It’s been a while since we seen a solo album from Eminem. In 2010 we got Recovery, which acted as both a solo album and an apology for what he considered was a disappointing return with Relapse. Em has dealt with his depression and drug in public causing to record music that was poorly received; I can’t tell you how many singles from Encore are just simply annoying and sophomoric. After releasing three tracks from his highly anticipated album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, some are questioning whether or not to buy his album when it drops on November 5, 2013.
During the middle of the summer, Eminem dropped Survival, an exclusive track that premiered during the Call of Duty: Ghosts press conference. The song, to some, felt more like a cut track from Recovery than a new single. Some thought the song sounded too similar to Won’t Back Down with P!nk. It evoked the same type of energy and the lyrical content was nearly identical in scope. What turned many people away from the track was that female vocalist was mistakenly identified as Skylar Grey (in actuality it was Liz Rodrigues of The New Royales), whom many see as Eminem’s pet project.
After that, Eminem released Berserk, the official first single off of his new album, which he titled The Marshall Mathers LP 2 or MMLP2. From there on, every single move he makes is being viewed under a microscope. The reason? The first Marshall Mathers LP is considered to be one of his best albums and one of the best albums in hip-hop history. Giving his fans a sequel has ultimately gave them a bittersweet taste in their mouths. Berserk has received mixed acclaim from both fans and critics.
Of the many complaints is that the song sounds different from any other thing on the radio. At this point in time, many people want Eminem’s darker side to shine through like with his past songs like The Way I Am, Sing For The Moment, or Mosh. All those songs are darkly enjoyable and convey a story about how the rapper is feeling at that point in time; the three songs are staples of what the Detroit native was going through during his time in the media, almost like an auditory diary.
Earlier in the month, Em released the entire tracklist for MMLP2, which was supposed to turn people around and get them excited. For some, that worked, for others, they hung their heads low, smacked themselves on the forehead and prayed to the hip-hop gods for this to be a joke. Ok, maybe that was just a hyperbole, but one had to do that. The thoughts on forums were, “if he claims to be one of the greatest rappers alive, then why is he still doing songs with Skylar Grey, Rihanna, and Nate Ruess?” Ruess is the lead singer of fun.
Besides those listed, the only other name that appears as a featured artist is Kendrick Lamar. Considered to be one the best and most influential rappers of 2013, Lamar is going to cause Eminem to be on his toes. Will it be Renegade Part II? That remains to be heard (unlikely).
So what is exactly is the problem with MMLP2? The 16-track tracklist sounds promising, especially when Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin are the executive producers. What people have in their mind is that the first MMLP was released way back when (thirteen years ago) where Eminem was twenty-eight years old and at the top of his game. Many of the subject matter relevant in the first album is outdated by today’s standards. Also, his being forty-one years of age scares a lot of people. With age comes wisdom but when he has a persona, like Slim Shady, who is sophomoric, naïve, and childish, people tend to overlook the persona. It’s already happening with Rap God.
Many people claim his last two solo efforts were either trying too hard or weren’t trying hard enough; I disagree. Every one of his albums is very personal for the artist, whether it’s Eminem, Marshall Mathers or Slim Shady. With MMLP2, it’s all about Marshall’s journey from his youth as a fan of hip-hop to his status as a god, evident with his past two songs. There is nothing to worry about from Eminem. The only thing that you need to worry about is not buying this album when it drops on November 5 of this year.