Marshall Mathers LP2 utilizes ruthless, creative lyricism

Eminem harnesses negativity, discusses revenge, hatred, broken relationships

By Charlotte Hughes ’16

Guess whose back? Back again? The real Slim Shady has returned with a new album The Marshall Mathers LP2. The Marshall Mathers LP2 is the Detroit rapper Eminem’s eighth studio album. It was released on Nov. 5.

If there is one thing Eminem excels at is using his demons to fuel his music. His music always has that hard, gritty edge to it that makes the listener jarred. It is clear with every track that this is a man who has lived a hard life and its clear he uses his past as inspiration for his tracks. The Marshall Mathers LP2 is a sequel to The Marshall Mathers LP which was released in 2000. While that one was dark, this one is just as dark if not more intense. The common themes being revenge, resentment, hatred, family and friendships broken all delivered through crude yet creative lyrics spat at a rapid pace that is distinctly Eminem. The Marshall Mathers LP2 is re-opening those old wounds and showing that he is still fighting his inner demons while dealing with fame.

The opening track is called “Bad Guy.” Right off the bat it is intense, a disjointed rhythm in the back and Eminem’s voice is hard and passionate. The song follows the same storyline as his earlier song “Stan.” This track is about this crazed fan who is obsessed with Eminem and the song is told from his perspective as if it were a letter to the
rapper.

In “Bad Guy,” it is from the perspective of Michael Mitchell, Stan’s brother who is vengeful for his brother’s death. In “Stan,” he drives himself and his pregnant wife off of a bridge killing them. The song has a back and forth narration, similar to Stan, in which Michael Mitchell represents Eminem’s own worst enemy by reminding of the crap he has been through and how he will not overcome them. Eminem’s outro of the song is powerful and uses the powerful diction expected of Eminem.

“Bad Guy” is an opener that hits fast and hard, and sets the tone for the rest of the album.

Another track on the album is “Rhyme Or Reason”. This song samples The Zombie’s track “Time of Season. Like “Bad Guy” and some of the other tracks on the album, this one has a back and forth narration to it. Rod Argent of the Zombie’s asks “What’s your name?/ Whose your Daddy?/” to which Eminem responds with “Marshall/ I don’t know” then goes into detail about how his father left his mother and him.

The song is focusing on his absent father. Eminem is exploring the side effects of his father being absent on him. He does this comically yet sincerely while rapping in a Yoda voice: “Let’s have us a father and son talk/ But I bet wouldn’t probably get one block without me knowing your block off/ this is all your fault.” It is one of the best tracks on the album, with the funky beat of “Time of Season” adds a good foundation for the song.

The album also features duets with some big names such as up and coming rapper Kendrick Lamar for the track “Love Game”  and a reunion with Skylar Grey for the track “****”, and Rihanna for “The Monster.” Another duet is with Fun. lead singer Nathan Ruess on the track called “Headlights.” “Headlights”  is about Eminem’s relationship with his mother Debbie. In the track he is apologizing to his mom for his previous songs such as “Cleaning Out My Closet” and the “Eminem Show,” which blamed her for how she raised him and were very negative toward her. This song is apologizing for the hurt that those songs caused and Eminem is saying that he still loves her because she is his mom.

Overall, this is another successful Eminem album. It has his signature harsh, yet creative lyrics and realness and fast rapping that is signature to Slim Shady. The album Marshall Mathers LP2 is now available for download on iTunes or Amazon.

Sophomore Charlotte Hughes is a staff writer. Her email is chughes1@fandm.edu.

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