Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Pity the noise music underground. Think of it: An entire global scene taking root and flowering over the course of decades, finding strongholds in unlikely urban centers, developing its own crusty-warehouse touring circuit. And now it’s an entire network of bands, labels, record stores, venues, festivals — all dedicated to the pursuit of creating the most fearsome, gut-clenching endurance-test sounds known to man. And it’s now obsolete. Noise music has failed. It’s lost the battle. Because no noise artist will ever create a musical moment as purely unpleasant as the sound of Eminem rapping in a Yoda voice over a “Time Of The Season” sample. It just can’t be done. Your Merzbows and your Whitehouses and your Wolf Eyeses can now slink meekly off into defeat. The world’s most popular rapper has done what they could never do. The dream is over.

The Yoda impression comes three tracks into The Marshall Mathers LP 2, after the seven-minute opener where Stan’s little brother kills Slim Shady in Frank Ocean’s name (or something) and the skit where he shoots a police dog. The impression only lasts a couple of bars, but Em gets really into it: the loopy Muppet growl in the voice, the convoluted syntax (“waned for the game, your enthusiasm it hasn’t!”). And while it’s the most put-your-forehead-through-a-window irritating moment on the album, it has competition. There’s the part on “Love Game” where he portrays a mid-blowjob woman, alternating words with slurps. There’s the extended story about when some guy asked him for an autograph when he was in the middle of taking a shit. There’s pretty much all of the jarring anti-woman bug-out “So Much Better,” up to and including the bit where he recycles the “I’m just playing, you know I love you” from the original Marshall Mathers LP opener “Kill You.” There’s especially the moment on “So Much Better” where he rhymes “oink oink oink” with “you fuckin’ pig, all you’re good for is doink doink doink!” Seriously. A grown man. “Doink doink doink.” And then, immediately after that: “I’ve got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one / She’s all 99 of them, I need a machine gun!” Suffice to say: My favorite moment of my first listen to the album came when I accidentally unplugged my desktop speakers and I got a few seconds of sweet, glorious, crystalline silence.

Em’s supporters, including my Spin colleague Christopher Weingarten, will point out the staggering technical complexity of Em’s rapping, and it’s true, he’s going nuts here. Every line here comes weighted with a mindbending array of internal-rhyme pyrotechnics and wraps itself around the leaden beats with crushing boa-constrictor intensity. As technicians, very few rappers walking the planet are Em’s equals. And one of his few rivals in that department, Kendrick Lamar, sounds so cowed when he shows up on “Love Game” that he practically just adapts Em’s tourettic flow himself. But then, what’s he doing with all that skill? Nothing good. Absolutely nothing.

Once upon a time, Em’s punchline were marvels of economical cartoon menace. Consider this line from D12′s “Purple Pills”: “I can’t describe the vibe I get when I drive by six people and five I hit.” I always loved that line, but the Em who wrote that line is gone. 2013 Eminem would never be able to limit himself to something like that. He’d have to let you know what kind of car he was driving, what the people he hit looked like, their names and occupations, what the one who got away ate for breakfast that day. He would describe the vibe he got. The above-mentioned autograph story goes on for half a verse and crams in way too much detail before reaching the inevitable conclusion where he throws shit at the guy. He’s become a clumsy writer, an overexplainer. And his delivery, while rhythmically dizzying, refuses to sit still; it jumps around like it’s desperate for your attention. There’s no precision, no dynamic pacing, no style. If you compare his delivery here to something like Meek Mill’s “Dreams & Nightmares Intro” — a chest-beating adenoidal fast-rap that probably carries some early-Em influence — the present-day Em just can’t withstand it. He doesn’t have that level of focus, that knowledge of when to hold back and when to turn up, and he can’t conjure that same feelings-punch. He sounds sweaty, cold, nervous. He’s not fun to listen to.

And that’s before we even get into the virulent anti-women stuff going on here. Em throws around the world “faggot” here, like the mere existence of Tyler, The Creator grants him permission, but he throws in enough meta-textual games that he at least grants himself some plausible deniability. His homophobia here isn’t nearly as severe as it was on the first Marshall Mathers LP, but the female stuff is another matter entirely. Every Eminem album is a breakup album, of course, and this stuff isn’t new to him either. But when Em repeatedly murdered Kim Mathers on record early in his career, those songs at least seemed like products of raw personal trauma, genuine spleen-vents. The equivalent moments here are, by contrast, chilly and robotic and calculated. They’re Em thinking to himself that people liked it when he did this 13 years ago so here it is. There’s some half-hearted stuff about how wrong it feels to be rapping this stuff while he’s raising a teenage daughter, but it’s not like that stops him from rapping it. I wish it would.

