Marshall Mathers LP2

Marshall+Mathers+LP2

Nick Glennon

4 out of 5 stars

 Shady’s back once again! Detroit rapper Eminem is back in the rap game with the release of his new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

Most consider Eminem’s best album to be the original Marshall Mather LP, which was now released nearly 14 years ago. So how can Eminem follow up his masterpiece with a sequel? The answer is simple: bring in some serious names and take time to make the project as good as possible. Eminem’s last three albums have all been subpar. Encore was an extreme disappointment following the success of The Eminem Show, Relapse was a very rusty comeback attempt, and Recovery was a good overall album but much too commercial for a majority of true Eminem fans. So in order to get back on top of the rap game Eminem brought in stars to help on his new album. The album is executively produced by hip-hop/rock legend Rick Rubin and features Kendrick Lamar, Skylar Grey, Rihanna and Fun. singer Nate Ruess. That’s a serious team if you’re trying to make a good album. Even without Dr. Dre, somebody who has produced on every Em’ album to date, that’s still nearly a dream team.

Eminem appears hungry as ever. He changed up the fundamentals and experiments with new style and it’s interesting to see. He’s always been known for a style of mixing serious with comical but on his latest effort we see a new side of Em. “Stronger Than I Was” is an almost-entirely sung effort that details the story of his relationship with the ex love of his life, Kim Mathers. “Love Game” features Kendrick Lamar and production by Rick Rubin and as a key highlight to the album as Kendrick and Shady exchange verses about the dangers of ladies and falling in love. “So Far” is a completely new sound for Eminem. It features a tough country sound and has Eminem singing and rapping about how he’s “Mr. Brightside”. That’s definitely something we’ve never heard before. “Headlights” featuring Fun. singer Nate Ruess is also a very interesting song. We see a very apologetic and somber side of Eminem that we rarely see. The song is basically a peace offering to his mother, Debby Mathers, who has often been the target of his songs in the past. Shady’s deep and emotional raps are perfectly complimented by the singing of Nate.

Marshall Mathers LP 2 is definitely something different but at the same time it’s a return to basics for our favorite trailer park rapper. Em shines on “Rap God”, a six minute showcase of his incredible skills with wordplay and flow. Anybody who follows the genre of hip-hop knows how insanely fundamental he gets on this song. He shows us all why we should never ever count him out again. “Bad Guy” is the sequel to “Stan”, one of the most beloved songs off of the original Marshall Mathers LP. It starts off very slow but in the last two minutes we get a hardcore emotional Shady spitting fire rhymes. Longtime Eminem fans will love “Rhyme or Reason”, a song that showcases Eminem’s classic frustration with his dad. Also, “The Monster” featuring Rihanna is a very commercial song but we see classic lyricism of Em dealing with his demons. All Eminem fans can love this song because it’s reminiscent of his raps on older songs like “Cleaning Out My Closet”, “The Way I Am” and “Deja Vu”.

MMLP2 has it’s faults – “Brainless”, “So Much Better” and “Berzerk” are all fairly weak songs – but all in all it’s a strong return to form for Eminem. Recovery was a good album and it showed us that Eminem still had something left in the tank. But this album reassures us that the king of Detroit is back at his best. You can never rule out Marshall Mathers. He is truly a  “Rap God”.