Hi, I'm the Rap Critic. And Eminem is BACK… again… Well, I mean, I guess he had to come back eventually. Either that or pretend to retire for couple days, like Jay-Z. Most rappers don't just stop rapping… but the point is, he has returned with a new single
And, as you may know, Eminem's record for music has been a little… unreliable since about 2004. Encore, ironically, no one ever wanted to hear again and Relapse somehow ultimately ended up being worse, but Recovery was a welcome breath of fresh air, as his lyrics were tighter and well-thought out, especially after seeing how horribly he could fall into mediocrity. However, some people still had a problem with it. They felt that he was still complaining about his life too much and whatnot, which I don't see a problem with, because I feel like the tracks where he did go more into personal problems weren't that overbearing and properly updated us on what his life's been like, which is what he used to do on his older albums anyway! Anyone remember "Rock Bottom" or "Cleaning Out My Closet", or "The Way I Am"? And besides, there really weren't THAT many glum, reflective songs on it anyways. I feel like people colored their perception of the album based on "Not Afraid", which was such a bold move in and of itself, because before then, the first single off of every one of Eminem's albums has always been a lighter, sillier song. However, the idea of Em coming back from two bad albums and then NOT giving us what we typically expect from him for the promotional single? It changed how people approached the album
However, for his new single, Berzerk, we're back to the silly lead single formula. And, to that end, although I miss old Eminem, I fear this possible regression, especially since his new album is called "The Marshall Mathers LP 2". Because… yeah, apparently, sequels to successful albums are a thing in rap now. Yep! Are you a rapper who's been in the game for a long time, but you don't know if the random selection of songs you've put on your new album will resonate with your audience? Just call it a sequel! Sure, the songs don't thematically relate to anything beyond the typical violence, cash, hoes anthems, and the first album… probably didn't have a main theme to begin with. But the point is, you've reminded fans and critics of your first, classic album, and now you will undoubtably have undeserved hype behind it, regardless of whether or not it's earned
Well anyways, the point is, Eminem's back with a new party single. But the question is: will it end up being a single that could be compared to the likes of "The Real Slim Shady" or "Without Me", or will he re-relapse into mediocrity once again. Well, let's see
@Now this shit's about to kick off, this party looks wack Let's take it back to straight hip-hop and start it from scratch@
Okay, well, let me say the first thing that I appreciate about this song: it has energy! I'm tired of party songs that are… well… *Gas pedal gas pedal*. This song sounds like Em is putting his heart into it, and that he wants you to feel the energy that he feels. The first lines of the song are basically, "Man, this new stuff sucks! Let's REALLY get this party started!"
"I'm 'bout to bloody this track up, everybody get back That's why my pen needs a pad cause my rhymes on the ra-hag"
*looks weirded out* Was anyone else thrown off by that last part? Like, did Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys take over his brain for a couple seconds? I mean, the lyrics were clever and whatnot, but… there was no reason why he had to say that like that...
"Just like I did with addiction I'm 'bout to kick it"
Using a clever punchline on how he's about to rip the mic as a double entendre for how he's gotten over his addiction to drugs? I don't care what you say that's respectable AND badass. Although I can't help but notice that I'm starting to hear little remnants of the stupid accents coming back. I hope that stops… soon...
"Like a magician, critics I turn to CRICKETS"
Okay, I want to respect the wordplay here, but really, what's up with you over-emphasizing the punchline and putting on these vocal effects? Aren't you usually more of a quick-witted guy who's always skating from one joke to the next? Like, for a lot of Eminem songs, where he's just playing the role of a smart-ass, the jokes whiz by so quickly, sometimes, you're not even aware you just heard something supremely clever. With this song, it just feels like he's laying the punches on a little too thick, and it does a disservice to the overall presentation
"Got 'em still on the fence whether to PICK IT But quick to get impaled when I tell 'em STICK IT"
O-HO! DDI YOU SEE WHAT HE DID THERE!? ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN SO THAT THERE MAY BE NO AMBIGUITY, YOU SEE THE JOKE IS...
I can't believe I'm doing this, but I have to say, despite how bafflingly clever this is, I just feel like I'm being socked in the face by these punchlines. Maybe it's not him. Maybe he's just responding to the beat, which has a very direct, striking tone created by Rick Ruben, known for making harsher, crushing beats like his work with the Beastie Boys or his work on "99 Problems" by Jay-Z. But this beat feels too busy, and while I feel that Eminem's writing corresponds to the tone of the music, it feels like it doesn't trust the listener to want to hear Eminem's lyrics. But, like, it's Eminem: we're gonna hear you, dude. I dunno, maybe this is me nit-picking, and this is his new style, but it feels needlessly over-exaggerated
"So sick I'm looking pale, well that's my PIGMENT"
*act as if being blown back*
"'Bout to go ham, ya bish, shout out to KENDRICK"
*act as if being blown back further*
"Let's bring it back to that vintage Slim, bitch! The art of the MCing mixed with da Vinci and MC Ren And I don't mean Stimpy's friend, bitch Been Public Enemy since you thought PE was gym, bitch"
See, right here, this is you doing what you do best: lacing lyric upon lyric with amazing wordplay, but, at the same time, every time he says "bitch", it feels like they were just superimposed on the track just to meet the cursing quota for every one of his songs
"[Bridge:] Take your shoes off, let your hair down and (go berserk), ALL NIGHT LONG"
*get blown back again* Are… are they still letting you sing?
