Eminem just released a surprise new album Music to Be Murdered and people have asked me to do a review of it. In recent years, Eminem has gotten a bad rap from critics and honestly, its about fucking time. The most frustrating part about the new found dislike is that now I can be accused of being trendy when I express my dislike for Marshall’s music when in fact I have felt like this for a decade. If you know anything about me and my love for music you would know that I always try to find something good and I’ll give credit when credit is due. There are songs I don’t think are total dogshit, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence those songs usually have solid guest features or a great beat by Dre. All this to say, I decided to go through his discography in chronological order so that the three people who will read this can hopefully enjoy it.
I actually came across this in about 1997 at a flea market. I picked it up with a huge tape haul and remember trying to find as much as I could about this guy. I didn’t find much and had completely forgotten about him by the time his official debut dropped. The title track is boom bap and also completely enjoyable. It sounds like nothing he’d go on to do, it just sounds like love for hip hop at the time. Next few songs are in the same vein and 313 was the one that stood out to me the first time I heard it. I enjoyed the flow and the wordplay and it actually still holds up. “I shout with a slang, simple as ABC’s, skip over the D’s and rock the microphone with ease” I’m surprised by how much I still enjoy this, he doesn’t have the nasally voice sound yet. He’s not being a try hard asshole, he’s just rapping. There’s also nothing that really sets it apart from other releases of the time but its short and fun.
The Slim Shady LP (1999)
Ah the one that started it all. I never particularly cared for it when it dropped and in trying to be as unbiased as possible this has not aged well at all. My Name Is was the breakthrough hit, I remember when it premiered on TRL I could not believe this was the same guy on the tape I had heard years before. I was an NWA fanatic, so the fact that he was with Dre made me really want to like him but it never clicked despite my multiple tries. Somehow everyone knew every lyric to this song the day after it dropped and quoted it nonstop, and guess what? THe lyrics are just as stupid now as they were then. Guilty Conscience is a good track, I like the beat, the concept and the fact that Dre acknowledges his shortcomings such as the Dee Barnes incident. The following track Brain Damage honestly isn’t terrible either, and it gives a glimpse of the future state of Eminem considering himself a diss rapper as he goes after fellow whiteboy Cage. Authors note: Cage’s Movies for the Blind is better than anything Marshall’s ever released.
Then we have the start of your recurring Paul skits where he comes in and leave fake voicemails usually to show the listener how big and badass this nerd is. Everything else on here is mediocre from this point on, even songs at one point I would have said were highlights back in the day such as Role Model or I Don’t Give a Fuck are pretty much grating to my ears. Eminem sucks at hooks and I don’t care what anyone says, just listen to My Fault where he’s singing “I Never Meant to Give You Mushrooms Girl”. Completely unenjoyable. Just as the album is winding down you get a solid feature from Royce da 5’9 but that is about it.
Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
I think many people would consider this his magnum opus and to an extent they aren’t wrong. Just like the previous one though, it has not aged well. It starts off with a shitty public service announcement and goes into Kill You, which apparently many people consider one of his best songs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard it and it couldnt be more unmemorable for me. Following that up we get Stan, a monster hit. I don’t think it’s a terrible concept and Dido’s hook is pretty good, but when would you ever put this on? Seriously, who would ever go out of their way to play this track unless you are a sad sack loser crying in your parents basement? Paul returns, Ken Kaniff returns and we get Steve Berman skits- all of which are unnecessary. There’s probably people out there who think they are hilarious, and those type of people I would never want to associate with. The Way I Am was another heralded song, the lyrics are pretty good but Eminem is screaming them for some reason. Also, the fact that people think the hook is clever but aren’t aware it’s lifted from Eric B & Rakim’s As the Rhyme Goes On pisses me off. It also makes me wish I was listening to Paid in Full. Next up, The Real Slim Shady, huge MTV crossover hit. While I don’t particularly enjoy the song this is what Eminem is good at: being a fucking novelty rapper. Just embrace it, stop trying to act hard with your shitty bifocals and crying about your mom and just make comedy raps. Remember Me features RBX who heads recall from the first Chronic album (and super heads remember his solo album where he takes shots at Dr. Dre in RBX is AWOL) and Sticky Fingaz from Onyx. It always irked me that they were the ones asking remember me because anyone with a fucking brain remembered them. Onyx released Shut Em Down two years before this album came out and who wasn’t still bumping The Chronic? That being said they make this song enjoyable. Here is where I’ll give credit when it’s due: I’m Back along is a solo song with no features and it’s enjoyable, I wish the whole album was more like this. We can skip ahead to Amityville which has the shittiest verse from Bizarre, it’s so shitty I think I love it. “Call me an asshole call me bizarre while I stick it up your ass as you shit diarrhea” You fucking kidding me? Following that up is Bitch Please II, the first Bitch Please being a huge highlight off Snoops No Limit Topp Dogg album. This song features Dre, Snoop, Xzibit and Nate Dogg. Easily the highlight on the album for me, no thanks to “Aw naw big Slim dawg 80 pound balls dick six inches long” After the highlight we have Kim. Kim is literally, and I mean literally, one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I say things because there’s no way I consider this a song. I remember when it dropped people would talk about Kim like it was a highlight, like it was so cutting edge. It fucking sucks. This song should be a litmus test, anyone who willingly puts it on should be arrested and booked for psychiatric evaluation. There’s another forgettable track and then it ends with Criminal, which again I’ll give credit it’s a pretty good track. If you’re keeping track, that’s about 4 songs that i think are enjoyable on someone who is supposedly THE GOAT’s best album.
