Seriously, what in the actual holy fuck are you doing right now?
The latest single from MMLP2, “The Monster” (featuring Rihanna) is beyond disappointing.
What is most harshly underwhelming – before I even get in to details – is how generic, and predictable this song sounds. This is supposed to be the next big pillar single from the sister album to his conceptual, artistic masterpiece, and this is what we get?
It’s not bad music. It’s just generic, and doesn’t seem to make any sense to be on MMLP2.
Em’s verses are fine, the beat and the hook are placid and catchy enough; part of the problem is how inoffensively catchy and hum-de-la poptart the feel of this music is. Which, in itself wouldn’t even be a huge issue if Em was truly going in that musical direction (and it was consistent throughout), but he’s not… he said he’s revisiting MMLP themes, this song doesn’t even make sense sonically.
This song already sounds absurd next to “Rap God”, they may as well be different albums. Or more appropriately, “The Monster” should be on Recovery where it belongs. It’s like Em figures out a hit formula and cannot help but carry it across, which he’s always done, but it’s so fucking blatant now.
– Airy, spacey slut hook.
– Simplistic introspective verses about nothing in particular but always the struggles of fame.
– Pop-rock-soft-tempo beat.
When attempting to come up with new songs for this project, new singles to rival and contrast his most acclaimed, daring, original, bold, thrilling, hilarious, subversive, unexpected and macabre masterpiece; where in Em’s brain did the thought surface “Hmm, well, I think getting Rihanna to sing another broad hook (her 456000th this week mind you) which could have been on any rap or pop album in the past 5 years… mixed with Recovery-style introspection and ‘overcoming my demons’, sticking to the ‘hit formula’ of 16 exact bars… yep, this seems to be the absolute best I can do”. Good one Em.
And seriously – to any fans who say this doesn’t sound like Recovery… what planet are you actually from.
What’s upsetting is that Em is willing to settle for generic choices now. And it’s also annoying as fuck how unambitious he seems to be now. I mean, he was the one who chose to ASK US to compare this album to MMLP, he fucking titled the album; where in his mind did he glance across the singles for the original and then glance these new ones and think “Yeah… they match-up / are better”, to not even attempt a single concept is so uninspiring. Where’s the dare, the thrill?
He could write songs like this in his sleep. But most of all – FUCK YOU EM for putting this flower power song anywhere near the album you rolled out of bed to decide to call The Marshall Mathers LP 2. This in no way revisits, mirrors or sounds like it is at all related to anything about MMLP, it makes no sense, it sounds like it’s a track lifted from B.o.B’s Strange Clouds with some cooler Recovery verses thrown over it. THIS is what we waited 3 and a half years for? Wow.
I have no doubt there will be genius tracks on the album, but I have now lost faith this can be a classic.
I’ve been waiting for Em to “WOO-W” me for a while again now. This sure as fuck did it, as it clearly did many others. I enjoy “Berzerk” and “Survival” (love the rapping in-fact) for what they are, but this…
…is fucking unreal. I’m on about my 50th listen now so my jaw is back up off the ground at least, but I still can’t stop playing it. The amount of flow switch-ups, innovation, ideas ; the humour, Em’s naturalistic and conversational tones (despite incredible technical complexity) and so much more about this song make it his most addictive and exciting release in a long-time. Shit will make me not sleep doe.
There’s too much to analyze about this song for now, I’m finna fucking do it properly tomorrow fams.
For now: enjoy the fuck out of this masterclass in rapping like the rest of us.
Finally. Here’s the tracklist for MMLP2.
My first impressions, unfortunately, are not good.
I don’t want to jump to conclusions but I’m disappointed from quite a few angles just on sight here.
Firstly – having Rihanna and Skylar Grey on MMLP2… really Em? It’s not the fact that they are pop stars (waits for someone to mention Dido) – as obviously Dido was on MMLP1, but that was an organic sample flip. And Dido was NOT a huge pop star, she became that because of “Stan”, so the move was not done for sales. Where as having Rihanna on the fucking album… it’s just so obvious.
MMLP was the anti-everything album: anti-censorship, anti-commercialism, anti-obvious… so if Em is going to create a sequel to that, shouldn’t it aim to be even less obvious, rather than settling for really mediocre artistic decisions which Em’s biggest detractors could guess with their eyes closed?
Secondly – these track titles look abysmal. They literally look like track titles fans have been guessing for the past two years +, “Legacy” (really!?). These kind of cute TV-friendly metaphor summations of themes about overcoming the odds, intended to be played over fucking sports montages are Recovery!
Finally – “Survival”. I don’t think I need to explain why on this one so much. Em’s rapping on this track is fantastic, and the production actually isn’t bad… but it’s soo generic and predictable. Again, this sounds like a Recovery leftover, it does not sound like a new era of Eminem let alone an era which is supposedly a sequel/improvement to his absolute masterpiece. The Marshall Mathers LP was not about overcoming any odds – Eminem was not a self-serious fighter of obstacles… he was a detached badass, there was no such thing as odds to overcome, he defined his own reality with his ingenious irony and storytelling. This new Eminem is much more lame.
Also, to put a track which since day one has been associated with a fucking video game, and to have COD footage in the video and still put it on MMLP2?… Wow.
1. Bad Guy
2. Parking Lot (Skit)
3. Rhyme or Reason
4. So Much Better
7. Asshole (feat. Skylar Grey)
9. Rap God
11. Stronger Than I Was
12. The Monster (feat. Rihanna)
13. So Far…
14. Love Game (featuring Kendrick Lamar)
15. Headlights (feat. Nate Ruess)
16. Evil Twin
On a more positive note, I’m looking forward to “Bad Guy”, but tracks like “Rhyme or Reason” sound like B-Grade rapper song titles. At the very least I’m glad that it appears he’s going to be tackling hip-hop themes, but I can just imagine “Headlights” being some stadium-filling attempt about the trappings of fame. That’s really fucking lame if that’s the case – I really fucking hope it’s not, because this kind of predictable conformism will tarnish the MMLP legacy.
I reaaaaaaaaaaallly hope that I’m reallllllllly wrong and that Em surprises the fuck out of me with mind-blowing concepts and a sound which is as consistent as fresh. I really really hope that’s the case and I think a lot of worried fans do too, but all the signs are pointing to something a lot less thrilling.
Only a few weeks until we find out…
Whilst this video is fairly cool, and Em’s actions look vintage Shady… it’s disappointing that this is an official album single, when the song has since day one been associated with COD – it’s too commercial a move for a sequel to MMLP. There’s even COD footage in the video, and the hook is so generic…
Other than that, Em’s rapping is superb; lots of energy, fantastic rhyming and lines, great flow. But the song still feels like a Recovery-era track. Feels as if this is the ‘perfected version’ of Recovery as apposed to anything new, let alone MMLP2. Disappointing. Your thoughts?
So here’s the cover for MMLP2…
Personally… I’m a little conflicted on whether I like it or not. Whilst i like the simplicity of it; stripped down and haunting is definitely what’s needed in order to get back to an ‘MMLP mindset’… I don’t know… I think I can’t help but feel underwhelmed, as in, perhaps I expected a little more, visually.
There may be a nice visual metaphor in this in terms of… this is Em’s house, as it appeared on the original MMLP cover… and, it’s aged, like he has. It has aged and it’s worn-down and about to be sold-off, so perhaps he’s implying this as a metaphor for his age.
Who knows. Time will tell on whether this is simply a basic reference to the first or it has a deeper meaning. What do you think of the cover yo?