Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP 2 – review


What's the point of Eminem in middle age? He was a peroxide phenomenon in his 20s, an icon of adolescent posturing, the go-to guy for Christina Aguilera insults and casual homophobia, but in 2013, rap is trap and money and molly. Who needs a 41-year-old spitting another revenge fantasy about his mother over plangent piano? With this sequel to his blockbuster third album, however, the rapper has created a work that bears comparison. Not necessarily because it's full of hits – though Rap God, Survival, Rhyme or Reason and Love Game all could be – but because Eminem has engaged with his age and others' scepticism, decided he doesn't give a fuck and asserted himself again. There is confidence and maturity here; introspection and regret are balanced with a clear idea of his place in rap's history. His flows are exceptional (Rap God contains an unbelievable feat of double-time rhyming) and the wordplay dazzling. The jokes, in places offensive, are relentless and ribald. There is no apology, though, no concession; just a considered, virtuoso application of talent.


Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Eminem review – the rap god struggles to generate energy
Throbbing with deviant vitality, the music is as electric as ever but Marshall Mathers’ onstage persona is a long way from his chainsaw-wielding day

Rachel Aroesti

15, Jul, 2018 @12:21 PM

Article image
The woke Slim Shady – understanding Eminem in the age of Trump
Marshall Mathers became a megastar by partly tapping into the same disaffected white rage later mobilised by the ‘alt-right’. But the rapper has made it clear he doesn’t want to share fans with the president. With a new album out soon, can he prosper in an age of conscious protest?

Alexis Petridis

07, Dec, 2017 @12:43 PM

Article image
Summer 2017's hottest pop: with Guns N’ Roses, Nas, Haim, KLF, Eminem and PJ Harvey
Haim ride a sun-kissed wave, MIA raves into Meltdown, Axl Rose does the unthinkable, PJ Harvey pulls on her feathers, Jarvis Cocker reimagines Hollywood – and the KLF write a book

Alexis Petridis

14, Jun, 2017 @5:00 AM

Article image
Eminem: Music to Be Murdered By Side B review – one for the stans
The album’s deluxe version adds an hour of new music rich in dextrous delivery but intent on pushing the same old buttons

Alexis Petridis

18, Dec, 2020 @1:56 PM

Article image
Eminem: his 30 greatest tracks, ranked!
From horrorcore fantasies to soul-searching nightmares, here are the greatest moments from the Detroit rapper’s tumultuous career

Thomas Hobbs

20, Feb, 2020 @1:30 PM

Article image
Eminem launches anti-Trump track Campaign Speech
Rapper releases new track in the hours before the final presidential debate

Guardian music

20, Oct, 2016 @7:41 AM

Article image
Eminem releases Spike Lee video for Headlights
Rapper puts out promo filmed from the point of view of his mother – for US Mothers' Day

Guardian music

12, May, 2014 @8:41 AM

Does Eminem and Rihanna's new video glamorise domestic abuse?

Some bloggers think the video for Love the Way You Lie glamorises violence, while others believe it highlights the dangers of domestic abuse


06, Aug, 2010 @10:05 AM

Dr Dre at 50: NWA, bangers and beef – the moments that made a megastar
He’s the super producer who came straight out of Compton, taught you how to smoke trees and introduced you to OGs Eminem, 50 Cent and Snoop D O double G. As he hits 50, here are 50 reasons why we’ll never forget about Dre

Angus Batey

12, Feb, 2015 @7:00 PM

No: 1671 Eminem
Age : 26.

06, Jul, 2000 @12:46 AM