Eminem’s ‘MMLP2′ Is A Return To Form — His Best Album In Years

Thu, October 31, 2013 3:03pm EDT by 36 Comments
Eminem MMLP2 Review
FameFlyNet, Courtesy Of Interscope Records

Eminem fans were treated to an early Halloween surprise on Oct. 29 when Slim Shady’s newest album, ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2′, leaked six days before its official release date. Packed full of introspective lyrics, energetic collaborations, and both hip-hop and classic rock throwbacks, ‘MMLP2′ proves that Em’s legacy is still as powerful as ever.

It’s been over 13 years since Eminem, 41, released his Grammy Award winning standout album The Marshall Mathers LP. Packed with a mix of hits including “The Real Slim Shady” and — arguably Em’s most famous hit — “Stan,” MMLP has long since earned its spot in the Eminem canon as one of the greats. So naturally, calling an album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is going to lead to a lot of hype and pressure for the tow-headed star. Luckily, HollywoodLife can confirm that MMLP2 — a true return to form for the megastar — more than delivers.

Eminem’s ‘MMLP2′: Slim Shady Ponders His Own Legacy

Leave it to Em to tackle serious issues like death, demons, misogyny, and one’s own legacy on this earth and actually make them fun. The album’s first track, the seven minute-plus “Bad Guy,” quickly sets up the more serious — and in some cases, nihilistic — themes in MMLP2, while also establishing an old school element with a throwback to “Stan.” It’s a moody, introspective track that quickly lets us know that MMLP2 isn’t only about the berzerk.

Click Here To Stream ‘MMLP2′

In one of the album’s best offerings, the Skylar Grey collaboration “A**hole,” our favorite rap antihero comes to the conclusion that he is, in fact, a major a**hole. Luckily, Skylar’s excellent hook: “Everybody knows that you’re just an a**hole,” as well as the absolutely sick drum beats, will help you forgive the a**hole-ish lyrics and just enjoy the ride.

Another standout is “So Much Better,” though feminists might want to skip this one since lyrics like “I hate b**ches all the same” and “my life will be so much better if you drop dead” are reminiscent of an old, great, similarly offensive track from the original MMLP, “Kill You.”

The latest single from the album, the Rihanna reunion “The Monster”, proves that Eminem isn’t the only one embracing his dark side — just like in “Love the Way You Lie,” the two artists bond over their own appetites for destruction. “The Monster” may not be as strong a single as their last outing, but it’s still an insanely catchy dance track that should instantly perk up any long commute.

‘MMLP2′: Totally Berzerk Old-School Throwbacks

MMLP2‘s first single “Berzerk”, which perfectly samples Billy Squier’s “The Stroke” as well as the Beastie Boys’ “The New Style” and “Fight For Your Right,” was a perfect selection to introduce an album that frequently celebrates old school rap and hip-hop. It makes me feel like I’m back in New Jersey at a 2001 middle school dance, and I mean this in the best possible way. Good luck trying not to twerk in your office chair during this one.

“Berzerk” aside, MMLP2′s best sampling is found in the moody, effective “Rhyme or Reason”, where Eminem perfectly uses The Zombies’ “Time of the Season” and riffs in a Cookie Monster voice. It’s a nihilistic, wave your middle finger in the air type of jam, as well as a total must-listen.

“So Far” also borrows from the days of music past — “The Real Slim Shady” itself makes an appearance — and features some remarkably insane, comedic lyrics that fully triumph in the album’s strongest offering, “Rap God.” It’s hard to fully describe the speed-rapping lyrical acrobatics achieved in “Rap God,” just know that next time you’re out at a bar, every single drunk person in attendance will try their best to slur the words, “Lose Yourself” style.

The Kendrick Lamar cut “Love Game” is also triumphant, due to both its dark, insane lyrics and the pretty, melodic ’50s throwback beats that back them. The album’s final track, “Evil Twin” is also a success — and not only because it finds Eminem fully embracing his alter-ego, contemplating why ‘NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys are no longer around for him to make fun of.  (At least he has Drake as a consolation prize.)

