If you’re one of the best selling artists in the history of music, a notorious recluse, and the king of not giving a fuck, then maybe you can name your 2013 release The Marshall Mathers LP2 and get away with it. Or maybe you’re looking to cash in on that mix of nostalgia and youth; marketing a record to the old heads and the fans of award show cyphers alike.
Either way, Marshall Mathers is back and looking for redemption. His last few records have been slow-pitch softballs. They’ve been predictably accessible, making it tough to argue that Eminem is still on top. MMLP2 aims to set the record straight. His hair is trademark blonde, his pad is bursting with bars, and his sights are set on the throne…again.
Pound for pound there’s not much wrong with MMLP2…unless you’re looking for a 40-year-old MC to break ground into exciting new territory. Keep looking. While 2013 Eminem is sharp tongued and lyrically nimble, he’s literally beating a decade old horse to death.
He’s’ still using the word faggot freely. The insane clown posse hasn’t stopped rubbing him the wrong way, and yes…boy bands make him sick. So what’s the remedy? Besides the Rick Rubin produced classic rock rips, the record plays like 2005. And that’s not entirely terrible, especially when Eminem is firing on all cylinders, obliterating the mic.
Technically, Eminem is a master craftsman. There’s no denying that he is able to bend words and stretch syllables like nobody in the business. But he’s too reluctant to take that leap into unfamiliar ground. It’s hard to tell if he’s just comfortable, or unwittingly mocking himself.