The Eminem Show (2002)
Eminem was riding high at this point, you couldn’t escape him. I listened to this album once when it dropped and thought it was terrible. I would get heckled for saying so and I guess alot of people thought it was a step up from his previous. Going into this relisten I was actually curious if was just being too harsh at the time. Spoiler alert: I wasnt. Album starts off with White America, and if you don’t think thats the most annoying “chorus” you’ve ever heard then I don’t know what to say. Why is he emphasizing America like that? Jesus Christ. Business was the song that stuck out to me back then, and today it’s not terrible in terms of the BEAT. Dre provided the beat and it’s dope, I don’t know what he’s doing with his voice on this album but it’s way more annoying that it has been in the past. Cleaning out My Closet was another big hit and as I already mentioned, he fucking sucks at hooks. Why are you singing this and why are you still crying about your fucking mom. Grow the fuck up.
Square Dance had potential I guess but his white hillbilly impersonation during the chorus is irritating as hell. Next few songs are completely forgettable except for Drips featuring Obie Trice, which is only unforgettable because of how stupid of an ode to STD’s it is. Next up is another humorous radio hit, which again, is what he’s best at even though I would never go out of my way to listen to it. Sing for the Moment ruins a perfectly fine Aerosmith hook and Hallie’s Song has him fucking singing on it. Not like he does with his shitty hooks but singing a ballad on it. It’s almost as unenjoyable as Kim was. We’re finally at the back stretch of this album and we have D-12 on When the Music Stops, which is whatever and then Dre on Say What You Say which again was just whatever. If you have ears or have ever attended a sporting event you’ve heard Till I Collapse. No disrespect to the late great Nate Dogg but I’ve always found this bland, and Eminems rapping makes this song Lose Yourself lite, which sucks because Lose Yourself is fucking horrible. Finally the last real song, My Dad’s Gone Crazy and what do you know I actually fucking like it. Why you ask? Because it’s a fucking comedy track and thats what he’s good at. So once again if you’re keeping track, thats ONE song I enjoy on this supposedly classic album and it’s a goofball track.
This one drew the ire of even his die-hard fans. I was in college when this dropped and I remember people having arguments as to whether this was dope or not. Let’s see what the Boog thinks in 2020. So on an album many people to consider his worst or his downfall, we’re off to a bad start Evil Deeds sucks. However, we go into Never Enough with 50 Cent and Nate Dogg which wasn’t terrible, Yellow Brick Road was surprisingly decent and then Toy Soliders, which I hate the chorus I always have (I hate the original song by Martika) but this actually surprised me as I enjoyed the introspective lyrics of him reflecting on his career and shitty decisions. The start to his worst album has honestly been more enjoyable than his others. Can this keep up the pace??? No of course it can’t because next we go into Mosh which is a shot at George Bush and then we go into Puke which is laughably bad. It’s another song dedicated to Kim about how she makes him want to puke. What a fucking loser, go get laid you crybaby weirdo. Imagine being Hailey and having to listening to your loser dad crying about your mom making him want to puke, good god. The next few songs are equally as bad, so it can only get at some point right? Wrong. Big Weenie might be the worst song he’s ever done. It may take the Kim crown. This is a diss track towards Benzino and the lyrics are and I quote “You walk around and say all kinds of really mean things about me, cause youre a meanie. When you say these mean things cause it’s too easy to see you’re just a really big weenie”. Holy shit I’m crying laughing. Grown ass man calling someone a weenie in a serious diss track. If you think this guy is the greatest rapper of all time, think about Biggie, Pac, Nas, Jay z, Kool G Rap, Kane, Rakim, KRS. Did they ever release a track calling another man a weenie? No they didn’t, so you can’t place this guy above them ever. EVER. I literally paused the album after this because I was too thrown off by this song.
