Eminem’s new album has audiences searching for hidden gems

Leo Friedman

Without warning, Eminem released his 11th studio album, “Music To Be Murdered By,” earlier this month. Not straying too far from his true brand, Eminem sticks with his style of horrorcore rap with fast rhymes on sinister-sounding beats.

The project has 20 tracks, some of them very memorable and some of them completely forgettable. Even for having some songs that go by the wayside, the album actually has some impressive features, like Anderson .Paak and the recently deceased Juice WRLD. Eminem also has a song on the project where he raps faster than he’s ever rapped before, coming in at 10.93 syllables per second, an impressive feat to say the least.

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“They say my last album I sounded bitter/ No, I sound like a spitter/ Who 90% of/ These hypocrites are tryna get rid of,” Eminem raps on the opening song of the album, “Premonition – Intro.”

This song is set to a typical Eminem beat with Halloween-sounding synths and a good drum line. This track focuses on a typical Eminem theme: having a chip on his shoulder and feeling like critics and fans always have a problem with his music. It’s a good track, as it brings the listener back to old-school Eminem, like “The Eminem Show.”

“You Gon’ Learn” features a more trap-style beat, much more akin to new-style Eminem. However, it features a classic Eminem associate, Royce Da 5’9”, which is nice to see in 2020. Eminem’s humorous wordplay is notable on the track, but otherwise, it doesn’t really feel like an important song that needed to be there. It feels like a more traditional Eminem beat would have fit Royce Da 5’9″ better.

Eminem raps about toxic relationships on “In Too Deep” to an almost angelic beat. The subject of uncomfortable relationships is something Eminem has done before, yet his lyrics are lighter than usual, and this track is a nice break from a lot of the jealous anger we hear in Eminem’s other lyrics. Still, even with good lyrical quality, the song falls flat and doesn’t feel connected to the album. This is, unfortunately, the case with a lot of his songs on this project.

“Music To Be Murdered By” can be streamed on Apple Music and Spotify.

The next song, “Godzilla,” is Juice WRLD’s first posthumous feature, and it does not disappoint. This song is a classic fast-rapping Eminem banger much like “Rap God,” which is clearly the highlight of the album.

Both rappers compare themselves to monsters on the album. Both artists rap “You get in my way, I’ma feed you to the monster, yeah/ I’m normal during the day, but at night, turn to a monster, yeah” on the chorus.

“Stepdad” is a song with Eminem doing what he loves: shaming people who have harmed him. Eminem raps “I, I hate/ My, my stepdad” on the chorus over a looping guitar beat, and he details the abuse he and his mother experienced from his stepdad.

Even though Eminem has started to make more positive music, he hasn’t spared everyone associated with his problems in the past. This song was a really nice throwback to Eminem’s angry, passion-filled songs of the past.

Eminem is either raging at addiction or an ex-partner on “Farewell,” depending on how you listen to it. Eminem raps “Yeah, it’s kinda like we’re tryna light a dynamite stick/ Though we might get along like sh*t/ Fight, hit, bite, spit, unite, split/ Yeah, you’re awful, but you’re mine.”

Over a light synth beat with a strong drum line, Eminem outlines a lot of his insecurities and struggles with whoever the relationship is with. While the subject is indeed vague, the last verse contains the line “Guess I’m a prisoner, see, addiction is a disease,” which follows a constant theme of Eminem feeling stuck because of his struggles with addiction.

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While this project definitely has some standouts, many songs fall into obscurity simply because the album is too long. The songs also don’t feel connected, with Eminem exploring a lot of themes. It’s certainly clear Eminem is past his prime and that this album isn’t even close to a great album, but the funny Eminem wordplay and good features make up for that a little bit. 

  • Score: 6/10
  • Best songs: “Godzilla,” “Stepdad”
  • Worst songs: “Darkness,” “You Gon’ Learn,” “In too Deep,” “Little Engine”

 

Leo Friedman can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @leofriedman13