‘MMLP2′: Where it falls flat

Then there’s “Legacy,” “Stronger Than I Was,” and “Brainless,” three tracks that feature a serious Slim questioning his own, well, legacy. The former features a solid hook from Polina that sets it apart from the latter two, which are comparably skippable given the high quality of the rest of the album. Em gets similarly serious later on in “Headlights,” a Nate Reuss collaboration that finds the rapper finally forgiving his much-maligned mother.

Finally, the Call of Duty rock-anthem “Survival” is just a bit too Limp Bizkit-y for my taste, but then again, I’m not exactly in the Call of Duty demographic.

What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Listen to the album and let us know your thoughts!

– Shaunna Murphy

More Eminem News:

  1. Eminem’s ‘MMLP2′ Album Leaks Six Days Early — Listen
  2. Eminem Premieres New Music Video For ‘Berzerk’ — Watch
  3. Eminem Announces New Album ‘MMLP2′ During VMAs

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gaurav

Posted at 1:36 PM on November 19, 2013  

agree with you andy

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Andrew hick

Posted at 12:34 PM on November 13, 2013  

You’re obviously a critic and not a fan I presume? ‘Stronger than I was’ skippable?? Get out of shady town! It’s immense, eminem once again goes a completely different path and proves he can do it well..once again. I love this song, one of my faves but I guess I’m a fan and not a critic ;-)

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omet

Posted at 11:36 AM on November 6, 2013  

Eminem is the most innovative mc ever!!
Where are you gonna hear music and lyrics like this
Todays music is so messed there is no hiphop real hiphop anymore
Who can u even mention in the same breath as this genius
Its amazing to me that i grew up on nwa,too short,run dmc,public enemy,dre,mc ren,ice cube, real mcssss….dammnnn why do people have such short memories,people today dont even know or respect these people.em is the last if them period.enjoy while you can.cause after him we are just stuck with all these money making newbies who think they can make one pop song and claim they can rap.ill just keep listining to em and the real rappers from back in the day.appriciate this guy while you still can

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Robert D

Posted at 6:14 AM on November 4, 2013  

Why are people so afraid to just admit that Eminem is not good anymore? I am a huge fan of his but this album is proof that he needs to retire asap. If he continues down this path he will completely tarnish his legacy. So far out of his 7 commercial albums only three of them are greatness. Relapse was a nice treat after the horror show that was Encore but Recovery was a step backwards. His collaboration with Royce on Bad Meets Evil was decent but still not greatness. Now we have an album where the only two songs worth listening to are the first track, “Bad Guy” and his single, “Rap God”. Unfortunately Em you have not shown me that you are a Rap God but more of a mere Rap Mrtal…

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Vale

Posted at 1:57 PM on November 4, 2013  

Recovery is a step backwards?! I guess u listened to the tracks backwards. Dude we can understand if your tastes have changed but please please please don’t destroy the mood for the rest of us. Recovery is one of the best albums he has released. MMLP2 is a work of art. That’s it, I admit it.

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Robert D

Posted at 6:14 AM on November 5, 2013  

Please tell me in which way, shape or form that Recovery was a good album? His flow was sickening with his obnoxious yelling and pre-school quality metaphors. Eminem came from such depth and soul with a strong core message to what they are now…messages that aren’t being conveyed strongly because his lyrical content is just not there. I mean lets be serious here: Listen to Stan then listen to Bad Guy and tell me that Bad Guy is even close to the level of greatness produced on Stan…not even close. Also I feel like my age may have to do with it because I was 14 when Em came out so I grew up listening to him and this guy I hear now is not that same lyrical beast. Eminem Show was Em’s last album of greatness hands down. Ask any REAL Shady fan and they will tell you the same because they aren’t blinded by the name of Eminem. BTW I have rapped for years so I’m kind of what you call qualified to critisize. My name is Semi G…dont beleive just youtube JC vs Semi and look what I do with lyrics like the real Slim Shady taught me how to do.

