Eminem – Marshall Mathers LP 2
Rs 395 (CD)
It’s been 13 years and it looks like Eminem is finally ready to do a sequel. However, unlike the general tendency, there’s nothing generic in his new album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
There’s the same old themes but as far as rap and hip hop rivalries go, Eminem puts them all on the table and sets it aflame. He lets his heavies out right from the seven-minute opening track ‘Bad Guy’. Clearly, there are still inner demons the rapper has to confront – specifically regarding his homophobia.
Thankfully, he took two albums (Relapse and Recovery) and break out of writing about drugs. The rhymes are still very much there and quirky, angry and expectedly funny.
His main enemies aren’t just other rappers that he occasionally names and shames (‘Survival’) but also a number of women who use him. Eminem has spent tons of time cursing his ex-wife and mother, but on ‘Rhyme or Reason’, he’s taking on his dad. His main grouse for more than half the tracks on The Marshall Mathers LP 2 are women (the main subject on ‘So Much Better’), which he spits violent rhymes about, and then makes up with his signoff, “you know I love you”.
As for the big, arena-filling, chart-topping hits – it wouldn’t be an Eminem album without those – from the crazy and catchy single ‘Berzerk’ which samples The Beastie Boys to his over-the-top pride anthem ‘Rap God’. It’s with those songs that he returns to form, mashing up hip hop beats, a great collection of samples courtesy producers such as Rick Rubin and Dr. Dre and the inimitable, unending flow of caustic rhymes delivered at high speed.
The only time when the rhymes ever sound weaker, are when Eminem has a good distraction ready, like when he collaborates with Rihanna on ‘The Monster’.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is also not a sequel you can compare to the original – Eminem is at a different level of success and fame, most of which can be traced back to the original Marshall Mathers LP from 2000. There’s nothing like ‘The Real Slim Shady’ or ‘Stan’ (although you can hear the former sampled on ‘So Far...), but Eminem is still living up to all the hype he received for being labelled the first white rapper all those years ago.