Rap legend Eminem is back in the spotlight with his long-awaited new album, “The Marshall Mathers LP II.”
This album, following “Recovery” in 2010, was scheduled be released earlier this summer, but the release was delayed until Nov. 5. The album contains 20 songs (the deluxe version) and has features by many talented artists including Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Skylar Grey, Sia and Nate Ruees.
The songs include those where Eminem is having fun and employing comedic purpose, is getting severely and competitively technical, and is him just being plain down to earth and genuine. The diversity on Eminem’s new album is adventurous compared with previous undertakings and will not disappoint, but at times it becomes clear when he has ventured a bit too far from his element.
Singles such as “Rap God” and “Survival” display Eminem’s always impressive technical abilities, while others, including “Berzerk” and “Desperation,” show the merits of attempting a different style. He also tries his hand at songs such as “Rhyme and Reason” using a renowned Zombie sample, as well as lifting a melody from Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders for “Love Game.”
While it seems at times that Eminem is forcing a genuineness that once came effortlessly in every verse, he keeps his always-impressive rhyme schemes, 90 mph rhythms, clever metaphors and impeccable synchronies with beats and melodies.
Eminem is clearly coming closer to the end of his career, and while we all love Slim Shady, it’s evident that as a now sober, emotionally stable and responsible adult, there is no honesty in him rapping about how many drugs he took and why conservatives are mad at him. But not to fear, he is still throwing girls out of his Mercedes after severely lecturing them in rap form.
Overall the whole production of the album is exceptionally done, and while there is a lot of contrast in music, lyrics, and themes, Eminem fulfills expectations. It may not be the traditional Marshall Mathers, but he has grown as a musician, sounds like he is having fun and still reigns supreme on the charts with four out of the top 10 songs on iTunes.
As long as you don’t mind Eminem mixing it up a bit, find the closest computer and a pair of headphones and hear it for yourself.
Abbas Khan Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.