 
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Andy

Posted at 12:37 PM on November 13, 2013  

Hahaha! Relapse was the worst by far even though it had a couple of nice tunes. You need to retire from talking!!!

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gaurav

Posted at 1:36 PM on November 19, 2013  

agree with you

 
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Tim

Posted at 12:03 AM on October 7, 2014  

I know it’s almost a year after you commented I just want to, perhaps, get you to expand your horizons. I believe the only aspect Eminem has declined in is his rawness. The Slim Shady LP, MMLP, and TES were him paving his way, not just through the music industry, but through society as a whole. From there I agree Encore was laughable, the re-up is stupid, but even though Relapse and Recovery do not have the ‘rawness’ of his first three albums, his lyrics are definitely better in every aspect besides storytelling. Even though his punchlines and flow seem forced, his metaphors are slightly better,but his wordplay and rhyme scheme are nearly perfect in almost every song. In my opinion, MMLP2 is Eminem at his best lyrically. Every time I listen to it i hear a new double, triple, or quadruple entendre or you can hear multiple rhyme patterns at the same time. Again, i know its been almost year and this is obviously just my opinion, i just wanted to start a nice convo debating this subject.

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Dsunn (@100Grandsunn)

Posted at 6:55 PM on November 3, 2013  

shts dope

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shadow

Posted at 1:39 PM on November 3, 2013  

I don’t knw what some of u r talking about..this album is the best by far!! u r my hero and u a rap god!

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Ki

Posted at 5:06 PM on November 2, 2013  

As probably one of the biggest Stans, and I mean biggest. I have to say this album sucked. But probably mostly due to calling it mmlp2. It set an expectation or standard that whether intentional or unintentional it didn’t live up to. He’s lyrically everyone knows that but I can even listen to the words cause I hate the beats so much. I get he’s in a diff place but I was expecting some remnants as far as beats go of mmlp but no…Let down isn’t even the word.

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tun gyi

Posted at 2:58 PM on November 2, 2013  

no download
please, reply

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Martin Holmes

Posted at 7:56 PM on November 1, 2013  

Brainless is one of the best tracks on the album, easily the best beat. And ‘Headlights’, despite the corny hook, is one of the most emotional songs Eminem has ever recorded.

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Wackson

Posted at 5:50 PM on November 1, 2013  

Goooooooooooooood God, he spazzes on this album. Every single song, even the slow ones, are pure adrenalin and have Shady practically screaming into the mic. Wow dude, just wow.

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viJilance

Posted at 4:24 PM on November 1, 2013  

“Effective “Rhyme or Reason”, where Eminem riffs in a Cookie Monster”

Dude, you’re such a pleb- that was a Yoda voice. You really haven’t listened to this masterpiece well enough, you shouldn’t be writing Eminem reviews, you’re not even in the Hip Hop demographic. 0/10 for this review.

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LLG

Posted at 1:34 PM on November 4, 2013  

thank you!!! yeesh what a joke that review was.

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Vale

Posted at 2:00 PM on November 4, 2013  

Twisted Writer and some twisted audience. Best rap songs so far this year…lyrical, rhythmic, mindblowing….Listen to Rap God and u go like what the ……

 
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Sifeenchall (@Sifeenchall1)

Posted at 3:45 PM on November 1, 2013  

my co-worker’s sister makes $83 every hour on the computer. She has been fired from work for 10 months but last month her pay was $12317 just working on the computer for a few hours. about his————>►●►●►●►Rush64.ℭOℳ

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jimmy

Posted at 11:39 AM on November 1, 2013  

this album is not his best in years, not even close

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Sung E. Walker (@SungEWalker)

