Whether you know Eminem as Marshall Mathers or Slim Shady, the Detroit rapper has blown fans and critics away again with the release of his eighth studio album “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.”
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Eminem began his rapping career when he released his debut album “Infinite” in 1996. Although it only sold 1,000 copies, Eminem was not deterred from releasing his second rapping attempt successfully in 1999. That year, he introduced his infamous alter ego Slim Shady with “The Slim Shady LP,” which officially put him on the music map.
Eminem has been labeled one of the best selling artists in the world. He is a member of the Rolling Stones’ “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list, and has won a total of 244 awards, including 13 Grammys and an Academy Award.
After releasing his album “Recovery” in 2010, Eminem stayed under the radar until he tweeted in 2013 that he would be releasing his latest album this fall. Since the announcement, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” has been one of the most anticipated albums of the year. However, it is unlike what most fans have come to expect from the rapper. Instead of taking on his alter ego Slim Shady again, Eminem revisits the material from the first “Marshall Mathers LP,” referencing many of his old songs. The album includes 16 tracks and collaborations with well-known artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, and Fun’s lead singer Nate Ruess.
The album begins with “Bad Guy,” a continuation of his critically acclaimed “Stan.” It follows the new antagonist Matthew, the little brother of the departed, crazed fan Stan. The narrator is Matthew, who plans to avenge his fallen brother by blaming Eminem for his death. The song has eerie similarities between the old and new, and even contains direct references from the first song that will make your jaw drop.
Another song that will soon top the charts is “Love Game,” which is a collaboration between Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. This jam has the witty, upbeat tempo that so many of Eminem’s songs incorporate, along with some obligatory crude humor. Both rappers come together and it is obvious that they are simply just having fun, which makes the song more enjoyable.
Finally, “Headlights,” featuring Nate Ruess, is possibly the most emotional and thought-provoking song on the album. The song has a slow and intense beat, but it is the lyrics that will stop you in your tracks. “Headlights” is Eminem’s apology song to his mother Debbie Mathers. He openly apologizes for his old song “Cleaning Out the Closet,” a very vicious diss track aimed at her, and states that he “cringes when it comes on the radio.” He uses this opportunity to ask for forgiveness, admitting that she did not deserve his constant abuse. The song will bring tears to your eyes. The lyrics are heart-wrenching, and when listening to it, you feel this new connection unfold.
“The Marshall Mathers LP 2” was released on November 5, and it has since stayed at #1 on iTunes top albums. The album is the perfect way to finally put Eminem’s old self to rest.