Musically, the big story here is that Em recruited Rick Rubin as an executive producer (alongside Dr. Dre, who seems altogether absent here). Rubin’s big trick is the same one he once used when he was working with Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys: Obvious classic-rock-radio samples! That one has, at best, mixed results. The Billy Squier drums on “Berzerk” are one thing; that was, after all, already a time-honored rap break. But is there anyone alive who really needed to hear Em remake Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good” as rich-white-guy blues? Is that a thing that needs to exist? There’s some novelty appeal, I suppose, to hearing Eminem and Kendrick over “Game Of Love,” but it’s nothing like Rubin and the Beastie Boys using the “When The Levee Breaks” drums for adrenaline-rush momentum on “Rhymin’ And Stealin’.” And all the Ad-Rock samples on “Berzerk” don’t make for a Beastie tribute as effective as the moment, years ago, when Em claimed that he had bitches on his jock out in east Detroit because they think that he’s a motherfucking Beastie Boy.

Mostly, those samples give Em a chance to show off his sample-clearance money and to reinforce his self-image as a clueless middle-aged suburban dad. And it’s not like Em needs any help in this result. Over the past two years, 2 Chainz has done extremely important work in making radio-rap safe for dad-jokes, and now we’re facing the very real chance that Em’s K-Fed and Lorena Bobbit jokes will undo all that. Elsewhere, Em’s production leads hard on the operatic goth-strings stadium-rap that he ran into the ground years ago, and they evince zero knowledge of anything that might be happening right now in rap. That’s a shame. Maybe it would seem craven and desperate if Em would try out Future-style Auto-Tune or rap over a DJ Mustard beat, but then again, maybe that would loosen him up a bit.

Em’s last album, 2010′s ridiculously popular Recovery, was a leaden drag, too, but at least it was an honest leaden drag, a public attempt to tackle demons and make amends. Here, Em undoes all that in a halfassed quest to reclaim the demonic verve of the first Marshall Mathers. But there’s no joy in it, no real playfulness, none of that old wonder at the things that words can do. It’s soggy, bilious, rancid, way too impressed with itself. Em was once rap’s giddiest, most inventive stylist, and now he’s a sad echo of a long-dead self. So listen to The Marshall Mathers LP 2, in its 80-minute endlessness, as endurance-test noise music. Or, better yet, don’t listen to it at all.

The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is out 11/5 on Shady/Aftermath/Interscope. Stream it here, if you must.

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Comments (83)
  1. Good Lord that was an unrelenting assault on this album that I didn’t really think said much about it. Most of the tracks aren’t even discussed and you didn’t really go into much detail about anything here Tom.

    Pretty shocked that you actually think this is WORSE than Recovery. I would think songs like Bad Guy, Rhyme or Reason, Brainless, Legacy and Evil Twin would warrant it being better than Recovery, but apparently not.

    We’ve come to the point now where Em is at the point where nothing he does is going to please everyone. Everyone wishes we could have 2000 Eminem back but that guy doesn’t exist anymore. And when he tries to bring that back we talk about how it seems fake and he should stop because he’s an adult now. But then when he gets away from the old Em we complain about how we wish the old Em was still here.

    Also Tom, please STAHP with the Meek Mill. I’ve never seen such a big Meek fuckin Mill stan on any website.

    • I completely agree. He talks about a few moments in a few songs he doesn’t like and then says it’s the worst thing to happen to music. If Drake were to record himself taking a shit it would get a glowing review, a top 200 Drake songs list, and a Yeezus comparison.

      • Thank you for saying exactly what everyone is afraid to say. This is probably the most inaccurately, forced, and honestly, without being that guy, stupid “review,” if you will, for lack of better word, that i’ve ever read. i can agree to disagree, but spending two whole paragraphs on one line of one song and basing your entire opinion on it is just asinine. so theres that.

      • The album is blatantly misogynist and homophobic. People who aren’t assholes don’t like it. It’s not complicated.

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          • 1. “This guy” is not a journalist, he’s a critic. A critic’s job is absolutely not to “report on a non-bias point of view”; it’s to give his critical opinion of a piece of work, which you clearly don’t realize.

