The Bad Boy’s Back!

The Bad Boy’s Back!
Artist: Eminem
Album: The Marshall Mathers LP 2
His lyrics are taboo and his songs reek of violence, death, destruction, misogyny as well as homophobia. Parents hate him and President Bush once called him "the most dangerous threat to American Children since polio." The platinum selling artist shocked the world when he released his infamous 1999 single ‘My Name Is’ with his complex rhymes, cruel lyrical jabs and of course, his skin tone! And Billboard’s Artist of the Decade is back with a bang, releasing his new album and ending a three-year hiatus.

The 41-year-old veteran rapper blows the dust off his mike and kicks off the album with ‘Bad Guy’, the sequel to his 2000 hit song ‘Stan’ that was based on the final letters of his fictional obsessed fan. Stan has been dead and gone for at least ten years but his vengeful brother is back. Lamenting his earlier fondness for Eminem, he creeps up to Slim Shady’s house and kidnaps him before driving the car right off of a bridge, advising him ‘Hope you can swim good!’

In the next track ‘So Much Better’, Eminem take many swipes at an ex-lover in his signature abrasive style. Spouting profanity and with a delivery style laced with murderous rage, Eminem channels the scorn of a cuckold. With heartbreak motivating the song, the brash and blatant misogyny becomes somewhat easy to digest.

The song ‘Survival’ is also worth a listen. The track is produced by renowned DJ Khalil, who’s mixed up electric guitars, rhythmic drumming and a defining tone. Eminem goes all out in the song, his high-energy, high-pitched voice urging anyone who thinks it’s his time to hang up the boots, to think again. The song, which featured guest vocals from Liz Rodriguez from The Royales, was also accompanied with a music video promoting the latest Call of Duty video game Ghosts.

My personal favourite from the whole album is ‘Legacy’ featuring Polina Goudeva. Coupled with a slow, dark beat and what seems to be the soft sound of rain, the track begins with Eminem wondering why his thought process has always been one of a kind. The iconic artist paints a vivid picture of what his childhood was like when he would be bullied, terrified and constantly doubted, resulting in him being his own sole companion. The last two verses lash out at all those who dared to doubt him and reassure them that his name would remain carved out in stone long after he’s gone.

The pick of the songs, however, seems to be ‘RapGod’. As can be guessed, Eminem declares himself an unparalleled rap MC. Throwing shout outs to hip-hop legends such as Shabazz, Tupac, Dr.Dre, Lakim, NWA, Eazy-E, Ice Cube and Run-DMC, the self-proclaimed rap king then proceeds to shock his contemporaries with, as he calls it on the track ‘supersonic speed’, flow of words delivered with unmatchable speed. Fellow rappers such as Tech nine, Royce da 5’9 and British radio personality Zainlowe also voiced their wows at the artist’s lyrical prowess, although, the song also came under fire due to the homophobic slurs it contained.

The song ‘Headlights’ featuring Nate Ruess is an empathic, emotion-driven song wherein the Grammy-winning artist reconciles with his mother. Yes, you heard me correct, he actually makes peace with his mother. Since his

on-screen inception, Eminem has often made it public that he despises his mother and dedicated an entire song ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ (The Eminem Show) to rebuke her using profane words.

‘The Monster’ is the commercially successful duet with Barbadian beauty Rihanna, in which Eminem details the negative side effects of fame and how he grapples with the limelight. Rihanna’s vocals are crystal clear as always and the beat produced by Frequency is pleasant to the ear. The song towered at No. 1 in musical charts in different countries including France, Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland and USA. A musical video was also released, depicting Eminem as a psychiatric patient and Rihanna his therapist.


‘Evil Twin’ is the song in which Eminem conjures up his psychopathic alter-ego Slim Shady who delivers cutthroat rhymes reviling Britney Spears, Casey Anthony and Sarah Palin.

‘Brainless’, ‘Stronger Than I Was’, ‘Love Game’ are some of Eminem’s impressive songs; and ‘Berzerk’, ‘Rhyme or Reason’ and ‘Don’t Front’ are not so great. All in all, the MMLP2 is a must listen for all those who have followed Eminem through the decade when the white MC stood out for his complex rhyming skills, his lyrical prowess and again, his skin tone! Continuation of Eminem’s acclaimed 2000 studio effort The Marshall Mathers LP, this album does swerve in that direction but cannot be heralded at the same status. Whilst lacking the catchy appeal that the earlier album had, Eminem has retained his long-lost ability of impressing the audience technically with the pen. His complex lyricism has been praised by critics, which is a refresher since his last three albums were penned unimpressively such as Encore (2004), Relapse (2009) and Recovery (2010). Eminem rejuvenates wordplay on this album, stirs up controversy and has worked the lab with Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin who serve as executive producers on this album. In this day and age where piracy hounds sales figures, 792,000 copies were shelved off the release day of the album (November 5, 2013). Hence, goes the saying ‘Numbers don’t lie’. As Eminem describes himself on the song ‘Evil Twin’:

"Hogger of beats, hoarder of rhymes,

Borderline genius who’s bored of his rhymes."

One should definitely lend a listening ear to the album.

The Bad Boy’s Back!