The album continues in this line of suckage as it has Just Lose It which was a terrible attempt as his previous radio hits and then Ass Like That which somehow against all odds, almost matches the terribleness of Big Weenie. Finally it mercifully ends with Encore/(Curtains) which has Dre and 50 and is a fucking welcoming song. In fact I want to call it great after everything else I just heard. This also has more enjoyable tracks than his previous album to me, which is insane because it has some of the worst songs I’ve ever heard.
THE KING IS BACK BABY. After a 5 year hiatus Em got himself clean and this is his triumphant comeback. Starts off with Dr. West skit and all jokes aside this might be the only skit I’ve ever enjoyed by him. Hopefully that means the rest of the album is just as glorious. We have 3 AM which all I remember about it is KRS One giving it huge praise so let’s see what is about. Holy shit. I forgot that he started doing a jamaican accent. This is like Tom Hanks idiot son at the Golden Globes awards type accent. Also this song fucking sucks. This beat is actually good, and worth noting that Dre produced almost this entire album, but my god what a waste of a beat, especially if you’re going to rap like that. At some point we have to start blaming Dre too. How do you hear that and be like yeah that’s the jam. Take your beat elsewhere Dre and stop encouraging this. Next up, My Mom. Getting clean didn’t make him stop crying about his mom. We get it Marshall, we fucking get it. Insane, a song about being raped by his step dad. Sure he’s not the first to make a song about this, looking at you Korn, but imagine throwing this on. Like even by yourself in your car. Get the fuck outta here. Bagpipes from Baghdad starts off the Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon feud. Can you imagine being around a coworker who vehemently drags any girl who ever touched their dick because they are so insecure? That’s what listening to Eminem is. The most frustrating part about this album is Dre’s beats are pretty damn good, good thing he decided to try this shitty accent over them. Luckily we get to Old Time’s Sake- Dre raps and the beat is hot, of course Em is ruining it with that SHITTY FUCKING ACCENT on his verses. If you focus on the beat and Dre’s verses though this song is the most enjoyable. I havent commented on this on the prior albums but all of these are seventy fucking minutes plus too. It is exhausting. Beautiful is 7 minutes long and a chore to get through. Imagine taking uplifting advice from the guy who threatens his baby momma and his mom on every album. I wish the next song Crack a Bottle with Dre and 50 was better but it fell short, although it could have to do with how exhausted I am after finishing Beautiful. The album closer Underground is another 6 minute plus song which thankfully he decided to stop using the shitty accent on. Doesn’t mean the song is good, and the chorus is headache inducing, but that was at least nice of him. Great comeback album, there was only 1 song I didn’t hate.
He wasted no time after his comeback, releasing this a year later. There are no beats by Dre on this one so it should be real fun. Cold Wind Blows starts off with him singing, and I’m honestly curious if he’s going to bring back the accent on this one. It doesn’t, but it starts with “You can get the dick, just call me the ballsack, I’m nuts” Think about that and then think about the fact that people say he’s the greatest of all time. “I’ll kick a bitch in the cunt til it makes a queef and sounds like a fucking whoopee cushion” He was 38 when he wrote that. I’m on track two and already looking at how much time is left on the album. Whats that say? 70 more fucking minutes, Jesus. I’m at the fourth song Won’t Back Down featuring Pink and this has to be the most dull album I’ve ever heard. His lyrics are juvenile and the beats are trash, I’d honestly rather relisten to Encore because at least I was laughing out loud during it. Case in point the next song W.T.P. in which he’s rhyming about things that make a white trash party. It has to be one of the most pointless songs ever made. Next track is Going Through Changes, which samples Black Sabbath’s Changes. Black Sabbath is my favorite band of all time, and Changes always has and always will be fucking dogshit. It’s the only reason I don’t rate their Vol. 4 album as five stars. So you can imagine how I feel about this fucking song sampling it. Next is the cornball anthem of the decade- Not Afraid. If you’re 12 and this song hypes you up fine, I’m cool with it, but when you’re mid 30’s you’re honestly an asshole. No Love starts with a sample of Haddaway- What is Love. If he listened to my advice and was a comedy rapper then we could have some Night at the Roxbury shit, but no he’s trying to make this into a serious jam. We got Weezy F baby and the F is for fuck outta here with that opening verse. It sounds like he recorded it lying down. At least to start, he picks up speed/wakes up towards the end of it. This collab could have been interesting but alas it stinks. I’m listening in real time as I write this and nothing has stuck out after No Love except for how annoying the chorus to Cinderella Man was. We get to Love the Way You Lie which I’ve heard 100 times against my will. I’ve always thought it was generic pop bullshit including Rihanna’s hook and nothing as changed with this listen. The penultimate track is a tribute to Proof, and this may sound insensitive but honestly thank God he’s not here to hear it. Eminem singing the hook is the most grating shit I’ve ever heard. It’s a shame he ruined the Cry Little Sister sample from The Lost Boy’s that he threw in there as well. Absolutely terrible. There’s an untitled hidden track because that’s what all 77 minute albums need, I see Havoc from Mobb Deep had his hand in producing this, but it was a completely irrelevant listen. There is not one song on this I could give praise to.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013)
