Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP 2


4.5
superb

Review

by LambsBread USER (18 Reviews)
November 19th, 2013 | 349 replies


Release Date: 11/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The second coming of the Rap God... crucified again, this time by Rick Rubin.

In 2006, the rapper Proof , Eminem’s long time best friend and fellow D12 member, was murdered. Eminem became an emotional wreck, stating in an interview that Proof’s murder was the worst possible tragedy he could imagine. Almost overnight, the most famous rapper in the world, who couldn’t take a SHlT in a bathroom without someone standing by it, became irrelevant. As a result, his next two albums suffered from a clichéd feeling of a has-been trying to get his mojo back. The Game, also a rapper signed to Interscope Records, once said something I think captures Eminem’s situation perfectly:
“Niggaz politickin’, wanna know ‘why I’m RHYMIN’ different?’
My best friend got murdered, homie my MIND is different!!!”

After two unfocused albums, The Marshall Mathers LP II is the story of Eminem growing up. No, not the same story about Eminem growing up in Detroit as a poor dishwasher, but the sequel, the story of an immature adult finally giving up on what once made his music the bees knees to white boys in 6th grade everywhere (myself included). On MMLP2 Eminem is able to make relateable music to his old fans, he writes a heartfelt apology to his mom, admits he isn’t qualified to be a parent, and only dibble-dabbles in the misogynistic fairy tales of Slim Shady, usually to make nostalgic references to his notorious past works.

Eminem’s lyrics are on point for the entirety of the album, during every single verse, making the terrible features (and to a lesser-extent: the beats) the only significant problem with the album. Attempting to bring Rock and Roll legend Rick Rubin in as a producer creates a hit or miss atmosphere for the album. For every track where Eminem flows perfectly over an intriguing, adrenaline-pumping beat (like in “Rap God”), there’s another track like “Love Game” where Kendrick Lamar comes on and sings, in what sounds like a joke, but sadly isn’t. The only other problem worth mentioning is that, for some reason, four of the best tracks on this album were left off for the deluxe edition.

There are three keys to appreciating this album. The first is being able to appreciate bad music. (Traditional or “Old School”) Hip Hop, despite all its attributes, is bad music. Aside from the lyrics in the raps, the songwriting is usually atrocious, and the beats are usually just secondary - something to give the lyrics a bit more enthusiasm or soul. In Eminem’s book “The Way I Am” he explained one of the key reasons old school Hip Hop tends to be more lyrical than new school rap “Because our equipment was so ghetto, I’d have to nail it in one take. If I messed up, I’d have to do it all over again from the top. So I had to not only write the song, but learn it by heart.” An artist who learns each of his songs by heart creates lyrics where every word is given care and considered in the overall craft of the song. It also has the effect of making the music sound progressively better to the listener with repeated listens, as they memorize the lyrics themselves and bond with the artist’s experience. So try to take the pop-country hooks with a grain of salt, and instead of trying to focus in on beats, keep your brain tuned in on the lyrics, from start to finish. This may become exhausting for some listeners, but to Hip Hop Heads it is nothing new, and with repeated listens the chore will become less and less exhausting while the music becomes progressively more enjoyable (you’ll thank me later).

The second key to appreciating this album is keeping in mind exactly what and who Eminem is. Eminem never expected to be even close to as big as he is now. Remember that his first album Infinite sold seven, yes, SEVEN copies. In short, it was his image of a white kid with blonde hair that resonated with so many people, not solely the music itself. As Eminem abandoned this image that Interscope Records created for him, it alienated his old fans who thought he was being sincere. Yet, by virtually killing off his Slim Shady persona for MMLP2, he brought back some of his even older fans (all seven of them) who once accused him of selling out, who now, (like myself) can be content with the explanation Eminem gave to this accusation : “As an underground artist starting out, I never wanted to sell out, but I’m sure there are fans who think I have. To them I say, I still love you. I don’t feel like I made music that sold me out. I made pop joints, yes, but my lyrics and flow and command of the beat were always pure hip-hop all the way.” This album is a testament to that statement. Say what you will about his music overall, but the man’s raps are 100% Hip Hop and he is one of the few who can claim to be a Rap God without being bitch-slapped by KRS-One. Lastly, try to appreciate what Eminem has done throughout his career to bring two cultures and/or races together, and keep in mind the immense obstacles he had to climb to get to this position, as Eminem once put it: “Vanilla Ice made it damn near impossible for a white kid to get respect in rap music.”



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user ratings (686)
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,...

    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...

    Guzzo CONTRIBUTOR (1.5)
    The tragedy of Eminem....

    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 
LambsBread
November 19th 2013


3387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry if this didn't talk about the sound of the music as much as this site wants, but I did explain that this albums sound is quite bad objectively. (so it is not really worth detailing)

I wanted to write this so some people could maybe gain a different perspective on eminem and learn to appreciate this album for what he was trying to do with it.

Thanks for any comments and criticism - but please don't ghost neg without giving some feedback at least. peace.

