Album Review | Eminem – Music to Be Murdered By

This album was released on January 17th this year. Honestly, I really don’t have much to say in this preamble before checking the album out. I have zero idea what to expect. All the reception I’ve seen has been very mixed. Most of my friends are saying this album is complete trash, although I don’t really think they like Eminem at all in the first place. I kinda get the impression that they’ll shit on him no matter what he does, but then again a lot of people probably think the same thing about me after the last few reviews I’ve published. I really want to like this album, but I doubt it’ll be good to me overall. I’m sure I’ll like a handful of tracks though. When it comes to Eminem, I think I really shouldn’t take what others say too seriously because they aren’t really a good indication of whether or not I’ll enjoy his work. So yeah. Here we go…

1. Premonition produced by Dawaun Parker, Dr. Dre, Luis Resto & Mark Batson

I actually like the beat on this track a lot. I also don’t mind Nikki Grier’s uncredited vocals on the intro at all; she did her thing. I imagine the biggest issue people will have with this song is that he’s still reflecting on his place in Hip Hop and the reception of his previous couple records, but I don’t really mind it personally. I don’t think it’s fair to say that Em shouldn’t rap about himself as an artist or what others say about him; the issue I had with Kamikaze was the attitude that he had, where he was rapping about how people were dumb for disliking Revival. Here he just comes off frustrated and conflicted because he wants to please everyone, but is unable to satisfy enough of his audience at once. The verse isn’t amazing to me or anything, but I definitely enjoyed it. I think people will also probably criticize some of the similes, which admittedly look kinda corny on paper, but I don’t mind them in the context of the full song.

Only way that you’re ahead of me’s alphabetically
‘Cause if you diss me I’m coming after you like the letter V

If someone like Denzel Curry or J.I.D said this nobody would bat an eyelash. The song isn’t super amazing or anything, but I don’t really have any issues with it. I think it’s dope personally.

2. Unaccommodating featuring Young M.A produced by Eminem & Tim Suby

I know that at one point I considered Young M.A to be a talented rapper, but I can’t remember what I heard that gave me that impression. It was probably a freestyle or something. I’ve tried listening to some of her music, and I haven’t actually been able to get into any of it unfortunately. I probably would’ve listened to an EP, but I couldn’t bring myself to sit through her debut album. I’m glad I didn’t though because her verse here is fucking terrible. If you can’t come correct on a fucking Eminem song, I don’t have much faith in you. Her verse is wack af; her flow and delivery just sound sloppy as hell for some reason. She just feels incredibly out of place alongside Em; it makes no sense. The production from Tim Suby is at least pretty solid I guess. Eminem thankfully killed this shit. I’m sure many people will roll their eyes at the Draino pun, but overall I think his first verse is fantastic. I love the lines about the MGK diss.

When they ask me “is the war finished with MGK?” Of course it is
I cleansed him of his mortal sins
I’m God, and the Lord forgives even the devil worshippers; I’m moving on
But you know your scruples are gone when you’re born with Lucifer’s horns

A lot of my friends seemed to be really offended by the reference to the terrorist attack that happened at the Ariana Grande concert a few years back, but I don’t really get why. I mean, yeah it was a sad event that resulted in innocent people dying, but it’s not like Em is the only rapper to reference something like that. No one should really be surprised by it either. I don’t mind rappers referencing the Columbine massacre—Eminem literally did it himself—and I personally don’t think it’s too soon for this line, but that’s just me. I’m not gonna tell people they shouldn’t be offended because that’s not my place. I personally don’t have any issues with it at all though. Overall, I’m not really a fan of the song, but I don’t think it’s bad at all. I think the hook is fine, and I like Em’s verses. If the production was better I might like this. The one aspect of the song that really prevents me from returning to it is the Young M.A feature. She ruined this song in my opinion. I have no idea why she’s here because she doesn’t fit at all. It’s just a very awkward collaboration in my opinion; they have zero chemistry. The song is okay to me overall though.

3. You Gon’ Learn performed by Bad Meets Evil featuring White Gold produced by Eminem, Royce da 5’9″ & Luis Resto

This track easily has the best hook up to this point on the album in my opinion. White Gold did a great job with it. If this was any other artist, I’d probably say this hook is “pretty decent,” but for an Eminem album this is amazing. Royce absolutely destroyed that first verse too.

I’m a product of properly hoppin’ up out of that poverty
Profitin’ all for coppin’ and swappin’ that property out for a possible monopoly
Try not to adopt my father’s old philosophies
Same time I’m prayin’ to God that everything works out at his colonoscopy

His production on this track is really fucking nice as well. As a matter of fact, I genuinely think that it’s better than both of the preceding instrumentals. Eminem slaughtered that final verse too. Once again, he has some lines that look corny on paper, but they don’t stick out too much when you listen to the song. The Checkers & Rally’s line was fire, and the subliminal shot at Tee Grizzley was dope. This is easily the best song on the album up to this point. It’s dope af.