Oh a sequel, who doesn’t like a sequel? And it’s to what is generally agreed to be his best album, let’s dive in shall we. For starters it’s another album with a 78 minute runtime. This is really starting to get on my fucking nerves. The first track is 7 minutes long and it’s a sequel to Stan. It’s not the worst thing I’ve heard him do since he returned, so that’s good I suppose. Rhyme or Reason samples The Zombies- Time of the Season so it raises the question: which white rapper flipped that sample better Eminem or Necro? The answer is somehow Necro because Eminem decides to fucking sing the hook instead of letting The Zombies do it, while changing the words. This also isn’t the last time he pulls this bullshit on this very album. Next few songs are generic par for the course Eminem and nothing at all stood out to me. We get to Berzerk, which like the aforementioned Rhyme or Reason samples Billy Squire’s- The Stroke but Em decides to “sing” over it. By sing I mean scream, this whole song is mostly yelling and it was giving me a headache. Next is Rap God which most people know. Again I never fucked with it because I don’t fuck with Eminem but it’s really not bad. It’s no doubt the highlight on this. Stronger Than I Was is this albums laugh out loud moment. Who the fuck told this guy he could sing, and I don’t even mean singing the hooks to the songs, he is singing a love ballad here. This is worse than Hallie’s song. Absolutely unlistenable. The Monster was another radio hit featuring Rihanna, I find it much more pleasant than Love the Way You Lie but its a corny pop song. Jesus fucking Christ he’s doing it again. So Far… is a sample of Joe Walsh’s Life’s Been Good but it’s Em singing it. This would actually be a decent sample flip if he wasn’t singing Joe’s part and if the lyrics weren’t so stupid. He even has PSK’s drum breaks on it- what a waste. Love Game featuring Kendrick Lamar samples Game of Love by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and thankfully Kendrick took over the singing of it. It’s a goofy song, I definitely don’t like it but it’s not as miserable as some of the other songs. Headlights featuring Nate Ruess the opposite of Nate’s band. If that went over your head Nate is the singer of the band fun. Finally we are at the end of the album with Evil Twin which is another song I’d never care if I ever heard again. I guess this is better than Recovery and Relapse though, but thats like being proud of a solid bowel movement after days of diarrhea.
I remember when this dropped as my daughter was just born and I was spending the day watching her. I remember being taken aback by the reviews because it was universally shit on and that’s usually something that I would get guff for doing. I remember listening to it to see if this should truly be the one that made everyone turn on Marshall. It was. Welp let’s give it a relisten and let’s look at the run time. 77 minutes, fuck you Marshall. Walk on Water with Beyonce starts it off and it’s so fucking lame. Beyonce’s hook is boring, the piano beat is boring and the lyrics suck. He says he shouldn’t be compared to Nas Rakim Biggie and LL and it’s the most I’ve ever agreed with anything he’s said. Next track Believe is a trap beat with Em slowing down his flow to show his critics something. What he’s showing them I don’t know, but maybe instead of slowing down his flow he should have stopped fucking singing his hooks. My god this has been a miserable experience. Also the first two tracks on this are so fucking boring I want to bow out, even though I know theres only 2 albums left. I looked down to see what the third song was and how long it’s been on for and realized its still Believe. Unreal. Well when the third one finally came on its just as stupid- Chloraseptic is him calling out modern rappers while over a modern beat. I remember this song sucking so bad that he had to release a remake of it to show his critics wrong. “She makes iller noises when she’s with me, must be from the Windy City. Pretty apparent, shes a MILF when blowin me” You kidding me? Untouchable is such a mess- using Cheech and Chong’s Earache My Eye should work better but the chorus is such a childish nightmare. It’s easily the best one on the album so far solely because of the beat, but to be clear it’s still unlistenable and way too fucking long. Ed Sheeran is on the next song and it’s about abortion I think. I don’t know all I know is he says “I just shit on my last chick and she has what my ex lacks” and it’s insufferable. Remind Me samples I Love Rock and Roll and it just makes me wish I was listening to Schooly D’s I Don’t Like Rock and Roll. At least that song doesn’t have the line “Your booty is heavy duty like diarrhea”. Like Home is an attack on Trump, not the first time he went at a president see Mosh. Out of the two guys though, Trump and Eminem, it’s been proven that one of them was recorded saying racial slurs. I’ll let you guess what one it was (it’s Eminem). I finally finished and it was the musical equivalent of having my prostate examined. Even as much as I disliked his other work, this is in a league of its own. The flow, the beats, the lyrics, the hooks. It’s its own breed of suck.
