Review Summary: Just another cheap cash-in mixtape with Eminem's name slapped on the front for credit.
Detroit! Eminem is a legend. He has influenced many rappers in mainstream today, and set many high bars for future white-generation rappers to come. He has released 4 Grammy-Award winning albums, all going platinum, plus an acting career that has even earned an Oscar. Then came 50 Cent and the rest of the bloodhound gang, derailing Eminem's career and turning him into the little thugy-boy that is now picked on by the artists he once dissed. Oh, irony can be quite the female dog. After the very poor release of Encore, many have anxiously waited for The Re-Up, which was told to be "...a mixtape of epic proportions". Fans jumped in joy, kids craved more F-talk and over-protective parents prepared lawsuits and shotguns. Then the shockwave hit, and many have questioned what I once told my girlfriend (who recommended this to me); Is It Real?!
"The Re-Up" is a mixtape, most will be sad to know. Eminem took his production skills to the limit on this one, pulling out superb beats for "You Don't Know", "Jimmy Crack Corn" and "No Apologies". In fact, a lot of Dre influence is shown through these beats, with some of the hardest and craziest bass hits and snares to date. Then there is his choice of featured rappers, the old gang D12, 50 Cent, Stat Quo and introducing Cashis and Bobby Creekwater (suffice to say, they're not all that impressive).
Bobby Creekwater does very little in the album, only showing up on three songs. Cashis, on the other hand, rapes the album with his mellow-dramatic rapping and hardcore thug style. D12 are still the Shady-2nd born originators, while 50 Cent 'praises' us with gat-talk, drugs and women. Eminem has taken a rather risky approach, very much sounding like 50 in the same unfashionable flow. His previous contraversial lyrics has almost entirely disappeared and replaced with different topics based on more mainstream rap.
"Shady Narcotics" is the short intro to the album, with a string-over-type writer beat and Eminem's introduction to the featuring artists. "We're Back" follows, presenting violin samples thrown over gun shots and a plausible bassline. Almost immediately Eminem loses his touch, and you are welcomed to the newer Shady. Most of the guests appear on this song as well. Cashis gets a great flow going, but unfortunately is his only moment in the spotlight.
The rest of the songs following aren't anything new or *contreversial* at all. In fact, it serves the purpose of a mixtape and throws in some rather poor remixes from other collaborating artists. Stat Quo starts to inhabit most of the tape, while Eminem graces the music once in a blue moon. If you're a fan of Slim Shady and into the rap game of the West Coast, you might enjoy The Re-Up. However, newcomers will not be very pleased knowing that this is just another cheap cash-in mixtape with Eminem's name slapped on the front for credit.
Eminem is a true legend, or should I say "was". His music will continue to inspire and amaze, but you will not find much inspiration here. While the producing on the few notable songs are superb, it feels lacking a certain... oh, I dunno... Doctor? Many of the tracks feel rushed and unofficial. D12, 50 and the rest of the "mob" bring The Re-Up down, instead of showing any signs of progression in hip-hop. A poor attempt.
1. "No Apologies"
2. "The Re-Up"