Posted at 3:23 PM on November 1, 2013  

Sarah implied I cant believe that any one can earn $7891 in four weeks on the internet. find more information>>> FB39.C0M

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mas

Posted at 10:42 AM on November 1, 2013  

what track I would choose if i wanted to choose best track of the album???
it is sooooo hard I think #Brainless #Headlights #The Monster #RapGod #Legacy #SoMuchBetter #BadGuy #BeautifulPain these are awesome Eminem is the greatest artist of the all time that never ends

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josh

Posted at 10:19 AM on November 1, 2013  

This guy said he did a f***ing cookie monster voice? In Rhyme or reason. What an idiot. Its Yoda!

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z

Posted at 2:34 PM on November 1, 2013  

he did both voices in the song

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Mesh

Posted at 9:04 AM on November 1, 2013  

personally…I love the whole album. Especially bad guy, beautiful pain and legacy. I love how he made the re-visit seem like a sequel thus giving us closure to what happened after the Stan track and that it leaves us wondering if Mathew could be his new alter-ego. Eminem is a rapper who usually tells a story in his music and most of the time, it is about his life so listen to the music, not the beat and you will get deeper understanding and connection to his work. It really was genius of him to introduce Mathew like that. SCREAMING EMINEM FOREVER!!

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mike

Posted at 3:19 AM on November 1, 2013  

Your “where it falls flat” lists some of the best tracks on the album man

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Michael Nguyen (@MNguyen88)

Posted at 2:20 AM on November 1, 2013  

I think Legacy is the best track on the album.

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cbone99

Posted at 9:26 PM on October 31, 2013  

albums horrible, better then encore & relapse but that isnt saying much

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anonymous

Posted at 8:26 PM on November 1, 2013  

your a deuce

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anonymous

Posted at 8:27 PM on November 1, 2013  

what are you a 2 chainz fan? You know nothing of bars

 
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Lost My Way

Posted at 8:28 PM on October 31, 2013  

Hahahaha…

And your review started so well.

You got nearly alll the good and bad tracks the wrong way round from a rap fans perspective you fool.

Go look at forum opinions and actual rap music critics.

Legacy is one of the best easily without question.

Monster is a steaming pile of s#it in comparison to ‘Brainless’ and like I said ‘Legacy’

Nice attempt at sounding like you understand rap and Eminem, and listened to the album twice but you failed miserably on so many levels.

Go back to bulls#it Hollywood reporting on whatever bulls#it Hollywood site this is because you DONT UNDERSTAND RAP MUSIC AND NEVER WILL.

Ha, Legacy and Brainless fall short, while Monster and Ashole are his best in years… That’s amazing, dont give up the day job!!

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Daniel

Posted at 9:17 AM on November 12, 2013  

couldnt have said it better myself!! Legacy is truely epic !! The last verse in particular is truely heartfelt and tells where Em is now! In this track his displaying how far above the rest he his with his powerful vocals and extreme emphasis. The rest of the album is good but after Legacy he dosnt need to do much else….. enough said

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Britney

Posted at 7:19 PM on October 31, 2013  

Google is paying 80$ per hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. Yesterday I bought a top of the range Lancia after having made $9458 this month . Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out Pow6.ℭOℳ

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T-Dub

Posted at 6:48 PM on October 31, 2013  

I believe it is a Yoda voice in Rhyme or Reason. Reguardless, good album.

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roca99

Posted at 6:38 PM on October 31, 2013  

‘Legacy’ & ‘Brainless’ are two of the best tracks on it! Legacy he doesn’t exactly question it, he basically says if people don’t respect the Legacy he leaves behind then F you. My other favorites are ‘So Much Better’ and ‘Evil Twin’. Sounds like he is going even further back to Slim Shady so here’s hoping the next album is called SSLP2!!

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Isometrisized

Posted at 5:24 PM on October 31, 2013  

So feaking fast its like this whole album is adyenlin, even the slower songs.

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