Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP 2


1.5
very poor

Review

by Guzzo CONTRIBUTOR (24 Reviews)
November 2nd, 2013 | 715 replies | 26,437 views


Release Date: 11/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The tragedy of Eminem.

Its difficult to understand what exactly happened to Eminem. I listened to Encore and there were times I thought it was literally a joke. I mean, the Eminem-norm is this very serious guy who, by the way he raps and his overall persona, wants to be taken seriously. But at the same time, am I really supposed to take a guy serious who wants me to stick a gerbil in his ass through a tube? I get it, there are those immature moments of the "Slim Shady" side of him that I guess we are supposed to laugh at. And I understand that, I do. But when it was done on The Slim Shady LP it was that two-sided, "I don't know whether to laugh because its a joke or to to be disturbed that Slim Shady might literally be telling Grady to stab her, grab her by the throat and kidnap her." It created this genuine interest that kept the listener intrigued. Then there was the socially conscious Marshall Mathers seen on MMLP who you listened to and realized that he understood how crazy he sounded with lines like "In the paper/ the news everyday I am/ Radio won't even play my jam/ 'Cause I am, whatever you say I am."

But as I look back to my thoughts on those albums, I realized what happened to post-2000 Eminem. He, simply put, became uninteresting. Encore didn't feel polarizing at all, it felt plagiarized; performed by some guy trying to be shockingly funny but you could tell that he was trying to do so. Relapse felt like Eminem realized this, but just couldn't do anything on the album that felt fresh at all, just kind of making another new Eminem song. And while Recovery showed us the socially conscious Eminem that knew his past 2 albums we're horrible, he still couldn't really do anything besides say "I'm sorry" and even with that apology there wasn't a promise of anything better that followed it. Sure he said he would try to be better, but he never gave us a reason to believe it was possible. You see, Eminem thrived on his personality. That psychotic figure who you couldn't predict. And MMLP2 shows us that he is out of ideas to make himself anything but uninteresting.

MMLP2 proves this with every idea that the next song brings. "Rhyme or Reason" shows us that Eminem seems to think that we forgot that his upbringing was difficult, and was the reason he is crazy. Again. "So Much Better" shows us that Eminem has a distaste for woman. A subject that has never been brought up in an Eminem song ever. And then there is the case of "Berzerk." Possibly the worst song of 2013, it finds Eminem calling out multiple subjects and people. Call-outs include the "Ugly Kardashian," Lamar Odom and Eminem saying that K-Fed is... overweight. It's not even the boring call-outs that make this song completely horrid, that would be to undercut the weight of the term horrid and its synonyms. Its the call-outs, the laughably out of place Billy Squier sample, the overall Beastie Boys-esque production that does not go with Eminem's flow at all, the eye-rolling pop chorus that's been plaguing Eminem since Relapse, and just the overall subject in general. The first line, "This shits about to kick off/ this party looks wack" essentially is saying that the rap game is in bad shape and then proceeds to to say that its time to take it back to scratch which I assume is the reasoning for the sample. I assume that is the rational excuse for the horrendous sample. Its making me cringe just thinking about it. Yes, the rap game is wack Eminem. Its wack because of this song and this album. Elsewhere we see Em beating his chest(Rap God) and trying to survive in the rap game(Survival).

And the thing is, we've seen Eminem use the same concepts and still have the ability to make it interesting with the way he used his flow. Technically, Eminem has always been great, and could still make songs listenable just because of the way he contorted his flow, especially seen on Relapse. But that part of his game is almost completely lost here. The first and second verse of Bad Guy is poorly done to the point that I found myself wanting to skip it, which is made worse because the second half of "Bad Guy" is done really well. The production rising in the final verse and the insertion of police sirens to go along with Eminem tone actually changing makes it interesting, which is a complete contrast to the first half's boring flow and samey beat. But aside from this part and Eminem flexing his muscles on the last verse of "Rap God" where its cool to hear Eminem rap in lightspeed, the album more times than not finds itself in a very awkward state. There are many times when Eminem stops mid bar seemingly because he was spitting words out too quickly forcing him to take these really odd pauses while he waits for the beat to catch up. Its not a purposely done flow, its incidental; like the beat and Eminem just don't know how to coincide. And its not even that the samples are bad, because "Rhyme or Reason" is a really cool sample and so is the Fontana sample found on "Love Game," they just should have never found their way on a song with Eminem. Its a problem that plagues the album throughout. The Rick Rubin and Eminem pairing is very reminiscent to Lou Reid and Metallica. One that might have sounded good on paper, but once they got into the studio a light bulb should have appeared that maybe this isn't whats best for the album.