            2. No need for the quotation marks around “misogynistic and homophobic.” Em’s lyrics are not quote-unquote misogynist and homophobic, they’re just misogynist and homophobic, period.

            3. “If you don’t enjoy “misogynistic and homophobic” lyrics then you will not enjoy the album”. Conversely, if you enjoy the album, then you do enjoy misogyny and homophobia, which is probably not something you want to be publicizing too much, at least not if you want to be taken seriously.

          • That’s funny because I’m pretty sure if you compare this to the original MMLP (or The Slim Shady LP for that matter), any fan of the original would be very sadly disappointed, and likely disturbed by the overt hypocrisy of his new image.

            Regarding the apologetic assertions defending homophobia and misogyny, let me make clear why this case is different from other artists who might seem similar to ignorant people. I agree that any attempts to discredit or marginalize artistic efforts solely because of apparent discriminatory attitudes is wrong. As a reflection of life, art reserves the right to examine perspectives that might be considered moralistically negative. An example of one of my favorite artists who frequently is guilty of misogyny is The Weeknd. So much so that much of his lyrics will elicit a sense of uncomfortability. As much as his misogynistic attitude is apparent, are the psychological repercussions of such behavior: his loneliness and inability to make a substantial connection to women; notably his inability to distinguish between love and sexual reciprocation. The important thing to note here is that the raw examination allows it to be considered transgressive art: a level of immersion that brings you to the limits of experience with little compromise. An even better example of this would be Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho, but I’m not going to go into the analysis of that book.

            On MMLP2, however, Eminem engages in misogyny with an attitude that seems to have no interest in examining the motivation behind the behavior or its effect on others. He raps about misogyny the same way he raps about the food he eats or the shit he takes. You mention hip-hop’s historic affinity for hyper-masculinity, but that doesn’t make it okay. Recently were seeing rap and hip-hop move towards a more sensible perception that the rest of the music genres share, but this is an example of bone-headed stubbornness and a lack of connection to reality. This guy has a teenage daughter, and apparently it’s had absolutely no effect on his perception of women. That’s just sad.

            For the record I would like to point out that anybody who comes into one of these comment boards (usually for pop-rap records) and starts making statements akin to “You don’t know hip hop” just looks like a moron.

        • Eminem is hardly the only rapper Stereogum covers that is blatantly misogynistic and homophobic.

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  2. “Because no noise artist will ever create a musical moment as purely unpleasant and the sound of Eminem rapping in a Yoda voice over a “Time Of The Season” sample.”

    Genius.

    • Made a really terrible album, Eminem has. Hmmmmmm.

    • master of his shit

    • The biggest problem I have with that whole thing is the “Time of the Season” sample. If it had just been the instrumentation, it would have been better than taking the verse line. I cringed hearing Em sing “There’s no rhyme or reason for nothing” to the chorus melody. Just bad.

    • completely agree, only barely edges out the following: “My favorite moment of my first listen to the album came when I accidentally unplugged my desktop speakers and I got a few seconds of sweet, glorious, crystalline silence.”

    • Tom sells noise artists too short. And that’s just a dangerous generalization to make anyhow.

  3. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  4. Bringing up “dad jokes” is the new critic cliche of choice. I can’t wait til it dies.

  5. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  6. Weingarten may be the self-professed “last rock critic standing,” but moments like this just tell me that he’s a bit too much of an extremist to be taken seriously as one (which oddly enough is the gusto behind his 8 out of 10 Em review.) He also placed a Linkin Park album in his top 5 of the year a few years back, so his opinion appears to be indebted to some of the late ’90s trashiest rock moments.

    • Contrasting Tom and Chris’ reviews is a lot of fun. I think they generally agree on everything up until the conclusion. The album sounds like a clusterfuck, your mileage may vary on how much you enjoy said clusterfuck.

  7. This is an okay album

  8. The interesting thing, as an observer from somebody who doesn’t like or listen to rap,is that the flawless vocal gift/delivery of Eminem can’t be overstated. I’m not saying that this album is prime example of his strengths/gifts (it is clearly not). Case in point- I listened to Yeezus and I really enjoyed the production, but found Kayne West’s vocal delivery/rapping not very good. On the polar end, you have Eminem who made two great rap albums that had flawless vocal phrasing/rapping and some pretty inventive, if very macabre lyrics as well as incredible production.
    While I can’t stomach misogyny or homophobia and violence in lyrics for shlock value, I still think his vocal delivery and on better albums his lyrics, to be among the best out there in the rap game, very clearly trumping Yeezy. However, Eminem impersonating Yoda is as horrid as it sounds.