"Grow your beard out"
"Grow your beard out"
Grow a beard? Was that line intended for ZZ Top over here?Because, I don't know who else that instruction would be for. I mean, I've heard party songs tell people to do some pretty outlandish things, but I gotta say "grow a beard" is quite possibly the most… inactive thing I've ever heard commanded of an audience. I mean, I know you're 40 tears old, but dude: I don't wanna hear the mundane things when you're bored in a party song
Grow your beard out… watch paint dry… (eat a box of oreos…) ALL NIGHT LONG Watch home movies… maybe masturbate… fall asleep on the couch… ALL NIGHT LONG!
"So baby make just like K-Fed and let yourself go, let yourself go"
I feel like I should make fun of this joke because, I mean, who the hell cares about Kevin Federline anymore, but… *show picture of K-Fed* Dude, what the hell happened, man? Weern't you, like, a back-up dancer or something? How the hell did you develop that much of a dad belly?
"But girl your body's banging, jump me in dang, bang bang Yes siree Bob I was thinking the same thing So come get on this kid's rock, baw with da baw, dang dang"
Well, this is kinda clever. I mean yeah, it doesn't do it too bad here, but in general, I'm not a fan of rappers repeating words and phrases in a verse for the sole purpose of filling up space...
"P-p-p-pow chicka pow chicka wow wow"
"Got your gal blowin' up a val-v-v-v-val-valve"
"Dumb it down, I don't know huh-huh, how, how"
No… no, I think ya do...
"At least I know that I don't know Question is are you bozos smart enough to feel stupid"
"And they say that love is powerful as cough syrup in Styrofoam All I know is I fell asleep and woke up in that Monte Carlo"
Interesting thing about this line: some people think that this lyric is somehow dissing Ace Hood, because it's similar to the chorus of "Bugatti"
*play "I woke up in a new Bugatti"*
But honestly, I don't see it. This is Eminem, here, if he wanted to throw shots at someone, he'd do just that. THIS, is just making a comical parallel between Ace rapping about luxury and good fortune, and him rapping about waking up after sex in the back of a crappy old car. No, that's not a diss. THIS is a diss:
"Will Smith don't gotta cuss in his raps to sell records. Well I do, so fuck him, and fuck you too"
Hell, he makes an ACTUAL diss to someone in the VERY NEXT LINE
"All I know is I fell asleep and woke up in that Monte Carlo With the ugly Kardashian Lamar, oh sorry yo, we done both set the bar low"
THAT is a diss. Why isn't anybody talking about that?!
"Far as hard drugs, are though that's the past But I done did enough codeine to knock Future into tomorrow"
And people think this is a diss to future, too, but I'm still sticking with my point: a play on words doesn't automatically equate to disrespect
"And girl I ain't got no money to borrow But I am tryin' to find a way to get you a loan, CAR NOTE"
*get spit on my face from how intense he's saying that line*
"Girl you’re fixin' to get your heart broke, don’t be absurd, man You bird-brained baby I ain’t called anybody baby since Birdman Unless you’re a swallow"
Wow. I think that's the first time Birdman's been remotely involved in something you could call "clever". And for those of you who don't know, yes, there is a rapper named Birdman, also known as "Baby". And… *sigh* Look, dude, if you're a 44 year old man who shares your rap name with both a silly Adult Swim T.V. show AND a Justin Bieber song, dude… head back to the drawing board on rap names. Although, both those things came out after he chose those names. It's quite unfortunate, actually
"Word, Rick word man you heard, but don’t be discouraged girl This is your jam, unless you got toe jam
Kick your shores off, let your hair down"
I gotta say, that's a slick way of bringing it back to the bridge
Overall, I'd give this song a 4 out of 5. It's not gonna replacing any of his classic songs, any time soon, and to be real with you, I don't know if it has a lot of replay value for me, but he brought an energy and wittiness that put it miles ahead of anything in Encore or Relapse, and honestly, that's all I'm really looking for. Just knowing that he can still bring a certain flavor to Hip-Hop that puts him above the rest lyrically, despite some questionable parts concerning his delivery
But yeah, I find it to be a satisfactory piece that gave me the feeling that he was putting time and honest effort into his rhymes, and so in that sense, it succeeded for me
Well, I'm the Rap Critic, and I'm glad I can say that I'm positively looking forward to The Marshall Mathers LP 2. See ya later