The More Eminem Changes, the More Marshall Mathers Stays the Same

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December 5, 2013 by NowhereButPop

by Khalid Bennett

There are a few reasons why I despise today’s hip-hop music. I hate how all the music I hear pretty much sounds the same. There is basically no originality. I hate the fact that the most popular hip-hop songs consist of talking about “turning up”, “popping molly”, and/or “twerking”. What happened to the days where songs were about money, cash, and hoes? In this case, the main reason why I despise today’s hip-hop music is the lack of superstars. A lot of hip-hop artists today are your fifteen-minutes-of-fame “musicians” that produce one-hit wonder club bangers. After their brief popularity, they are nowhere to be found, while the next rapper takes over and does the same shit over and over. You could consider artists such as Drake, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Kendrick Lamar as the biggest names in hip-hop today, who consistantly make hits that actually affect the hip-hop culture. Today, I talk about an iconic artist that has affected the whole music industry and society within the past 14 years.

I’m here to talk about Eminem. Allow me to say that he is back. If you didn’t know, Eminem relased an album on November 5th, 2013. It is his first album in three years. But what is so significant about this album? The name of his latest album is called The Marshall Mathers LP 2. This is the sequel of the critically acclaimed album The Marshall Mathers LP.

The Marshall Mathers LP has been considered one the best hip-hop albums of all time. I can’t even call it an album; it’s a masterpiece. This is the album that made Eminem from a regular rapper to an historic icon in the music industry. If you haven’t heard this album, then there’s something wrong with you. It’s much more than music; it’s a story; a horror story if you think about it. When you listen to MMLP, you basically go into the mind of Eminem. You don’t know whether to call Eminem funny, crazy, sick, mental, etc. How can an artist talk about rape, abuse, sex, drugs, disrepecting your mother, and all other vulgar topics so funny and yet serious at the same time? Somehow Eminem did it and that’s why MMLP is certified diamond.

It’s been 13 years since MMLP dropped. Would MMLP2 live up to what the first album had to offer. Let’s compare, shall we?

As great as MMLP was, you’d figure that MMLP2 would be exactly like the first one. The answer to this is yes and no. You can say that it’s a sequel but not exactly. I listened to it the first time just before writing this article. As great as the album was, it was nothing compared to MMLP, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are a few similarities but many differences between both albums.

The production between each album is a big difference. Most of the songs on MMLP were produced by Dr. Dre, Bass Brothers, Mel-Man, and Eminem. If you ever heard a Dr. Dre song, you know how his beats sound. MMLP2 has a variety of producers that contributed to the album. Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin are the executive producers of MMLP2. As for the actually tracks, Rick Rubin, Eminem, Luis Resto, Alex da Kid, and Emile are just some of the music producers of the album. If you listen to MMLP2 from beginning to end, it’s hip-hop but not the same Eminem hip-hop that made him so famous from MMLP. You can tell there is a pop aspect to it just like today’s hip-hop. The good thing about it is that it doesn’t overpower the hip-hop sound. I can say that it is a hip-hop album. The thing is that Eminem has obviously changed since MMLP. MMLP2 sounds more like the newer Eminem. There are some beats that go hard but nothing like the first one. You even have instruments incorporated such as guitar, which isn’t surprising considering Rick Rubin being on the album. I do wish Dr. Dre actually helped produce a track but the whole album is listenable nonetheless. There wasn’t one song I wanted to skip and that’s what makes an album great.

The lyrics, lyrical content, and songs are something to talk about in MMLP2. When it came to MMLP, you couldn’t even say it was just explicit content. It was just on another level. It was understandable how messed Eminem was. He loved taking drugs, he really hated his mom, he hated is on-and-off girlfriend/wife. He makes a lot of fun about abuse, rape, drugs, sex, and other topics. Eminem isn’t like the other rappers that just use figure of speech or comparisons in his lyrics. He uses his lyrics in a way that he’ll tell a story and disrespect and diss you at the same time. In MMLP2, it’s a little bit different. He does use more comparisons and a little less disses. Believe it or not, he doesn’t really talk bad about anyone. “So Much Better” might be about his relationship with Kim (the on-and-of girlfriend/wife) since he talks about how his life is better without you (Kim). His albums lately have talked more about his journey, trying to stray away from all the demons that have conquered his life. He does the same thing in MMLP2 but not so much. Most songs are random but he does go personal in a few. “The Monster” is definitely one of them. It makes sense when the chorus says “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed; get along with the voices inside of my head; you’re trying to save me, stop holding my breath; and you think I’m crazy, yeah you think I’m crazy”. One of the most personal songs on MMLP2 is “Headlights”. This song is an apology to his mom. Everybody knows that Eminem has had an estranged relationship with his mother. All the hate he has had towards him mom seems to be gone. In “Headlights”, he mentions how he always did love her and how he hated that his father left him. At the end of the song, he even says that he wants to start over. One of the best songs on MMLP2 is “Bad Guy”. Remember the song “Stan”? Stan was Eminem’s biggest fan but committed suicide and killed his girlfriend just because Eminem didn’t respond to his letters. “Bad Guy” is the sequel to “Stan”. It’s about Stan’s brother, Matthew Mitchell, who seeks revenge for what Eminem indirectly did to Stan. This incorporates what made Eminem so famous and dangerous in the hip-hop industry. It’s amazing how he has that mind to create a character and make up a crazy-ass story in song form. MMLP2 may not be as explicit as the first one but it still delivers and shows that Eminem hasn’t lost it after 14 years.

Once again, Eminem makes MMLP2 all about him, not having so many featured artists. He only has four featured artists (eight in the deluxe edition). He does use artists he has done collaborations with such as Skylar Grey and Rihanna (fourth time together) and new artists like Kendrick Lamar and Nate Ruess (lead member of Fun).


9.0/10 (Excellent)

Overall, MMLP2 is Eminem’s best album since The Eminem Show. It obvious that MMLP2 will never, ever compare to MMLP but it really shows that Eminem hasn’t lost his step. Now the question is this Eminem’s last album? Will he go on another hiatus? Will Eminem ever go back to his Slim Shady days? I wish I could answer these questions but I can’t. I am an Eminem fan and I have and will always enjoyed his music. He will always be considered one of the best rappers in hip-hop history. It would be a blessing to have Eminem in his prime today against these “rappers”. No competition.


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