    • I kind of agree with this, although, like you, I don’t care about Eminem one way or another. I feel like a whole lot of really prominent critics just completely gloss over Kanye’s very real and very problematic shortcomings (lyrical, rapping ability) in order to serve the larger narrative of his career arc. Em is obviously way less important and lyrically he might be every bit the disaster that Kanye is, but his skill is really elite and there’s no value given to that. I doubt I get around to listening to this, but I figure that Tom, as an avid action movie fan, would have the ability to appreciate Eminem’s ability to just skip the plot and blow shit up. This album sounds like the hip-hop version of The Raid: Redemption – willfully, gleefully brainless and empty, but the action and the carnage are of the highest order. Eminem takes us straight to the fireworks factory while I feel like Kanye’s still trying to work the GPS.

      My metaphors are all over the place here. Feel free to downvote.

      • I disagree, The Raid: Redemption might have been mindless in terms of the narrative, but there was an excellent use of digital cinematography in the fight scenes that has never been used in a fighting movie up to this point. Eminem doesn’t have any new inventive style to keep me interested.

        • Yeah I think this album is like The Raid if everyone fucked up and kept punching the wall. They’re punching really hard, so it’s impressive, but it also hurts and it sucks to watch. And also it weakens the structural integrity of the building. (I have been eating my kids’ Halloween candy all day, i feel like I’m tripping.)

      • Eminem and the Call of Duty games are really a perfect fit. Technically impressive, but it’s all flash and shouting and spectacle with zero substance. And bros love them.

    • Well here comes the Yeezus reference this page has been waiting for…

      Dichotomizing rap music into a simple lyrical finesse vs. production argument doesn’t really work. There are simply too many other factors in play. With that being said I agree that Yeezus was – from a lyrical standpoint – at times undercooked, and at other times more interested in being anthemic than phono-aesethically pleasing.

      The reason why Yeezus is noteworthy is because of its bold progressiveness, particularly in the context of a man who (since Eminem’s reign has come to an end) seems to have flipped the proverbial rap-genre mattress not just once but twice throughout his career (first with the nerd rap movement, then more recently with swag over substance). A consistent challenge to genre norms – particularly norms that one has found success in – suggests a willingness to challenge oneself that’s rare in music; particularly if were talking about pop music.

      Now where Kanye West has found success through many different colors in his career (I think most people would admit that he was much more lyrically dynamic early in his career; Ye just doesn’t seem that interested in lyricism today), we’ve witnessed Eminem try to climb back to the top of the critical food chain in the past 10 years via the SAME major strength he’s always had – lyric finesse. The problem with this is that with a few exceptions, much of these rhymes come off as uninspired or directionless. He seems at all times to be demanding our attention, but he doesn’t really seem to have much to say.

      All of this alone would be okay, I would be disappointed but it wouldn’t result in me losing respect for him. The problem is the textbook commercialized-garbage aspects that Eminem has slowly been incorporating into his songs. Not only has the fuel behind his lyrical talents been diminished, but he’s clearly made calculated decisions to avoid taking any risks in his sound. The hypocrisy of creating a sequel to the commercial success anxiety fueled Marshall Mathers LP – with all its jabs at watered-down radio pop – with an album with collaborations including Rihanna, Skyler Grey (the queen of shitty commercial rap hooks), and the lead singer from Fun? This is blasphemous to what the REAL Slim Shady stood for. If he wants the money fine, he’s certainly making it. If he wants to be respected in the rap landscape, then I would like to see him at least attempt a risk in his music.

      • I very much agree with this.

        Also, while nobody would deny that Eminem is one of the all time great rap technicians, I’ve always felt that he gets elevated a bit beyond his accomplishments due to the fact that he’s many older people’s only real exposure to serious, verbose, dexterous rap music. The original MMLP was very much a product of late 90s/early 2000s hip-hop album construction: overlong, brilliant in spots, droning in others, and a prime example of the singles legitimately being the best songs on the album.