4. Alfred (Interlude) produced by Briss, Dawaun Parker & Dr. Dre 

This is actually a really cool interlude in my opinion. It’s not really a skit; it’s basically an intermission in which Alfred Hitchcock himself says “You’re listening to Music to Be Murdered By.” I wouldn’t argue with someone who said it was pointless, but I think it’s cool.

5. Those Kinda Nights featuring Ed Sheeran produced by Eminem, Fred again.. & D.A. Doman

This is the first major dud on the album in my opinion. This shit is bad. This is pretty much just Eminem making a D12 song without D12. I hated both of the D12 albums, so I guess it makes sense that I don’t care for this at all. The club-oriented production is really bad to me, and the content is super lame. The corny bars are far less forgivable on a song like this. They’re easier to stomach when they’re surrounded by dope shit, like on the previous few tracks. The only remotely enjoyable aspect of this song is Em’s flow. Ed Sheeran’s hook on this song is fucking God awful. Why does Em keep working with this dude? I fucking hate Ed Sheeran, man. The third verse on this song reaches Hopsin levels of terribleness. This is legitimately one of the worst songs I’ve heard so far this year. I think it’s wack af.

6. In Too Deep produced by Eminem & Tim Suby

This song has another relatively Pop-influenced instrumental, but it’s actually good; I like the beat a lot. The content of this song unfortunately doesn’t interest me at all though. It’s yet another song about an unstable romantic relationship. I don’t think Em did a bad job with it, but it’s just not the kinda thing that holds my attention. The uncredited vocals from Sly Pyper on the hook actually sound pretty good to me. I feel like this is a very accessible song that a lot of people will probably really like and appreciate. I don’t think it’s bad at all; nothing about it really bothers me that much. It’s just not my cup of tea personally. It’s decent, but I won’t be returning to it.

7. Godzilla featuring Juice WRLD produced by Eminem & D.A. Doman

I feel like this kinda beat would normally be really boring to me, but the way Em flows over it keeps it interesting for me. Eminem actually killed this shit too. I thought Juice WRLD’s music was terrible personally, but I don’t mind him too much on this hook; it’s certainly better than anything Em could’ve done himself. Em gets bonus points for namedropping a medication that I used to take in the second verse. The ridiculously speedy flow on the final verse of the song is admittedly very masturbatory, and a good amount of the lines are pretty corny, but uh… I don’t really care lol. That shit sounds dope to me. This is definitely one of the most enjoyable songs on the album for me; I think it’s dope af.

8. Darkness produced by Eminem, Luis Resto & Royce da 5’9″

I love the beat on this track, and I actually like the sung hook from Em a lot too. Honestly, this song is fucking amazing to me. I think it’s one of the best songs I’ve heard all year, as well as the best song Eminem has released in probably over a decade. This isn’t the kinda song I think of when people evoke Eminem as an artist these days. This is an incredibly well written song; the narrative isn’t overtly cartoonish and over the top. It’s a genuinely serious and thought-provoking song about the deadly shooting that took place in Las Vegas a few years ago. The tone of the track is very solemn and gloomy. It’s a legitimately poignant and powerful song that highlights how dreadful the gun crisis in the United States is. There aren’t any eye roll inducing puns or dad jokes in this song. The somber production from Royce is wonderful, and I even love the music video. Again, I think this song is amazing, and I have no issues with it at all. I genuinely didn’t want it to end the first time I heard it because I was enjoying it so much. I think it’s incredible.

9. Leaving Heaven featuring Skylar Grey produced by Eminem & Skylar Grey

I kinda like the production on this track, and I even like the first verse from Em despite a few corny lines here and there. The hook from Skylar Grey completely ruined this song for me though. I guess the second verse is okay, but it has a lot of lines that are even cornier than any of the ones in the first verse in my opinion.

Life is like a penny ’cause it’s only one percent
Who overcome the shit they’ve underwent
I went AWOL like what my back was up against

I at least liked his flow at the very end of the verse. The hook just feels a bit too over the top in my opinion. I don’t think it fits very well. I saw someone say that Eminem & Skylar Grey collabs are better than Eminem & Ed Sheeran songs; I mean, I guess that’s true, but it’s not really saying much. That’s like saying lethal injection is preferable to getting your skin shaved off and having a giant wooden stake shoved up your ass. This song is very frustrating because I actually really love the final verse in which he asserts malice towards his deceased deadbeat father. The emotion genuinely hits home. Overall, the song is just okay to me. I probably would’ve liked it if not for the hook.

