So after three years out, Eminem is back with his sixth album: a delayed sequel to his 2000 album, Marshall Mathers.
Although he is older, Eminem still keeps many of his well-known traits. He often inserts corny rhymes: ‘This is your jam unless you got toe jam” showing that he can still provide comical value to his audience. He claims this album is a combination of him “growing up and down” and that it’s definitely a “2013 album”.
Eminem is still incorporating a large scale of modern references – Frank Ocean’s Swim Good, the Kardashians and Star Wars to name just a few. He is great at using his voice in vocal interpretation, using a range of pitches and voices to create his different characters. In Rhyme or Reason, he does a humorous Yoda impression.
Although this album has lost a lot of the psychological problems that were present in Relapse and Recovery, there are still hints of his anger but not quite as much: “I’m the bad guy that makes fun of people that die”. Eminem counterbalances this self-loathing by boasting of audacity.
Bezerk has the sound of his earlier tracks as he uses an old-school sounding sample: ‘Take it back to straight hip hop”. Whereas, Love Game includes a 60’s guitar riff and a collaboration with the acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar.
Legacy has similarities to Stan; it uses a high-pitched voice mixed with the sound of rain and hard-hitting rap to create an overall sombre song. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Eminem album if it didn’t have a couple of his dramatic, hip hop skits chucked in there too.
Unlike all his other records, especially his first Marshall Mathers album, which continuously referenced his hatred towards his mum, this is closure and forgiveness towards her.
The album still has something for his old fans; Eminem’s usual traits are still there and it even includes homages and reference to his older work. Generally though, the samples are of a more upbeat tune and the lyrics themselves have moved away from his sadistic tendencies and more into a collaboration of memoirs as he looks back over his work and his life so far.
Unlike other artists, he hasn’t sold out but it is clear to see that he still very much cares about the sound of each of his tracks and how they work together to create an album.