        I think there are a lot of 30s/40s “rock dad” types for whom Em is still the first and last word on artistry in rap music, and I think you’ll see that reflected in the reviews. Youth music outlets are going to skewer it for being out of touch, tonedeaf dreck, but establishment papers and mags are going to cheer the return of their beloved enfant terrible, the guy who scrubs hip-hop music of all of the groove and dangerous, unhinged sexuality that makes it so threatening, and replaces it with good old-fashioned all-’Merican ultraviolence.

        The fact that pre-orders for this have topped the iTunes charts all week, while Danny Brown never even cracked the top 10, makes me deeply sad.

        • Yes dude, I think you’ve just nailed the major adult demographic for this.

          Even more powerful however, are the “MLG Pro Call of Duty playing, ‘Beats’ by Dre Wearing White-boy Brotatoes”, who despite all they’ve invested into their machismo facade strangely don’t mind listening to Bruno Mars hooks dotted into their B.O.B. – Eminem playlists.

        • This is laughable. “gets elevated a bit beyond his accomplishments”…He’s accomplished more in music (not just rap but any genre) than pretty much anyone else and just to let you know rap has been around about 40 years now & there have been numerous great artists who presented “serious, verbose, dexterous rap music”. I could name two dozen or more but you wouldn’t look. Em shouts out a lot of them – Lakim Shabaz, NWA, Pharoahe Monch, Treach, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys. I mean seriously quit being such an ignorant douche bag its embarrassing on a site like this.

      • Fair enough observation. Again, you’re talking to an individual who has a passing intyerest in rap/hip-hop, a very surface level thing. Sorry for the obligatory Yeezus reference. I meant to say I tried to enjoy that album and sonically I did, but the lyrics were so banal, sexist and stupid that Yeezy made it difficult. I found the same problem with Eminems first few albums which were great in a way, but off putting because of its sexism, ect. Anyway, I’m sure this record is as bad and trite as it sounds. Tom knows rap-hip hop better then me. I just can’t get into the genre.
        Anyway, sad to see Eminem go downhill for such a talented artist. But it was a well written slam and the album sounds terrible enough to justify it.

      • Too bad Kanye is a horrible person.

  9. This write-up makes the record eons cooler than it actually is.

  10. It’s a sequel only in the most superficial ways, without any of the energy, excitement or wit of the original.

    If it’s some sort of bizarre fuck-you directed at those who were clamoring for Em to do what he used to do, rather than doing something new and exciting (which is what old Em was doing), then it damn effective.

  11. Didn’t Em already rap about that whole autograph on the toilet thing on “The Way I Am?”

    “But I can’t take a shit, in the bathroom / without someone standing by it / no I won’t sign your autograph / you can call me an asshole I’m glad”

    Seems silly for him to go into more detail about something that was already stated on the first MMLP… something that was kind of irrelevant to begin with.

    I didn’t have high hopes for this album but I can’t say I’m not left a little disappointed. MMLP brings back so many good times from my first year out of high school – I’ll forever nostalgically look back and smile – which is why I may just skip over this entirely to preserve those memories.

  12. Some great raps, some absolutely terrible backing tracks. Not one song worthy of being on a “Best of Eminem” playlist.

  13. Wow..

    So avoid this like an STD…..okay, go it

  14. em kills it on this album. rap god is the best rap song ever he literally is a rap god in rap god. no one is as rap god as em on rap god. he raps like a thousand words in like 5 seconds total rap god material don’t hate on rap god or this god of a rap album.

    • This album is beyond awful but my god I can’t help but be impressed in your usage of the word “rap” 10 times in 4 sentences. Cheers to you Rub John.

  15. Yeah this album is pretty bad, but not for the reasons mentioned in the review. We ALL know what we’re getting into when we listen to an Eminem album – immature, sexist, homophobic, violent lyrics that are rapped with such skill, conviction and wit that you can’t help but get sucked into it (and make excuses for it). The problem with this one is that the songs are awful. The beats are either muddy or lame rap-rock samples. The choruses are boring. The whole thing is blah. No amount of conviction can make up for that. Add to that the fact that the wit is dulled and the skill is hit and miss and it’s a very passable return.

  16. I never understood how people could listen to Eminem and enjoy his voice or his schtick. He’s incredibly unnecessary.

  17. I’m a little surprised that so many people thought this album would be decent — I guess the title set up false expectations? Aside from his verse on ‘Forever’, Eminem hasn’t been relevant for about a decade now. I would much rather listen to lazy, rich-guy Dad-rap from Jay-Z at this point, which is saying something.

