Eminem will release his 9th solo studio album on 11/5/2013 called The Marshall Mathers LP 2. That’s right. 9 SOLO albums.
This last week, being that this album is dropping in just over 5 weeks, I wanted to listen to the first Marshall Mathers LP to try to determine what direction the artist might go with this new record. He has given a few hints as to what it will be like, but I feel there are SO many ways that he could go with this. I have some questions and doubts as well. I shouldn’t say doubts because you can’t ever really doubt a true genius in their field. However, I am very confused and eager to listen to the work.
Here are some of the “hints” he’s given to us fans:
1. Blonde-hair is back: This is a staple sign of the OLD Slim Shady. After Encore, at some point, he changed his hair back to his original black, took out his hoop earrings, and began rapping in a much different style. He was grown up. Evolved. A “changed man”. Although he still rapped in the same manner that was criticized by media outlets, politicians, and middle-upper class parents, his rhymes were much different than the drug induced Shady. When he announce the release date for his new album about a month ago, he posted a picture with “this blonde mop that’s on top of this fucked up head that I got” (Marshall Mathers, Marshall Mathers LP). However, I have yet to see a newly released picture with his earrings in. I’m not sure what the significance of that may be, but just make a note of it. All you need to know is that the blonde hair is back, which SHOULD mean vintage Shady.
2. Berzerk: He has released 2 new songs. I’m not entirely sure if Survival will be on Em’s new album, but Berzerk is a VERY different song by today’s standards. In his opening lines he says “Let’s take back to straight hip-hop and start it from scratch.” Wow. That is something I, personally, have been waiting to hear from SOMEONE. Hip-hop/rap has been garbage for the better part of the last 8 years now. Every once and a while you will hear something that will be beyond good, but most of the time it is straight garbage. If Shady is going back to the beginning, then fuckin sign me right up!
3. Royce on Twitter: If you follow Royce da 5’9″ on twitter, he continuously talks about how great Mr. Mathers is in the booth. Nothing any of his fans doesn’t already know. However, Royce has said that it is his best work yet. Coupling that with the idea of a Marshall Mathers LP sequel, it really makes you wonder what this album could be like.
The 1st Marshall Mathers LP holds a very special place to me. It was the first Eminem album that I had completely listened to. It is what hooked me on the artist. Of course I had heard My Name Is and Guilty Conscience on the radio, but when this album came out, my friend bought it and brought it over. We listened to it all night. I knew that day that Em would be my favorite artist forever. So when a sequel of that album is announced, it made me really anxious to hear it.
Here’s the thing though: When the Marshall Mathers LP was released, he was quiet young still. It was his second major studio album and was much more polished than the Slim Shady LP. He was doing a lot of drugs and that is very prevalent through his work. Drugs were so focused on in the album, I wonder how you can make a sequel to it being that he is reportedly still sober. I don’t doubt that he’s sober for one second, but it is a major question I have as to why he would choose THIS record to make a sequel of.
In addition to the drugs, he is very angry in MM. He had just started his first divorce with Kim (his ex wife and baby’s mamma). He found her cheating on him and wrote (a second song) about killing her entitled Kim. At the same time, he was in the middle of court proceedings with his mother. She was suing him for slander on The Slim Shady LP. Eminem had a lot of anger and hate especially for women on this record. It is as popular in his rhymes as the drugs.
However, the 3rd and final frequency on the first Marshall Mathers LP is the comedic antidotes to today’s media, celebrities, and world events. Em takes this to a level that has never been heard before on a record. He was heavily pressured to make more albums by the record label and his fans. The Way I Am was a declaration to the struggle of dealing with his new found fame; While he joked and made fun of it in songs like Marshall Mathers and Criminal, but being increasingly more serious that his alter ego Slim Shady. He blasts pop singers like N*Sync, Ricky Martin, The Backstreet Boys and the like; He talks about the media and other organizational groups criticizing him for his lyrics; and he shows everyone that his lyrics are just lyrics through more confrontational lyrics.
If you grew up with him through his music like I did, you can see he is a significantly different rap artist than he was in 2000 when the Marshall Mathers LP was released. He doesn’t appear to be in as much turmoil or pain as he was 13 years ago. I can only conclude that the style, beats, and music will be similar to what he released over a decade ago. There is plenty in this world to make fun of. However, he has done that throughout his career.
I don’t know how he’s going to “take it back to straight hip-hop and start it from scratch” (Berzerk, MM2), but I can tell you that I am excited to find out.