Marshall Mathers 2 is an album that I actually had some sort of hope for. But as I listened to each song I realized that it was a false hope conceived solely because of its name. Its sad, really, to see a titan such as Eminem die in a way such as this. I found myself feeling legitimately sorry for Eminem as I made it to the end of the album. The reason, much like what he is worrying about on "Legacy," is the question. And that question is this: What will Eminem be remembered for? There is no more hope after this album for Eminem ever improving, as this is more than likely his last album. So what is Eminem? That is the question the MMLP2 raised to me. Is he that rapper who has been lost for 13 years on what made him great? Or is he that guy that made SSLP and MMLP? Maybe I'll just go back and listen to the Marshall Mathers LP to remind myself that there was a point in time where he could have actually proclaimed himself "Rap God" without any snide remarks. Maybe I'll listen to those 2 albums and imagine 2013 Eminem never happened. Maybe he died in 2000. Maybe we are left to ask the "what if" question. "What if" he had lived past 2000, would there be more great Eminem albums? Instead we're left here in a universe where Eminem is very much alive and we don't have to ask the what if question. The question's already been answered. And its an answer that Eminem simply can't come to grips with.



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user ratings (656)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • trainofconsequence (3)
    A decent attempt at an older-style Eminem album that falls a little short....

    IsomerDuck (3)
    Slim Shady's long-awaited return can't quite grasp the excellence of his earlier material,...

    LambsBread (4.5)
    The second coming of the Rap God... crucified again, this time by Rick Rubin....

    Green Baron (3)
    Em may not have been a rap god since 2002, but The Marshall Mathers LP 2 puts him on the r...

  • Kronzo (3.5)
    Is this the Eminem that everyone has been dying to hear for several years?...

    Alex Beebe (3)
    The definitive hodgepodge of the year....

    SmartWentCody (2.5)
    If you're a casual Eminem listener, you won't be disappointed; you'll probably be well-ple...

    Ayashi (4)
    Shady's back, back again, and perhaps for the last time ever....

  • VigorousDuck13 (4)
    After flops like Encore and Relapse, Em comes back with his best album since The Eminem Sh...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Its been awhile.

Digging: Your Old Droog - Your Old Droog

Green Baron
November 1st 2013



19092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

since em was good

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

wwf
November 1st 2013



581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that ratings chart.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Rating is just about correct.

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I just don't understand how anyone who has listened to good Eminem could possibly think this is good at all.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I have no clue dude, but your spot on with this review. I posd

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2013



3409 Comments


wants to be taken serious


otherwise good review. will read the rest now

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thanks man. I just couldn't deal with those 4's anymore lol

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Lol I felt the same way, I just felt sooo damn disappointed since I thought this might be good.

MO
November 1st 2013



18422 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

don't use "I" in a review

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Them negs because of the rating I assume lol

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The whole "don't use I" commandment with reviews is much like "don't use 'And' or 'because' " when writing. When its done in the correct light, it is allowed.

Green Baron
November 1st 2013



19092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

average is pretty accurate. better than recovery tbh

Panzerchrist
November 1st 2013



122 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I've been saying this for years: Eminem has lost any and all motivation to rap. Once he came to fame and lost that difficult style of life, all of the life lessons he had been imparting turned into banal puns and lyrical acrobatics. It seems like he just does it now because he has to. It's sad. He probably should have just finished after Encore.

Green Baron
November 1st 2013



19092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

he should have never made encore

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@Panzerchrist, this is exactly my thoughts as well, and what I was trying to get at in my summary.

MO
November 1st 2013



18422 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It just aids in showing your bias by bringing your emotions into it

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Yeah, I get that. But I feel like its compensated for by legitimate musical critiques shown in the review that back up the non-biased final score.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2013



1571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

A formal write up normally should never use first person, but a review is an opinion. The bulk of it isn't facts but opinionated statements. Biased opinions can make their way into some reviews, but I'd say you avoided it pretty well.

PostMesmeric
November 1st 2013



347 Comments


Does this mean that not using "I" or "me" at all makes it totally unbiased? No? Okay then.

Seriously, though; I've seen some really well-written and informative reviews use first-person. You can do a lot by changing up perspective; adding an anecdote or a story can keep the review from sounding mechanical. As always, you shouldn't overuse it, but it's not impossible to use first-person in a review and still make it sound professional.



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