Record of the Week – The Marshall Mathers LP2
If you asked Marshall Mathers who the top four rappers in history are he would tell you Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Eminem and Slim Shady; so says the rap god on his eight studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Packed full of wit, clever punch lines, and nostalgia, MMLP2 is filled to the brim with everything we have grown to love about Eminem and lacks all that was wrong with Eminem during the Encore/Relapse years.
Slim sums it up at the end of his first and longest track on the album “Bad Guy.”
“One last time I’m back before it all fades out to black and it’s all over, behold the final chapter in the saga, trying to recapture that lightning trapped in a bottle twice, the magic that started it all…”
With Eminem’s 2000 release, The Marshall Mathers LP, having been widely disputed as his best work both by critics, as well as Shady himself, he set the bar high creating a sequel. There are more similarities between albums rather than merely sharing a name. The album artwork for one, both feature shots of his former house from his teenage years, a place where many of his songs have brought us in the past and continue to bring us to now.
A “Stan” reference in the opening track, a skit (remember those?) picks up with Em leaving the bank he robbed with Dre in “Criminal,” the final track from the first MMLP. Columbine references, his notorious filthy mouth, still hating on ‘N Sync, the Backstreet Boys and his father, this album has it all, and then some.
With hyper-lyricism and a flow unlike anything we’ve seen yet, Marshall Mathers displays his keen ability to rap over anything. The beastie-esque guitar and turntables in “Berzerk,” the eerie piano and drum track in “Brainless” and a remake of Joe Walsh and The Eagles “Life’s Been Good” on track 14, “Love Game,” this is as diverse a rap album as ever.
The record features artists such as Skylar Grey, Rihanna, Nate Ruess, Jamie N Commons, Sia and labelmate Kendrick Lamar. Producers included Dr. Dre, Rick Rubin, DJ Khalil and of course Eminem, to name a few. MMLP2 was released on Aftermath, Shady and Interscope Records and features 20 tracks and a skit, totaling 78 minutes of lyrical skills unlike any we have seen before.
No one is safe from the wrath of Eminem, including himself.
“So who’s left? Lady Gaga, mess with the Beiber? Na, ef with Christina, I aint fucking with either Jessica neither, Simpson or Alba…”
Sarah Palin, Waka Flocka Flame, Britney, LMFAO, Tyler the Creator, Casey Anthony… well I wouldn’t want to spoil too much for you.
The Marshall Mathers LP2 is nostalgic in all the right ways and as intense as ever for the 41 year old rap god. He spits faster than ever, continues to make you laugh and cry with the same rhyme and is just as angry and honest as ever. This is easily Slim’s best album in years. Ladies and gentleman, guess who’s back?