigh