Album Review | Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP 2

This album was released on November 5th in 2013. It’s the sequel to Eminem’s classic 2000 album, The Marshall Mathers LP. I think this was the second album I ever listened to from Em. I heard it around the time it dropped, and didn’t really care for it overall. There were some good moments on it though, so it’s not a complete dud like his previous few albums. I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy it more now than I originally did, but I should probably still keep my expectations low.


Honestly, this album ended up being about as good as I remembered. I don’t like it. There are some tracks that I enjoy though. I definitely think it’s his best album since The Eminem Show, but I guess that’s not really saying much. It starts off with Bad Guy, which is my second favorite track on the album.

Bad Guy

It’s one of the few songs from this album that I actually liked on my first listen 7 years ago. It’s a sequel to one of the most iconic Hip Hop songs of all time, Stan. I think the first beat from S1 & M-Phazes on this track is pretty solid, but it’s far from amazing; Eminem is really the star of the show here. The song is rapped from the perspective of Stan’s little brother, Matthew. It’s fantastic. The storytelling here is really fucking good, and I think this is a successful sequel to the original song. The story in Stan is more hard-hitting obviously, but I think this track is far more intense sonically, and I don’t really have any issues with it aside from a few corny lines here and there. His flow and delivery at the beginning of the second verse are really corny to me, but overall the verse is great. I even like the sung hook from Sarah Jaffe. The final verse is really where the song reaches its climax. Again, some of the lines are corny as hell, but for the most part I think this shit is absolutely stellar.

So I sneak vengefully, and treat your bedroom window
Like I reached my full potential: I peeked

Rohno

The way he channels his older material, even reverting to a similarly nasally voice that he had on his early work at certain points, is really fucking awesome. That beat switch tho??

My lort

Streetrunner & Vincent Venditto did a fantastic job with that second beat; I fucking love it. I love the maturity Em shows on this track too. He actually acknowledges that his offensive lyrics in his past work were problematic.

I’m the bullies you hate that you became
With every “fa██ot” you slaughtered
Coming back on you, every woman you insult
Batter, but the double-standards you have
When it comes to your daughters
I represent everything you take for granted

I think the song is incredible honestly. I just wish it didn’t end by fading his vocals out, but that’s just a nitpick. Honestly, I’d say I enjoy listening to this more than Stan. I think it’s dope af. The next track is a skit called Parking Lot. I usually don’t like skits on albums, but I have to admit that this one was pretty awesome. It’s a continuation of the bank robbery skit that was on Criminal. The little laugh after he shot the dog was genuinely funny to me. I fuck with this shit, and it transitions into Rhyme or Reason pretty well. I remember thinking this song was okay when I listened to the album the first time. I like it more now though. He fucking killed that first verse. I feel like him rapping as Yoda is either gonna be really cool or really lame depending on your perspective. I think it’s dope as hell though. His flow here is smooth as butter. I think my main issue with this song when I first heard it was the sung hook, but I actually don’t mind it anymore. I don’t think it’s great, but I can tolerate it. The beat from Rick Rubin is dope too. The second verse is dope as hell, and the final verse was really good aside from some corny lines here and there.

Dad, let’s walk
Let’s have us a father-and-son talk
But I bet we wouldn’t probably get one block
Without me knocking your block off, this is all your fault
Maybe that’s why I’m so bananas; I appealed 😏 to all those walks of life

I feel like at this point I should just expect at least one really corny line in every verse from Em. The first verse on this track is the best in my opinion, but that one had some questionable lines in it too. I could’ve done without him referring to himself as “Puke Skywalker.” I like this a lot overall though; it’s really dope. The next track is called So Much Better, and this is the beginning of a long stretch of songs that I don’t like. I’m really not a fan of the beat from Em and Luis Resto, but it’s okay I guess. The first verse is decent; I just don’t care for the content at all. He’s rapping directly toward his girlfriend, who he’s accusing of cheating on him with Drake, Dr. Dre, and Lupe Fiasco. Unfortunately, the sung hook on this track is really fucking bad. It ruins the song for me. I think the second verse is okay; it’s mainly his flow and rhyme schemes that prevent me from calling it bad. Even if the hook and bridge weren’t so bad, I don’t think I’d like this track that much because the content just isn’t very entertaining to me, and, as I kinda said before, I also don’t really like the beat. The third verse was cool I guess. This is just really mediocre to me. The actual rapping is the only aspect of the song that I don’t dislike. I’m never listening to this again though. It’s followed by Survival, which I believe was the second single.

Survival

I listened to it when it was originally released, and I remember thinking it was wack. I really do not like the sung hook from Liz Rodrigues at all. I probably hated this beat when I originally listened to the song, but I don’t really mind it anymore. This song sounds like it was composed with the specific intention of being played in football stadiums. I think the verses are cool though. It’s mainly just the hook that ruins this shit for me; it sounds really fucking bad. The final verse is fine I guess. I don’t know, man… I really just do not like this at all. The production isn’t particularly enjoyable for me, and I hate the hook. The rapping is cool though. Overall, I think it’s a mediocre track, but I wouldn’t say it’s bad overall. However, the next song, Legacy, is most definitely a wack song. This was one of two tracks that I specifically remember really despising when I first listened to this album. I think the beat is pretty nice, and I like the weird vocal filter on Em’s rapping. The first verse is really good too, but Jesus, lord in heaven… That fucking hook from Polina is absolutely unbearable. The second verse is dope too, although the way it ends is a little awkward. I definitely appreciate the personal content, and I think the rapping here is dope—the third verse is great. This hook is fucking horrible though; it completely ruins an otherwise enjoyable song. This shit is really bad to me. The following track, Asshole, suffers from a similar issue. I think the first verse on this song is really fucking good, despite the presence of some corny lines.

It’s like tellin’ Gwen Stefani she sold out
‘Cause I was tryna leave no doubt 😏
In anyone’s mind, one day I’d go down in history

I’m not crazy about the beat though, and that hook from Skylar Grey is fucking God awful. She needs to go fall down somewhere because it’s abhorrent. The second verse is really dope though. The diss towards Asher Roth was interesting. I didn’t know there was some friction between them, but I guess I never really gave a shit about Asher Roth in the first place. The ICP line in the third verse was amazing; that got a genuine laugh out of me, which is rare. This honestly could’ve been a good song, but the atrocious hook completely destroys it for me. Since the rapping is so good, I’m gonna go easy on this song and just call it mediocre instead of wack. It’s followed by the lead single from the album, Berzerk.

Berzerk

I remember really disliking it when it originally came out, and I still do to be honest. There are some things I like about it though, so I’ll start off with the positives. First of all, I actually really like the old school Beastie Boys inspired aesthetic of this track. I never actually liked the Beastie Boys myself, but I was a fan of the hard-hitting production from Rick Rubin, so I like this beat. I also like the single art for this song. That’s uh… That’s kind of it lol. I don’t really like anything else about this track. I think Em’s first verse sucks ass. The way he pronounces certain words is disgusting to me.

I’m ’bout to bloody this track up, everybody get back!
That’s why my pen needs a pad ’cause my rhymes on the ra-haaaaaaggggg!!!

No. The hook on this track is awful too. The second verse is even worse than the first one in my opinion. That Kid Rock interpolation? No. Absolutely not. I like the scratches that come in before the third verse, but the actual verse itself is terrible.

Girl, I ain’t got no money to borrow
But I am tryin’ to find a way to get you alone: car note 😏

What the fuck is with these lame ass bars? I almost feel like he was intentionally trying to say this corny shit, but I don’t know…

Don’t get discouraged, girl
This is your jam, unless you got toe jam

nigga what

Honestly, I think this is one of the worst songs on the whole album. It’s fucking terrible to me. It’s followed by yet another awful single, the notorious Rap God.

Rap God

I remember people losing their minds over this single, and it’s pretty much just because he raps fast lmao. Aside from Em’s flow, pretty much every single aspect of this song sucks ass. The production from DVLP is awful, and I fucking hate the hook. His flow here is so fucking good that you really can’t help but be kind of entertained during the verses though, even if the lyrics are full of completely irrelevant nonsense.

You don’t really wanna get into a pissin’ match
With this rappity brat, packin’ a MAC in the back of the Ac’
Backpack rap crap, yap-yap, yackety-yack

doc rivers

This song is a prime example of what is sometimes referred to as “Jumble Rap.” It’s the “rEaL HiP hOp” fan’s answer to “Mumble Rap,” in which an artist just has to rap quickly to distract you from the fact that they’re really saying nothing at all. The lyrics here are completely devoid of anything clever, interesting, or substantive. This is the equivalent of painting a piece of shit gold. The J.J. Fad reference alone leads into a fast paced flow that white kids across the nation blew their loads over. This shit is wack as hell to me though. I think it’s another one of the worst songs on the album. This shit is terrible. Thankfully, I actually like the song that comes right after, Brainless. I actually think the beat on this track is pretty dope. It definitely sounds a lot like something he would have rapped over back in his prime. The first verse is pretty dope too. The sung hook isn’t great, but I don’t really mind it that much personally. It’s definitely one of the most tolerable hooks on the album in my opinion. I could’ve done without the “pain in the anus” line, but I can look past that. The second verse was cool, but the third one is probably my favorite. I don’t think this song is amazing or anything, but I was just glad to be hearing a song that I actually kinda liked after a stretch of songs that seemed to get progressively worse. I think this is pretty good. Unfortunately, it’s followed by the worst song on the album, Stronger Than I Was. This song is fucking horrible. I have vivid memories of this song from the very first time I listened to the album. He sings throughout almost the entire track, and it’s absolutely unforgivable. Even if his singing was good—which it isn’t—this still wouldn’t be enjoyable for me. This just isn’t the kinda thing I would ever enjoy in any context. This is that super emotional, sappy, Lewis Capaldi type bullshit. Either last year or the year before, Lord Jamar stirred up some controversy when he said that black people don’t listen to Eminem. I think he specifically stated that black people “in the hood” don’t listen to Eminem. Then, Conway the Machine later sat down with DJ Vlad in an interview and confirmed this statement. That was the first thing that came to mind when listening to this song again. Just imagine someone like Conway the Machine listening to this while driving down the street. Just picture that in your head.

Shit Looks Ridiculous

It’s not like this is the worst singing I’ve ever heard, especially from Em, but that’s not saying much. This shit is fucking horrible, and easily the worst song on the album. At least the actual rap verse has a nice flow, but this is still trash. It’s wack af. The next track is another dud called The Monster.

The Monster

This was another big single from this album, and I fucking hate it. I never wanna hear another Rihanna and Eminem collaboration ever again. This is more of that commercialized Pop bullshit that I hated from Recovery. I don’t care for the production or the hook at all. This is basically just a typical Pop song that happens to have Eminem rapping all the verses. The first one is fine I guess. It’s just hard to appreciate the verse on its own when it’s surrounded by so much bullshit. I don’t care for the uncredited vocals from Bebe Rexha at all. I think the rapping is at least average, but I personally hate the second verse. As soon as I heard this motherfucker yodeling I decided that I hated the song. I can’t stand this shit. This is like if Maroon 5 tried to make a Hip Hop song. It’s wack to me. I actually like the following track, So Far… However, I really hate the sung intro on this track. I remember the song well from my first listen 7 years ago though. The first verse is honestly really fucking awesome. I love it. The hook isn’t great, but it’s definitely not bad enough to ruin the song. The second verse is pretty cool, even though it’s shameless “old man yells at cloud” material; at least he’s self-aware here. I kinda hate the sung bridge, but I guess the singing isn’t really that bad. The third verse is awesome. I really love how he’s intentionally painting himself as a pessimistic, misanthropic asshole on this track.

The shit I complain about
It’s like there ain’t a cloud in the sky and it’s rainin’ out

I really could’ve done without the Life’s Been Good interpolations on the intro and bridge, but aside from that I really like this song. I think it’s pretty good. The next track is called Love Game, and I remember being really disappointed in this song the first time I heard the album. I don’t think it’s a bad song at all, but it’s just not the kinda thing I’d ever wanna listen to more than once. It’s a playful, tongue-in-cheek song about relationships and sex. I don’t really like the production at all, and I’m not a fan of the hook either. It’s really just their flows that I like. None of the verses are poorly written or anything; it’s just not really very entertaining to me. I get nothing out of this. I don’t think it’s bad though. It’s just okay to me. The penultimate song is called Headlights.

Headlights

I didn’t like this song the first time I listened to it. I’m still not crazy about the hook from Nate Ruess these days, but I don’t think it completely ruins the song. It’s decent in my opinion. I really love the production, and after listening to the preceding material in Em’s discography, this song is far more emotionally poignant than it could have ever been if this was my first album from him. All the anger and hatred that his previous work exuded makes this song really touching. It’s always really refreshing to get this level of maturity from Em. Here he’s actually trying to look at his whole life from his mother’s perspective and be more understanding.

Regardless, I don’t hate you ‘cause, Ma
You’re still beautiful to me, ‘cause you’re my mom
Though far be it from you to be calm
Our house was Vietnam, Desert Storm
And both of us put together could form an atomic bomb

The second verse is really beautiful too honestly. This shit didn’t make me cry, but I’ll admit that I did start breathing kinda heavily, and if I could relate to this more I probably would have shed a few thug tearz. I think this is actually fucking awesome to be honest. Again, I’m still not crazy about the hook, but the rapping is just way too fantastic for me to not love this. This is dope af. The closing track is called Evil Twin. This is my favorite song from this album, and one of my favorite Eminem songs period. I think this shit is fucking incredible. It has one of the best beats on the album in my opinion from Sid Roams, and Eminem fucking slaughtered it. I love the first verse, and I even like the way his singing sounds on the hook. The second verse is where he really knocks it outta the park though. It includes one of my favorite lines that Em has ever spit in a song.

Fuck top five, bitch; I’m top four
And that includes Biggie & Pac, whore
And I got an evil twin
So who the fuck you think that third and that fourth spot’s for?

OOOOOH

The entire song is boiling hot fiya. I love this shit. It’s dope af to me. 🙂


As I said before, I think this is the best album Eminem has released since The Eminem Show, and I think it’s fair to assume that this is the best album he dropped in the 2010s. I seriously doubt Revival or Kamikaze will be better than this. With that said, I don’t think this is a good album. It’s mediocre to me. I think Em was rapping well for the most part—aside from Rap God & Berzerk; it’s really just the super commercialized, mainstream Pop Rap shit that I can’t stand. A lot of these hooks are atrocious too, but honestly that’s to be expected from Eminem. Even in his prime he had some questionable hooks. As much as I didn’t like this, I still think this is a satisfactory sequel to Em’s best album. It’s about as good as I could’ve hoped for. Honestly, I consider any album from Eminem that isn’t completely wack a success. This album is far more enjoyable than his three preceding albums, as well as either of the D12 albums. I’m sure Em’s hardcore fans were very pleased with this album, even if I don’t think it’s good. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Favorite Song: Evil Twin
Least Favorite Song: Stronger Than I Was

58

Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.

C Minus
Grade: C-

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