Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is not only a return to form; it’s a nostalgic walk down memory lane. Ten years ago, Eminem was known for his sharp wit, jagged tongue, rhyme scheme, and for being a raconteur. After The Eminem Show, his skills and talents became stagnate, diminishing slightly over the course of his drug addiction mixed with the death of D12 rapper Proof. Encore and Relapse, though having some great songs, proved to be his worst efforts to date. After getting clean, in 2010 he release Recovery; it was a glorious album that scraped what made The Eminem Show great. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is worthy of being mentioned alongside its predecessor in conversations about the best in his catalog.
Not really a sequel to the 2000 classic, MMLP2 bares the name as a sign of a return to form. The first song off the tracklist, Bad Guy, is a direct sequel to Stan, his song about his obsessive fan. It’s great to hear Eminem return to storytelling; Relapse and Recovery did have songs with stories but not to the extent of which he dives into here. In case you forgot, Stan kills his pregnant girlfriend and himself due to his being an obsessive fan. Bad Guy follows Matthew, Stan’s younger brother attempting to seek revenge out on Marshall. But I am coming for closure/Don’t suppose an explanation I’m owed for/The way that you turned your back on me/Just when I may have needed you most raps Eminem as Matthew.
The first song is broken into two parts. The first part, Bad Guy, Matthew succeeds in killing Eminem. The second part feels like death incarnate.
I also represent anyone on the receiving end of those jokes you invent/I’m the nightmare you fell asleep in and woke up still in/I’m your karma closing in with each stroke of a pen/Perfect time to have some remorse to show for your sin/No, it’s hopeless, I’m the denial that you’re hopelessly in/When they say all of this is approaching its end/But you refuse to believe that it’s over, here we go all over again
(The fourth verse of Bad Guy)
The only skit on the album also serves as a sequel to the last song on MMLP1, Criminal. I won’t go into much detail about that; just give it a listen. From the third track on, the album contains many samples from rock and roll songs of yesteryear like Time of the Season by The Zombies and Game of Love by Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders. Rhyme or Reason is about his ill feeling towards his father whom he never knew. On paper, Time of the Season as a hip-hop beat sounds terrible (I know it was used before) but it works. What sounds like a corny song works quite well. So Much Better, probably one of the weaker tracks on the album, is about his ill feelings toward a particular woman, though I think it’s about the rap industry as a whole.
Survival is next and while some people don’t like it as it sounds like it was cut off of Recovery (it sounds remarkably similar to Won’t Back Down), I get hyped when the song comes on. Legacy follows suit and is a journey through time from his tough days in school to his rapping days and his impact on the industry today. Eminem is known for opening up to his fans in his music and it’s the first time he does so on this album. As*hole and Berserk most people don’t like but I don’t see anything wrong between those two songs.
The two songs worth mentioning are Stronger Than I Was and Headlights, featuring fun.’s Nate Ruess. Both songs are personal on much deeper level than some of his other work. Stronger Than I Was is structured in the same as Hailie’s Song in The Eminem Show. He sings his first two verses and raps on the third verse. But you won’t break me, you’ll just make me stronger than I was/Before I met you, I bet you I’ll be just fine without you he sings most likely as an apology to his ex-wife, Kim. Headlights is also another apology to his mother. Throughout the many years Eminem has been in the spotlight, everyone thought he had bitter hatred toward his mother with quips about her in My Name Is, Without Me, and, of course, Cleaning Out My Closet.
And all them other songs, but regardless I don’t hate you/Cause ma, you’re still beautiful to me, cause you’re my mom.
The album is very well put together with very little weak links, just like Recovery. The difference between this and Recovery is that he has nothing to prove to his fans; Recovery is the apology he thought his fans needed, MMLP2 is the album his fans yearned for nine years. With MMLP, Eminem is back to form with his unique rapping ability rarely found in many of today’s popular rappers.
MMLP2 may contain songs that fans may feel are weak but this is the type of album the sum of its parts is greater than most rapper’s catalog. This album is going to be a contender for rap album of the year but it has some tough competition from Pusha T’s My Name Is My Name. MMLP2 was worth the wait and is worth the purchase.Google+