Eminem proves seniority with ‘MMLP2′

File photo.
File photo.

This year has certainly been a good year for returning rap artists. With Kanye West’s “Yeezus” and Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta… Holy Grail,” Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP 2” marks yet another middle-aged rap artist producing an astounding rap album. Released Nov. 5, “MMLP2” debuted at No. 1 of the Billboard 200 albums chart and earned the second-largest sales week of the year. The official sales number will not be announced until Nov. 13 but it is projected to sell 750,000 copies by Nov. 10.

Executively produced by Rick Rubin and Dr. Dre, “MMLP2” will be Eminem’s seventh consecutive No. 1 album and eighth studio album.

Four songs were released off the album prior to its release: “Berzerk,” “Survival,” “Rap God” and “The Monster,” which features Rihanna. These four songs gave a diverse preview of the album.

As for the title of the album, it is a sequel to Eminem’s third studio album released in 2000, “The Marshall Mathers LP.” “MMLP2” revisits the topics brought up in “MMLP,” such as the relationship with his mother, revenge and heartbreak. The demons from his past seem to still haunt him and he takes out his frustrations on them, making them his muse.

“When I was making records, I would just take my frustrations out about that. I mean…here it is 2013 and I still don’t really have a total grasp on it yet and understand it,” Eminem told Billboard.

“MMLP2” received four out of five stars from the Rolling Stone review which said it was “the kind of sequel that gets people shouting at the screen in disbelief before their seats are warmed up.”

A few highlights from the album consist of the tracks “Bad Guy,” “Rap God” and “Love Game.”

The album opens with “Bad Guy,” which relates back to the 2000 “MMLP” hit song, “Stan.” Eminem raps through the voice of Stan’s younger brother who takes his revenge on Eminem for, in his mind, causing Stan’s death.

The ninth track on the album, “Rap God” received much attention after being released as a single prior to the album. Eminem delivers high speed and lyrically genius rhymes in this chorus-less song. It is very reminiscent of pre-“Recovery” Eminem and is about how he is still the king of the game.

Another highly anticipated track on the album, “Love Game,” featured Kendrick Lamar. At first listen, this light-hearted song sounds very different from the rest of the album, but Eminem brings out an uncharacteristically comical side of Lamar in this song about the ups and downs of the game of love.

Lamar is the only other featured hip-hop artist on the album. Other featured guests include Rihanna, Nate Ruess from Fun. and Skylar Grey, Eminem’s female protegee.

Eminem samples older songs in many of his songs such as The Zombies’ “Time of Season”  and Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders’ “Game of Love.” Rolling Stone’s review says of the album, “much of the album hews to the stark beats and melodies he loves rapping over. But the tracks that lean on classic rock are loopy and hilarious.”

Even at age 41, Eminem still proclaims rap dominance. He shows this in many of the tracks, such as “Brainless,” “Evil Twin,” “Survival” and “Rap God.” In “Rap God,” Eminem states that, “But look at the accolades these skills brung me. Full of myself, but still hungry, I bully myself cause I make me do what I put my mind to and I’m a million leagues above you, ill when I speak in tongues.”

Eminem puts his money where his mouth is and many can argue that he is still at the top of the rap game.

This article draws information from Billboard and Rolling Stone.