Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP 2 – review

(Aftermath)

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.

Contributor

Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

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