    The biggest disappointment here is Kendrick’s silly verse, which tarnishes his impeccable 2013 run worse than that lame Robin Thicke track.

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      • There’s nothing relevant about Red Hot Chili Peppers shitting out number one songs that no one takes any cues from. The same thing applies here. But that’s just a historical and theoretical perspective. I know people want to believe in Nielson Soundscan and Billboard but at least investigate those beliefs.

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      • Post-”Recovery” Eminem is “relevant” in the way a certain other popular white rapper is: he’ll sell a bunch of records, but he’s so distant from the center of hip hop that it doesn’t necessarily mean much for the genre

        • Okay, that I can very much agree with. You are very right on the point where he is still VERY POPULAR, however when it comes to how far he has distanced himself from hip hop he is very far from what it is now. You are also right that this album (doesn’t matter what you think of it) will change nothing about hip hop, it’s Eminem being Eminem he isn’t doing anything crazy new. We know he is an amazing lyricist and has high shock value in his songs, but this isn’t a “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” album. He’s not rewriting the Rap Bible, so to speak, like he use to with MMLP1 and The Slim Shady LP he’s just merely adding another page to it. It’s a very good album (IMO). However his influence over hip hop is very limited at this point. He’s a true Original Rapper, and he doesn’t want to change it. He is the best at rhyming and coming up with crazy lyrics, however compare him to Kanye West in originality and influence and he is NOTHING. That is why so many people regard Kanye West as being much better than he is, because he is so influential that even if he didn’t come out with music for years he still would be considered great. Eminem on the other hand….If Eminem stopped making music, he would be “forgotten”. He still would be remembered as one of the greatest rappers of all time, but he would become irrelevant to modern hip hop, much like Kanye West and Jay-Z won’t.

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        • Your “truth” happens to be just an opinion – an unpopular one that you seem to think is FACT. You’re being downvoted because you sound aggressively smug about this opinion. Also, if we’re talking about “the music, maannnnn,” then read my *opinion* above, where I specifically mention that Tom didn’t event get to the real issue, which is that the music is boring. Maybe the problem us “hipsters” are having with this album is that he HASN’T moved on – people who visit this site tend to like things that take chances and move forward, and if this is “Eminem just returning to the old Eminem” then this is an artist moving backwards. How is that interesting?

          • I agree with you on the point that people do want to hear something new (Which this is far from). The thing is, that is the whole point of the album, it’s why he called it “The Marshall Mathers LP 2″. While this isn’t his best album and heck not even his most creative and it is FAR from a classic, I and many other people (read the other more notable websites and magazines who have reviewed this) have given it universal acclaim. So to call my “opinion” “unpopular”, is far from the truth. While I believe this shouldn’t receive as much acclaim as MMLP1 and SSLP had (which it is at this point) it is FAR from “Unbearable”. I’m not saying this album is perfect by any means but Tom is fundamentally wrong in every conceivable way in this review. It’s called MMLP2 for Christ Sake, what were you expecting Yeezus? (Which was very good IMO, and very unique and different) I like it for what it is; A throwback to old school Eminem, in that way it succeeds very well. You missed my point in every single way, but props for responding intelligently. (Not sarcasm I promise) :)

            Note: Again. You stated. ” people who visit this site tend to like things that take chances and move forward”. Hipster site.

        • Stupid progressive forward thinking hipsters in their smug finery!

  19. I swear this guy was going to give the album a bad review even before he heard it. He could have just wrote an article saying how much he hated Eminem instead of wasting time trying to convince people NOT buy the album. But what do you expect from a guy who said J Cole was “too intelligent” on his Friday Night Lights album. GTFOH

    Dude just sounds mad bitter. Probably at a bar with a bunch of hipsters right now telling them how much Eminem’s new album sucks getting all drunk and red faced. He knows MMLP2 is going to sell big regardless of how much he trashes it. Nice try, Tommy.

  20. Funny how no one talked about the cover. Well compared to the MMLP1 opus it is a pretty good metaphor of what Eminem has become. Eminem has disappeared, and his house is just worth $1. Detroit is just ruins, so let’s have fun in ruins. Setting apart the completely ridiculous lyrics and nauseous everything-phobia, it is quite fun to listen to Eminem having stripped off everything from his music to basically behaving like a clown in a circus.

