Eminem – MMLP2


By Andrew

The return of Marshall Mathers III’s better stuff has been long in the making. Not that he’s been silent, but the rap industry has been chewing up and spitting out crap mainstream rappers since the last album ‘Recovery’, so its good to see someone capable walking back into the fray. In the last couple of years we’ve seen the rise of Kanye West and others, but Eminem is still the master of brilliant writing, disturbing and conversely hilarious lyricism and a style unique in this day of homogeny and carbon copy hip-hop. Does ‘MMLP2’ live up to the hype or does it show whether Mathers should have stayed in semi-retirement? Let me take you on a journey…

From the minute you put this album on, you are transported in the dark and twisted fantasy world of Eminem’s brilliant storywriting. People used to talk about the “white” rapper like it was some sort of Moby Dick analogy and that it would never last. After 10 full length albums, surely this short lived theory can be put to rest. Every artists has their album which don’t live up to others and the best bit about not writing an album for a few years as that people are more likely to take notice when you release the latest one. I hope people have that opinion about ‘MMLP2’.

Eminem still carries the persona Slim Shady and amongst others, he still has the ability to make your skin crawl when he details deaths, crimes and general hatred he uses the persona for. The homophobia is pretty much a given and the misogyny is ramped up, but by now people should see this as a persona and not his actual opinion of stuff. The third-person writing is gone and the straight-up first person writing he uses in ‘MMLP2’ could really turn some people less au fait with Eminem off. So I guess this is the first real downside to the release. Its only going to appeal to existing fans and not many new ones. By this stage in his career, he has more than enough devoted fanatics to not need any more money or records sold.

As far as the track listing goes its heavy from the start. From Bad Guy co-produced by Australian and the Gold Coast’s own M-Phazes, through to the about the middle of the record, you will be confronted with violence, anger, hatred and some very tight lyrics. But then we get tracks such as ‘Berserk’ and ‘Survival’. These are the quintessential almost radio friendly tracks on the album which have some brilliant sampling, female vocalist choruses and very sick beat layering. Featuring on the album are the usuals such as Skylar Grey singing and Dr Dre on production and beats, but unusually, there’s only one other rapper in the whole album, Kendrick Lamar. Whether Mathers is saying something here about the modern cult of personality in modern hip hop and he just really likes Kendrick Lamar, or he thinks he’s the only one good enough to feature alongside him is a conversation suited for after a bunch of blunts and a bunch of time. Rick Rubin has had his part in the production which is another rap album he’s had his hand in this year after Kanye West’s stunning album ‘Yeezus’. Plus we also have another Australian featuring on the album, Sia Furler, but its only featured in the deluxe edition.

‘MMLP2’ is a return. Not just a return of the artist, but a return to the 2000 Grammy winning album ‘MMLP1’. The power and strength that album brought to the industry cannot be taken for granted, regardless of whether it was liked or hated. It blew open the industry wide and people really started taking Eminem seriously as an artist. Since that time, ‘Relapse’ and ‘Recovery’ kind of muddied the waters, but I can definitely say, ‘MMLP2’ is a real return to that strength and groundshaking songwriting.

***Return of the Ghetto***

8.5/10 Great White Rappers {Abrasive Andy}