FEATURE RECORD REVIEW
Released: Nov. 5th 2013
Label: Aftermath / Shady / Interscope
Written By: Fridae Mattas
Everyones favorite schizo rapper from Detroit has released his eighth studio album and people are telling me the other critics are praising the MMLP2. Have yet to read anyone else’s perception on the album, truth is I just don’t have the time and these days the only opinion that matters to me is my own ha ha. Totally forgot Mathers was even dropping his album this month. I was working on the Rob Zombie record review but decided to hold those thoughts and get these ones out as soon as possible. The instant I played the first track I noticed the pieces of the original MMLP being blended with this 2.0 version. I was surprised to see the reuse of the title but it is relevant to the theme of the record and why not? Lil Wayne has The Carter 1, 2, 3, 79, 357 and Jay-Z with his five hundred blueprints.Did not think I would be reviewing another record by Eminem and his personalities, honestly thought he was going to take a permanap from the industry. The world is clearly happy he did not permanap, it hasn’t even been a full week since the release and it’s already making waves like a tsunami! Word on the industry tip is that the “MMLP2” will surpass Drake’s first week sales and debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 making it Eminem’s seventh number one when the chart is revealed Nov.13th. Everyone that hated on him in the past seems to have a closeted guilty pleasure affair with the music. Eminem’s haters remind me of the Canadian music industry who laughed at Drake until America started to love him…That’s when they instantly turned into yes people and his biggest fans. Personally don’t mind some of his songs but professionally speaking he is not the strongest “rapper”? Stylistically he is not at all comparable to the level of the Emcee’s I grew up listening to like N.W.A, Dr. Dre (Who served as executive producer for this record along with Rick Rubin.), Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Snoopy Dogg, Warren G, Naughty By Nature, KRS-One, 2Pac, Biggie, Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Queen Latifa, Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, Jay-Z, Nas, Missy Elliot, Mos Def, DMX, WuTang, Ludacris, Fugees and of course Eminem. I would like to see any Emcee in today’s game battle Eminem, it would be fun to watch and hear, actually that should be a rap reality show where they get different Emcee’s to freestyle battle each other.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 has various tones to it like his colourful personas, you have the old school throwback vibes and some candy tunes. In a few he spits like he’s the missing member of N.W.A. and then your classic “Asshole” Ft. Skylar Grey, produced by Alex Da Kid and fueled by the vibrance of that vengeful fire flow he had on the Marshall Mathers original record. Here is a true line: “But you can’t ignore the fact that I fought for the respect and battle for it.”. Tunes like “Bad Guy” have that laid back beat where it’s just chilling and then you hear Eminem emulating “Stan’s” little Brother Matthew plotting revenge on his idol. And you are sitting there wondering how that song was birthed in his brain and as always only Eminem, Marshall Mathers, Slim Shady knows this. He revisits the skeletons he had in his closet and a few new ones popped out. On the song “So Far” he throws in a few shit ticket old school lines revamped. In the hook he declares his love for the city that took him in. “Maybe that’s why I feel so strange. Got it all, but I still won’t change. Maybe that’s why I can’t leave Detroit, it’s the motivation that keeps me going. This is the inspiration I need, I can never turn my back on a city that made me.” It is astonishing to see how quickly Detroit is deteriorating, I’ve been there a few times this year visiting friends and meeting with so called “Producers”. Every time I’m there I notice there are more and more abandoned places to wander. Funniest part about a lot of people I met in Detroit is once you tell them you’re a singer and a Journalist everyone is either an industry expert or knows Eminem and Kid Rock personally…Ha Ha sure they do!
On my last Eminem review for “Recovery“, I added the only two photos I managed to save from the Anger Management tour in Toronto at the “Skydome” back in October 2000, one of the two is below. Earlier that same year Eminem dropped the original Marshall Mathers LP, I did not review that album because well I was not old enough to be a Music Journalist back then, laughs. In 2000, I was in high school (sometimes) and trying to be the new “Destiny’s Child” with my group “Girlz Ink”. Ah haha yes, true words and sadly it wasn’t the only group I was in…Don’t recall telling the world the full story behind those photos I took and that was a day I will never forget. Those shots and FridaeTV almost never happened…My “friend” and I managed to get to the front of the floor, stage right audience left near the middle of the barricade…Huge mistake, once Papa Roach hit the stage it was over, I was getting crushed into the barricade by everyone behind me, crowd surfers were flying couldn’t breath it was getting darker, all I could hear were echoes and felt myself drifting off.The bitch who called herself a friend was just watching, she didn’t help or try to get help. At this point I could see colours and doubles as people were fading everything was going black. I was praying to God I would survive yet another fucked up adventure as my short teenage life was flashing before my eyes again. Just before it went completely dark I faintly heard someone asking me if I was okay, I couldn’t even speak and didn’t need to. He immediately started yelling at the crowd to move back, pulling mostly dudes off of me and was joined by the other security guards who did the same. They gave me water and kept my purse on the barricades inside and handed me my camera when I needed it. As I was regaining consciousness a few security guards were always nearby or hovering to keep me safe for the rest of Papa Roach and all of Eminem’s set, until I asked them to pull me out when it ended. Those security guards saved my life and am so thankful to them. When I could finally talk again a few minutes before Mathers and the whole D12 crew hit the stage I turned to my “friend” to tell her I almost passed out and died. She said “I know, I don’t care I’m here to see Eminem, you’re not important.” Fuck I wanted to drop kick the bitch and just as she finished rolling her eyes at me she was kicked in the head a few times in a row by crowd surfers and security did nothing to help her. Karma! Haven’t spoken to that bitch since, who needs enemies when there are “friends” like her. I saw two completely different sides of humanity that day and will always be petrified of extreme crowds.
