Eminem is impossible to untangle in just a few listens. As a story, as hip-hop poetry and as an album filled with hidden meaning and insight, Marshall Mathers LP 2 is how Eminem views his own life
The record opens with “Bad Guy”, a seven-minute long banger that concludes with a reference to “Stan”. It’s self-aware and told from the perspective of Matthew, the little kid who waited for “six hours in the blistering cold.”
“It’s just me you and the music now Slim, I hope you hear it/ we’re in the car right now, wait, here comes my favorite lyric/ I’m the bad guy, who makes fun of people that die/ and hey here’s a sequel to my Mathers LP just to try to get people to buy.”
While the guest spots on the album are slim, modern hip-hop prince (King depending who you ask), Kendrick Lamar shows up on “Love Game” and if there was any debate about how Kendrick compares in terms of hip-hop greats, it was answered on this track. Eminem completely out shines Kendrick, bar for bar, metaphor for metaphor.
Eminem finishes off the album with “Evil Twin,” which again has Eminem flowing over a great beat, even asking himself who is left for him to go after (Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber) before giving his list of Top four emcees.
“F*** top five, b****, I’m top four/And that includes Biggie and Pac w***e/And I got an evil twin, so who do you think that 3rd and 4th spot for?”
Additionally, while the album is clearly one of the top releases of the year, there were some things that were noticeably missing.
Specifically, Eminem rapping over a Dr. Dre beat, as well as the fact that there was no posse or group track. Previous albums all had a strong group track so a track with members of D12 or potentially Slaughterhouse would have really rounded out the album.
As a whole, the Marshall Mathers LP 2 will be largely recognized as one of the best releases from Eminem.
According to Billboard, his album is on track to debut at No. 1 on next week’s Billboard 200 with 700,000-750,000 copies sold in its first week. The project will mark Eminem’s seventh consecutive No. 1 album.
Eminem proved on this album, that his Recovery is permanent, and his evolving as an artist makes him still one of the kings of hip-hop.