The Rap God is Back

Marshall Mathers LP 2 is a smash hit


Guess who’s back. Back again. Shady’s back. Tell a friend.

As with any of Eminem’s work, you probably don’t want to blast this album in the same room as your grandmother; or your six-year-old little brother; or anyone who will gawk disapprovingly at lyrical depictions of violence, sex, and profanity.

When it comes to hip-hop’s favorite foul-mouthed white rapper, this kind of content just comes with the territory. That said, even if you turn your nose up at rap music, it’s hard to listen to the Marshall Mathers LP2 without acknowledging the talent that went into the writing and delivery of every song.

With well over an hour of content, the album has a lot to offer, and many of the songs contain elements of the old Eminem, as well as a new modern flare.

For those who are unfamiliar with Eminem (although that would be difficult with all the radio play and press coverage he gets), his new album is a follow-up to the original Marshall Mathers LP, which came out in 2000 and is his most successful album to date. The MMLP2 contains several references to songs and characters from the MMLP, and in some ways it is hard to believe there are 13 years separating the two.

This album is the first one in about half a decade to include Eminem’s alter ego, Slim Shady. He uses this character to indulge in less serious antics, such as making fun of celebrities and joking about national tragedies.

Hardcore fans may be disappointed that Slim Shady doesn’t have the high-pitched edge that he did back in ’99, but at least he is still jarring and ever-offensive.

Much of the lyrical content of the new album concerns reflections on Eminem’s tormented childhood and past experiences. He delivers biting, emotional performances on these topics in the songs “Legacy” and “Brainless.” Another standout track is “Bad Guy,” the longest song on the album, which also contains a continuation of one of Eminem’s most popular songs from 2000.

The first single from the album, “Berzerk,” is an energizing rocker that includes jabs at some celebrities, as is the Slim Shady MO.

Other singles feature artists like Skylar Grey and Rihanna, who helped his last album, Recovery, achieve great success.

Perhaps the most remarkable song on the CD is “Rap God,” wherein for six fast-paced minutes, Eminem spits some of the most impressive rhymes of his career.

With the Marshall Mathers LP2, Eminem proves that even after nearly 15 years, no one is safe from his lyrical scorn. Marshall Mathers has done a lot of growing since the start of his career, but he certainly has not gone soft.