Mathers continues to find a way to express himself with words, he knows what formulas to use if he wants radio hits but also proves on this record it’s not about that, it doesn’t sound like he’s trying to recreate MMLP more like recapitulate. In many songs on this record and past singles, Mathers states how unaware he was of how fame would be and still has a love hate relationship with it. All you can do is embrace situations as they come the best you can, use your talent to help all those fucked up kids and people who still need a rebel superhero, someone imperfect to be their perfect. It happens to too many entertainers #1: They either evolve into a better version of themselves like Eminem seems to be doing? #2: They end up like Amanda Bynes who cracked out like Lindsey Lohan with a little Courtney Love mucho crazy sprinkled in…Or #3: they end up getting killed or killing themselves by accident or on purpose.
No Eminem album is complete without a few fabulous features from repeats Rihanna on “The Monster” tune, Nate Reuss of Fun on “Headlights”, Skylar Grey on “Asshole” as mentioned above, Sarah Jaffe, Sia and a few more vocalists also make appearances. The only rapper to spit on this record other than Mathers is Kendrick Lamar on the eccentric tune titled “Love Game”. A very hickory blend of samples from “Game Of Love” By: Clint Ballard Jr. and “The Object Of My Affection”. This tune is a comical experience in typical Shady fashion and the style of Lamar’s verse was very fitting to the concept of the tune. I like Lamar’s flow overall, he just added a whole different dimension to his talent on this record, definitely stepping up his game. I can see why he is signed to Aftermath because he has that special quality to his flow.
Eminem is 41 in human years but only really a semi-adult who will never fully grow up because he didn’t have a normal childhood. I call that (MJS) Michael Jackson or (PPS) Peter Pan Syndrome… I feel so sorry for his girls and their future boyfriends, I know first hand how intimidating fathers can be with that area of stuff…You can’t be scary in those moments or they will shut you out. Just be what your parents were not. Be Dad, someone who they can talk to, trust and always rely on. If you show them everyday how much you love them, regardless of your shenanigans they will always love you. My Father raised my siblings and I, he wasn’t perfect but always had our backs until the day he died. Although track three “Rhyme or Reason” on this record is kind of funny with the way he starts on the beat, it’s pretty shitty that Mathers never had his Father in his life. Then again he wouldn’t be who he is today like all of us, if it weren’t for his past, the good and the bad. “(What’s your name?) Shady (Who’s your daddy?) I don’t give a fuck.” The beat for this track samples the 1968 hit song “Time Of The Season” written by: Rod Argent and performed by the Zombies. The music is also sampled by the fantastical Melanie Fiona on her 2008 hit “Give It To Me Right”. Some of my favorite lines of the cut are “Had a fire in my heart, and a dire desire to aspire, to DIE HARD. So, as long as I’m on the clock punching this time card, Hip hop ain’t dying on my watch.” we’ll see…
The continuation record is not as vulgar as the first, all of the songs are well done and he still tears people new ones. “Your ass backwards like motherfucking Bob and Silent Jay.” He still has that maniacal mind frame of an almost serial killer, which he most likely would fully be if he didn’t make it as an Emcee. The only tune that I wasn’t feeling too much is “Berzerk”, the beat is too sick with all of those old school samples but something about how he sounds on the hook made my ears cringe. That single is the only song where I heard severe nasal to the point of skipping. On the track “So Much Better” he talks about what a Hobag Hip Hop is, like a groupie not about an actual female just an analogy. I really liked the tunes “Legacy” and Beautiful Pain off of the deluxe version featuring Sia, it has an interesting little vibe to it. Marshall Mathers and all his voices would be a cool homie to have, you know he’d be loyal and always have your back but not so fun if you somehow ended up on the chopping pad with his silver bullet words aimed at you. Ta da! Surprise, Eminem actually didn’t say boo about Mariah this time around! Another surprise was the follow up to “Cleaning Out My Closet”, I’m glad Mathers has an apology of sorts for his Mom on this album. In “Headlights” Mathers seems to understand now, that yes his childhood was fucked up but his Mother tried. “Did I take it too far? 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.” seems as though he has finally put those demons to rest. A reason I could relate to his music when I was younger was his Mother and mine share the same name and are equally as crazy…Actually, mine I think wins the Manic Biopolar award because at least his mother kind of stuck around. Some people say this record is his last and others say SSLP2 should or will follow. Who knows what he has planned for the future??
The main reason I even gave Eminem’s music a chance as a lickle youth was because he was a slick wordsmith. I did not like a few of his singles and actually wanted to backhand pimp slap him a few times for being so disrespectful. But, I didn’t take any of the super fucked up shit to heart because like millions of people I understand expression through artistic outlets. “Who the fuck wants a plain Eminem?“. He’s just getting issues off his chest people, it’s like 2000 all over again with attention seekers crying about how misogynistic or homophobic this and that lyrics is. Don’t you see it’s a game to him he’s a character, of course he wants to push buttons he says this himself but is he really homophobic or a Woman hater? No, he’s just a guy and they say and do stupid shit all the time and you all just keep getting played. Back then and today I somewhat understand where the psycho bottled blonde was coming from, as did millions of others. It doesn’t matter how old Marshall and his “Evil Twin” get, people will still be able to relate to the “Rap God” because he is the poster child for ” The Almost American Dream” which is more common and there is a little Slim Shady in all of us. www.EMINEM.com Buy your copy of MMLP2 USA here and Canada here. I give Eminem’s MMLPII Reboot 4 music notes ♪♪♪♪♪ out of 5!