10. Yah Yah performed by Bad Meets Evil featuring Black Thought & Q-Tip produced by Mr. Porter

This is clearly the most exciting song in the track listing due to the features. I really like how energetic the production on this track is. I feel like I haven’t heard Royce rap with this aggressive, super energetic, over the top kind of delivery in a long ass time. I like the Woo Hah!! sample on this song a lot. Royce’s verse was great, and I like Q-Tip’s hook a lot too. Black Thought fucking murdered the second verse; that shit was amazing.

I’m so stubborn, the government won’t govern
That brother you spoke of, it just wasn’t as dope, was it?
I’m cold buzzin’, I never been low budget
The taste of your own medicine, here come a dose of it

His flow and delivery are always so cold, man. The final verse from Em was really great too. Yes, he had some corny lines in there, but overall I really enjoyed it. I think he sounds great over this beat. I really love this track a lot. The only slight disappointment I have is that Mr. Porter didn’t have a verse. I honestly have no idea why he’s credited as a feature because to my knowledge all he did was the production. However, it’s possible that he had some ad-libs. Aside from that tiny nitpick, I think the song’s fucking awesome; I love it. This shit is dope af.

11. Stepdad (Intro) produced by Dr. Dre

This track isn’t really worth discussing since it’s just audio of an abusive stepdad being a cunt and beating the shit out of a little boy. I don’t know why it’s separated from the following track.

12. Stepdad produced by Eminem, Luis Resto & The Alchemist

I kinda like the content of this song. It’s cool to hear Em go into detail about his shitty stepdad. The production from The Alchemist is kinda disappointing, but I like the first verse. However, the hook on this song is fucking God awful. Even if Em’s singing wasn’t terrible, it still wouldn’t be good because the melody just isn’t very enjoyable. The second verse has that awful euthanasia bar, which is already infamous at this point. The final verse in which he fantasizes about murdering his step dad is kinda cool I guess. This shit is not good though. I kind of enjoyed two out of three of the verses, but the beat is not very good, and the hook is fucking horrible. I think the song is pretty terrible, although it’s not the worst track on the album in my opinion. However, I’d understand if someone said this was their least favorite track. It is wack as hell.

13. Marsh produced by Eminem & Luis Resto

The beat on this track kinda sounds like what I’d hear if I searched YouTube for “Eminem Type Beat,” but it’s not really bad I guess. Eminem’s really desecrating my name with this horrible song. I think this is one of the worst songs on the album. The first verse is tolerable aside from that terrible batshit line.

It’s time to go batshit
Like you accidentally ate a Louisville slugger and crapped it

That’s one of the worst lines on the album in my opinion. The hook is really bad too. He’s singing with autotune, and it just sounds really awkward to me. The second verse was okay aside from the guillotine line. The third verse is terrible though. It’s borderline Revival levels of bad.

Now they call me “butterfingers” ’cause I just keep droppin’ shit

There are so many bad lines in the song, it’s fucking ridiculous.

I get dough like Ed Sheeran, so call me the ginger bread man

The Beavis & Butthead impression was painful.

I look up to myself like a fucking headstand

The other songs had a lot of corny lines, but this is just difficult to stomach.

How could I hit a dry spell? I’m named after the wetlands

I really do not like this song one bit. I think it’s dogshit.

14. Never Love Again produced by Dawaun Parker, Dem Jointz, Dr. Dre, Eminem & Trevor Lawrence Jr.

I think this is an okay song, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like an essential track that absolutely needed to make the cut. I like the content of the song, and I think the verses are all well written. The hook kinda sucked to me at first, but it eventually grew on me as the song progressed. I think Em’s singing sounds pretty bad, but the melody is pretty good in my opinion. The way he’s using an abusive relationship as a metaphor for his drug addiction is kinda cool, albeit unoriginal at this point. Nothing about this song stands out as being particularly terrible in my opinion, but it just doesn’t have any replay value for me. Maybe if the production was more interesting I’d come back to it. I think it’s decent overall, but I’m not gonna be listening to it again in the future.

15. Little Engine produced by Dawaun Parker, Dr. Dre, Blu2th & Trevor Lawrence Jr.

I like the sinister production style on this track a lot. The first verse is okay; it just has a few too many corny lines for me honestly. I have no idea what the fuck Em was thinking with that hook though. It’s terrible. I don’t think it’s the worst on the album, but that just makes it sadder to be honest. It’s really bad. The second verse is kinda cool aside from a few lines here and there. The final verse sucks ass though. Man, this is really unfortunate. This song made me so unhappy because I really wanted it to be good. I think the production’s dope, and I’m not completely against the idea of Eminem doing Horrorcore. It’s just that whenever he does it he has to make it super over the top and corny. This shit is terrible to me.