This album is 45 minutes long and I’m telling you right now it’s already my favorite of his, based off nothing aside from the length. First song is him whining about people not liking his last album, which leads me to believe he never heard his last album. The beat is pretty brooding and it at least suits him better than anything else I heard from the last 10 years of material. There’s no sung hook though so you know what, this is his best song in 15 years. I can’t believe the next song was produced by Mike Will Made It and he didn’t say “mike will made it” 100 times over it. The hook is same old Em, annoying and grating. This is what people were saying was his triumphant return to form? Sure when comparing to Revival but it’s still the same old bullshit. Remember when he spent the last album dissing modern rap flows? Well track three has Joyner Lucas doing just that. The song is about how Eminem is overlooked in today’s rap scene. I wonder why that might be? Maybe because he says things like “you gotta be so extra like a terrestrial” as he does in the next song, which if the 3000th song he’s had about toxic relationships. I know this may sound crazy, I’m starting to think that you might be the problem in these relationships Em. Stepping Stone is an ode to the demise of his old group D12, and I thought we had finally moved past him singing hooks but surprise it’s back. Not Alike is definitely the best song on this album thus far, Royce kills his verse and the beat is hot. Eminem actually sounds awake which is nice, but he responds to Machine Gun Kelly who disrespected Hailey in a tweet in 2012. Six fucking years before. Nice timely topical diss track there. The slight high from the quality of this track is immediately ruined with the title track and it’s obnoxious chorus. Fall has someone else singing the hook so I’m going to give it praise. I saw alot of people put this on their year end lists as one of the best albums. Did they skip over the song Nice Guy? What a fucking piece of shit that song is. Good Guy is way more pleasant but I can’t stop thinking about how obnoxious Nice Guy was. For real. This album ends with a song from the Venom soundtrack, which is about as enjoyable as the movie was. All that said, its better than Revival is but still only barely so.
Music To Be Murdered By (2020)
He’s back with another surprise album much to my dismay because it means I have to listen to it and I was given no warning to mentally prepare myself. Starts off with him whining about how much he doesn’t care about criticism. You know he’s serious too because why else would you make 10 songs about something unless you didn’t give a shit. I will say the beat by Dr. Dre is good. Next we got Unaccommodating featuring Young M.A. Can Young M.A.’s verse actually be considered rapping? I feel like that just talking. Whatever it is I don’t like it. He links up with Royce again and Royce’s verse is solid per usual, but the chorus is a cure for insomnia AND it’s not even Em ruining it this time. I never thought I’d say this, but that cornball Ed Sheeran would have been better off without Eminem on You Gon’ Learn. His hook was find over that beat. It was Em ruining it with lines like “ Holy Toledo, It’s Miss Ohio”. Everything on this is is dull boring and lifeless with shitty lyrics. Godzilla (RIP Juice WRLD) is somewhat ok, and Yah Yah is the clear highlight. That song has Denaun, Royce da 5’9, Black Thought and Q-Tip on the hook. I will let you figure out why that is the clear highlight. The rest was everything I’ve come to expect. Corny athems, shitty pop rap and forced rhymes.
After all said and done, what an unenjoyable experience. I never thought he was a great lyricist but this run through was worse than I remembered. His defenders often say things like “well he’s a great rhymer”. Yeah, he rhymed orange with door hinge who gives a shit, that doesn’t make it worth while. I’m well aware that music is subjective and hits people differently. I’m also well aware that music helps people in hard times. If you are a fan of Em and his music has helped you that’s great. I’ll never argue the subjectivity of music. I will always argue that there should be a rule when discussing the greatest of all time lists, the number one criteria should be “did they have a song calling someone a big weenie”? If the answer is yes, they should be out of contention.