January 30, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 32°F


Review: Lyrics drive rapper’s record

"The Marshall Mathers LP 2"


Detroit rapper Eminem has finally released his long-awaited eighth studio album, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.” This record is a follow-up to Eminem’s third studio album, “The Marshall Mathers LP,” which many consider to be Eminem’s best. However, according to the rapper, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” is more about his nostalgia rather than just serving as a sequel.

Eminem begins the album with the track “Bad Guy,” featuring singer Sarah Jaffe singing the chorus. Eminem revisits an old song from “The Marshall Mathers LP” entitled “Stan,” in which he raps about an obsessed fan who committed suicide because of the lack of attention Eminem paid him. “Bad Guy” is about Stan’s brother, Matthew Mitchell, seeking revenge for his brother’s death by carefully plotting Eminem’s murder. The tune sets a dark and mysterious mood, with light percussion and a squeaky noise playing throughout the entire song. It shows off Eminem’s dark humor and extremely clever wordplay, making the song seem like more of a story rather than just a track.

Eminem shows a softer, more emotional side in the slower track “Headlights,” featuring singer Nate Ruess, best known as the lead vocalist of the band fun. The rapper apologizes to his mother, the woman he so often expressed his anger toward in previous albums. He raps, “Mom, please accept this as a tribute/ I wrote this on the jet/ I guess I had to get this off my chest/ I hope I get the chance to lay it before I’m dead.” Any Eminem fan knows a sincere and public apology to his mother demonstrates how much the rapper has grown. It makes the song and the album one of a kind.

It seems that Eminem took a great deal of time working on this album, recapturing his wild, witty brilliance and putting his complete honesty and true self in each track. From beginning to end, the album is pure genius.