Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Whether it be as his drug-addled and murder-frenzied alter ego Slim Shady, or as the brooding, serious Marshall Mathers, now-41-year-old rapper Eminem has been able to either create thought-provoking material or mother-shocking bodies of work since he joined the major label rap spectrum in 1999 with The Slim Shady LP and the brutally perfect single “My Name Is.” So it’s hard to figure out what The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is supposed to be. It doesn’t disguise Em’s lyrical flexibility but often loses itself in lengthy, uncreative tirades (opener “Bad Guy”) and out-of-character showoff tracks that adopt ugly modern rap styles and name drops (“Rap God”), to say nothing of “Berzerk,” the manic, Beastie Boys-borrowing single inexplicably killing the charts right now. You can’t say the whole project was a bust; there were still some cool ideas for the aging rap star. But historically speaking, Eminem usually redeems himself with a couple bombshell tracks. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is disappointingly devoid.