Digging: Ellay Khule - Holy Scriptures

Destructerator
November 19th 2013


853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Rick Rubin never contributed anything positive, artistically, to the music industry.

"There are three keys to appreciating this album. The first is being able to appreciate bad
music."


Hurts your rhetoric a bit. I think you meant lo-fi or low quality music.

I am not a fan of the genre by a long shot, I only know 3 or so artists I actually enjoy, as of 2
years ago at the most. One year of that was solely Eminem. I've haven't been listening to this guy
forever, but I've heard his entire discography. Being able to come to Eminem with his entire career
immediately available to you is very useful from the standpoint of objectivity.

Eminem has the title of Rap God de facto. As much as "Rap God" was a display of technical and
improvisational prowess that talented kids could attempt to top with a simple YouTube video, he is
inarguably the master of this genre.

someguest
November 19th 2013


20569 Comments


Rick Rubin never contributed anything positive, artistically, to the music industry.


Slayer. System Of A Down. Public Enemy. Beastie Boys.

Destructerator
November 19th 2013


853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I doubt their success was due to their producer.

AceOfSpades
November 19th 2013


66 Comments


By that same logic maybe Rick just likes producing shitty music. if you can't give him his triumphs
then you can't fault him for his failures

Gwyn.
November 19th 2013


15101 Comments


I doubt their success was due to their producer.


You know half of a Hip-Hop album is its production right

Cygnatti
November 19th 2013


21352 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

60% actually

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Gwyn.
November 19th 2013


15101 Comments


probs

Also the paragraph about hip hop and bad music made my head hurt

Acanthus
November 19th 2013


9543 Comments


It was a fun read, don't care a lot about hip hop culture so this was pretty amusing; I imagine the comments will be too.

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

talesfromthevagina
November 19th 2013


222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

but the beat in rap god is awful and love game is a fun track


Oneiron
November 20th 2013


194 Comments


Where the hell did you get the 'sold seven copies' thing from? Infinite sold the entire run of around 1000 last time i heard anything about it

BeneaththeDarkOcean
November 20th 2013


438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

"(Traditional or “Old School”) Hip Hop, despite all its attributes, is bad music. Aside from the lyrics in the raps, the songwriting is usually atrocious, and the beats are usually just secondary - something to give the lyrics a bit more enthusiasm or soul."

Negged just because of this. I don't mean to sound mean, but are you even a fan of hip-hop?

"Remember that his first album Infinite sold seven, yes, SEVEN copies." Please show me your source on this, like Oneiron said.


LambsBread
November 20th 2013


3387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Eminems book is the source of the entire review, including that fact of infinite. You are talking about how much it sold after
he went platinum with his other albums. Slimbr />
Shady EP was the first album anyone cared about.

old school hip hop that eminem grew up in, is almost all lyrical. In what way would you argue it is not? but thanks for at least
giving a
reason for negging(but you could actually make a counterargumet, not say "that made my head hurt. Do you even listen to
hip hop") But i guess I shoulda specified I was talking about old
school and not all hip hop, so decent point. I'll fix it when I get home

LambsBread
November 20th 2013


3387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh wait i did specify old school hip hop. Yeah man hip hop is all I listen to really. I can tell that part didn't convey what I
meant based on the responses, though. All I'm sayin is all hip hop really is is a beat and a couple of looped repeated
samples, so it's really the lyrics that are the forte, and compared to other genres, the instrumentals in hip hop (on their own)
are relatively bad musically (instrument wise, I'm probably misusing the term "music" as the first comment pointed out).

BeneaththeDarkOcean
November 27th 2013


438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

"old school hip hop that eminem grew up in, is almost all lyrical. In what way would you argue it is not?"

I didn't argue that it wasn't lyrical, I just said I hear what you're saying though, but I find old school hip hop lyrics much more meaningful than present day lyrics.
Public Enemy, De La Soul, The Roots, Nas, etc. all had something to say. Unless you mean even older party hip hop like Kool G Rap and stuff like that, in which case I would argue that it was fun, a lot more fun than Eminem shouting homophobic and misogynist diatribes. But I digress.

Also, the fact that Infinite sold seven copies before Em got truly popular... why are we discussing facts that only you would obviously know? In order to get someone into your review, I think it's best to take a more general non-fan's point of view and not throw out obscure facts that could alienate your potential readership. Thanks for keeping the conversation civilized though, always nice to intelligently discuss music.

Destructerator
December 1st 2013


853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

There is some heavy symbolism in this album that I finally caught onto, and this record has real meaning to me now.

LambsBread
December 1st 2013


3387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dale Earnhart

LambsBread
December 8th 2013


3387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JNApLUTbSA

damn... can't believe this track with Buck Shot was left off the album





LambsBread
January 9th 2014


3387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hahhahahahahah
"My ultimate dream, was to be respected by other MCs, my peers, to have KRS-One go, "Yo, that's
crazy." -eminem


Green Baron
January 9th 2014


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah complete bs



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