Eminem does it yet again. A few years after his 2010 comeback “Recovery,” Em is back with a new full-length album, ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2,’ packing the usual lines, new rhymes and way more emotion than last time. Eminem delivers darkness, edge and humorous grit on this album.
The first track, “Bad Guy,” gets you mellowed and eager to listen immediately. Eminem raps a story of hurt, confrontation and closure as he emphatically speaks through “Matthew,” first heard about on 2001’s “Stan” as the younger brother of the the antagonist who killed himself after being seemingly rejected by Eminem. Matthew pretty much confronts Eminem and in the typical violent way, snatches him up and drives him to his death.
The lyrics paint this song as a clear sequel to “Stan,” with lines such as ‘stick to the core plan, dragged to the drunk by one of your fans’ and ‘I initially was gonna bury you next to my brother.’
The fourth verse ties in the symbolism and paints both Stan as Matthew as represantations of both upset fans and critics alike, against the rapper’s violent and homophobic lyrics and personally further solidifies Eminem’s presence as a true rapper. The song is already a favorite.
A jump past a skit and some other good tracks bring us down to the sixth track, “Legacy.” On this track, Eminem discusses his origins and tells us how he got to be who he is. The first line, “I used to be the type of kid who’d always think the sky is falling’ explains the indifference & identity issues adolescents face before they truly discover who they are, the darkness before light. Emimen reminds his listeners as well as himself that everyone faces those issues and they push one to exercise potential.
The number eight track “Bezerk,” is a classic of creative construction. A hip-hop polymer, Eminem samples the Beastie Boys’ hits “Fight For Your Right” and “The New Style” as well as Billy Squire’s “The Stroke” and brings you back to the 80’s and 90’s with a classic flow, with that Eminem twist of course. A fun song, Em dishes out another round of tastefully obscene lyrics & metaphors, a typical crowd pleaser.
Aside from rap, Eminem also blends into pop with songs like the number 12 track, “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna and the number 14 track, “Love Game,” featuring Kendrick Lamar with cynical, dark humor lyrics and punch lines. Although those are good tracks that reveal his humor, the darker tracks on the album prove both Eminem’s darkest passions and his tenacity.
The number 20 track, “Beautiful Pain,” featuring singer-songwriter Sia, gives the album of its final kicks. About moving on after the worst days, Eminem provides insight on what it’s like to grow from trials and tribulations and the rewards of forgiveness, with lines such as “as time passes, wounds heal everyday” and “you’re fireproof…you withstood it.” Sia provides the intoxicating and echoic hook, which describes the relief one would feel from coming out of a struggle. The track inspires and in its own way stresses the need for closure and peace after pain.
The album further solidifies Eminem’s presence as a hip-hop titan and however controversial he may be, it shows how human he truly is.