16. Lock It Up featuring Anderson .Paak produced by Dawaun Parker, Dem Jointz, Dr. Dre, Blu2th & Trevor Lawrence Jr.

I really like the first verse on this song from Anderson .Paak, and I think the production here is pretty solid too. The second verse from Em is cool, although it makes me sad that Joe Budden & Eminem are beefing, mainly because I feel like this is the reason Slaughterhouse will never get back together. I got nervous when the hook was about to come on because it sounded like Em was gonna do it himself and ruin the song, but I was relieved when Anderson .Paak ended up doing it. It isn’t amazing or anything, but it’s pretty solid. The final verse from Em is cool. I like this track, but nothing about it really stands out enough to blow me away. It’s a good track, but not a favorite of mine.

17. Farewell produced by Eminem & Ricky Racks

I don’t like this Reggae-inspired beat at all. This is unfortunately yet another song about how Eminem is bad at relationships. I really don’t know why the fuck he keeps making this song over and over again. Do people really have that much interest in Em’s love life? The sung hook on this track sucks. The verses aren’t terrible, but I just don’t care about them at all. I have no interest in anything Em’s saying here. This shit is wack to me.

18. No Regrets featuring Don Toliver produced by Eminem & D.A. Doman

I really do not like the hook on this track from Don Toliver at all. I suppose it’s better than anything Em could’ve done himself though. The first verse was pretty good. The production’s alright I guess. I like the second verse a lot though. It was cool to hear him talk about his actual regrets here, despite the title of the song. He goes in about how he kinda fucked up by dissing Tyler & Earl. I was really torn on this song at first, but I ended up deciding that it was pretty good. It’s far from a favorite of mine since I don’t really like the hook that much and I’m not crazy about the production, but the verses were enjoyable to me. The song’s pretty cool.

19. I Will performed by Bad Meets Evil featuring Crooked I & Joell Ortiz produced by Eminem & Luis Resto

I was pretty excited to see this song on the album, although it’s bittersweet without Joe Budden here. I actually kinda like the sung hook from Eminem on this song. The first verse from Royce is glorious. Well, they’re all glorious. I feel like each verse just got better and better. Crook & Joell both annihilated this song, and Eminem obliterated it too. I love how Em dissed Lord Jamar’s dumb ass. Lord Jamar’s bitter reaction towards getting murdered by Em has been sad to watch. Dude is literally in denial and projecting all his feelings onto Eminem, talking about how he lives “rent free” in Eminem’s head, yet Jamar is the one constantly talking about him in interviews. Anyway, this is another one of the best songs on the album. I think it’s amazing. This shit is dope af.

20. Alfred (Outro) produced by Briss, Dawaun Parker & Dr. Dre

This is Alfred Hitchcock pretty much just saying “it’s over now, thanks for listening.” I think it’s a cool way to close the album. I don’t really feel like the music on this album fit into the Hitchcock theme unfortunately, but the aesthetic was cool.

This album isn’t good, but I will say that I think this is better than anything Eminem released last decade. I also think it’s the best solo album he’s released since The Eminem Show. It’s really a mixed bag, but there’s a lot less unforgivable material here than there has been on most of Em’s other stuff. I really wanted this album to be good, and I’d say that I’m satisfied since it’s better than I was expecting. I don’t know if he’ll ever make a good album again, but I’m just happy that this album isn’t complete trash. His albums have been slowly improving ever since 2017, so maybe by 2025 we’ll have another good project from him. Anyway, there are a few issues I have with this album in particular. First of all, I should get the most obvious, glaring issue out of the way. These hooks… They’re not good… Well, I shouldn’t say that. Some of them are cool. This is an issue that’s persisted throughout Eminem’s entire career though, and it’s frustrating that they’ve only gotten worse over time. Eminem needs to figure that shit out. This is one of the main reasons people always compare him to Hopsin. It seems like whenever either of them is on the verge of making something dope, they sabotage their own material with an unbearable hook. This album still has the issue of corny lines that plagued Eminem’s previous projects, but they’re not quite as abundant here in my opinion. Aside from that, my other main issue was the thing I mentioned about the closing Alfred Hitchcock skit. I don’t really think Em did a good job of applying the theme to the actual music. He posted this unnecessary disclaimer on Instagram about how this album is “not for the squeamish,” but barely any of these songs even qualify as Horrorcore. Why is he warning listeners about his Ed Sheeran & Skylar Grey collabs? I think what Em needs to do is stop trying to please everyone. He just needs to make music for himself again, rather than for his audience. It seems like he’s trying too hard to impress others rather than just have fun doing what he loves. I could be misreading this album, but that’s the impression I got. With all that said, I do think this album has some of the best material Em’s put out in about two decades, and I’m hoping his next project will be even better. Em’s fans will most likely love this. It’s an okay album.

Favorite Song: Darkness
Least Favorite Song: Marsh


Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.

C flat
Grade: C

Tell me if I'm trippin'

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s