  21. I’ll probably be killed for this but I thought this album was pretty damn good.

  22. yeah the album’s awful and the people talking about “he can still RAP though” are evaluating rap in the driest technical sense possible

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  24. I completely agree with the review and I won’t need to write a giant paragraph to explain why. Quite simply, Eminem is long dead. His talent and lyrical ferocity is on a level so unknown that it borders on sensory overload. He’s trying TOO hard. His lyrical ability was not the only reason he became famous. He became famous because he was compelling and shockingly honest. He was a rap pundit on social and pop culture figures and never took himself too serious. The glee is gone and so is the appeal. He is a souless, rap computer. Capable of lyrical algebraic formulas that all end up with this…

    x = 0

  25. Do you really think Stereogum’s readership needs to be told an (latter day) Eminem album is bad? I’d have much rather seen a review of something I’m less familiar with.

  26. Go have a listen and you’ll agree that not only is this album worse than Recovery, but that this review is 100% on the money. You don’t have to talk exclusively about the music on this album to understand, as a reader, just how terrible MM2 is. Because Eminem’s music was never only just about the music. It was about the Eminem persona, about the 8-Miles of hardship that was coming alive through your speakers. It was raw, it was real. This entire album is a facsimile of disappointment.

    • Nonsense. “Relapse was worse Encore. Recovery was worse than Relapse. MMLP2 is worse than Recovery.” When he drops another album “MMLP2 was better than *insert album title here.” Am I right? Seems to be the recurring theme from that douche Tom who wrote the “review” and yourself.

      I’m not even defending the album. You don’t like it, that’s fine but both you guys sound like a pair of unhappy housewives. “He was soooo good to me early in our marriage but now it’s like he’s not the same person…”

  27. Isn’t it bizarre that if Don’t Front, the Call of Duty exclusive bonus track, is better than almost all of the standard album?

  28. This review is garbage. Fucking pseudo-intellectual contrarian bullshit.

  29. I give props to Em for staying sober. He’s making music that we are still bitching about about like we have for the past 10 years so obviously he’s doing something right. He could take the Dr. Dre route and do absolutely nothing. (When you’re done with your quest to be headphone king of the world, we’re still waiting for detox to drop asshole) Regardless of what is said here, Em is still going to make a shit-ton of money off of this album and he goddamn deserves it.

  30. So i came here looking for the views on the new album……something unbiased and honest. I Read, re-read and still to this very moment dont really understand where youre coming from. If all you can do is condem his lyrics about gays and women than it is truly a lazy, half-arsed piece of writing. Eminem has rapped about these subjects since his burst into the main stream. How it now still comes as surprise to any one is beyond comprehension. You attack him for this claiming hes not the eminem we knew 13 years ago blah blah blah. let me ask you this, are you the same person you were 13 years ago? i very much doubt it. The core of eminem’s work for me has always been his unrivaled lyrical word play and delivery. That’s still here on this album, all that’s changed is his style – much like changing the way you dress as you mature into your adult life.

    Your review, critique or whatever you want to call it just stinks of someone trying to be the guy who goes against the majority, but upon finding nothing really to attack other than the flavor of the music (which in all honesty doesnt even really feature here) you go after his lyrics – the strongest part of Eminem’s style. You come out looking like a weak excuse of a critic trying to rock the boat but falling way short of any real value to offer.

    Yes you may have got people talking about it but honestly the reflection on your self is nothing more than a pathtic, torrid, lazy piece of writing – coming across as someone who doesnt really know where they going with this critique.

    For me there is more refined maturity in his lyrical explosions. The rock/rap blend, which for me works in places and in others it doesn’t. However i do strongly believe this album is a solid 8/10. It has appeal and it has character.

    if this came from Jay-z or Kanye people would be all over it, its that simple – the two rap moguls that fart and people call it gold. You want style over substance go listen to more of Kanyes Shit. He has weak flows but big beats. For me Eminem is the polar opposite. Substance over style and that is found on every tack on this album. I know everything is subjective and opinion will always be divided but you cant say this album is terrible just because his opinions on gays and women go against your own.

  31. Let the album sales do the talking over a million sold the second week so there for he’s still the best rapper alive so what he is not a watered down rapper life anit no rainbows an unicorns id rather listen to em then any other whake rapper today singing about money chicks and how big there house is or stupid annoying what’s the fox say shit im set that trash he’s different and that’s the key to his success so what he makes fun of gays people make front of other peoples beliefs an that’s ok why not this subject and I for one love all his albums including the mmlp2 he’s legality

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