BY ISABELLA MARCON
Eminem released his 11th studio album, “Music to be Murdered By,” on January 17, 2020. The album was an unexpected, but much-appreciated album from the Rap God himself. The album not only revisits Eminem’s past experiences, but delves into more contemporary topics.
Throughout the album, Eminem made it clear that although the pain of his past is gone, the scars haven’t faded, referencing many of his past situations with enemies, like he’s done on previous albums. Although taking this route can be seen as an overused escape plan, Eminem succeeds in putting a modern-day twist on most songs with catchy beats. Audiences can reminisce on the nostalgic pleasures of Eminem’s past musical catalog while still being able to enjoy trendy beats.
Eminem starts off his album with an impassioned response to his critics and some of the artists that have targeted him and his lyrics. Eminem dispatches them all with his style, which is a combination of devastating lyrical content paired with unmatched speed.
Eminem then moves on to his next song, “Unaccommodating,” featuring Young M.A., which provides a blend of older and newer rap styles. The third track, “You Gon’ Learn,” is one of my favorite tracks, featuring Royce Da 5′ 9’’ and White Gold. The song talks about growing up as a man in today’s society and the pitfalls that can sidetrack somebody on the road to success.
Eminem’s next track is a short interlude, narrated by black-and-white horror maestro Alfred Hitchcock, which prepares the audience for the horrific and entertaining journey to come in the next tracks. Following this theatrical interlude, Eminem and Ed Sheeran collaborate on the radio-friendly track “Those Kinda Nights.” The song is catchy, and a bit sexist in parts, and doesn’t do much more than to celebrate the excesses of club life.
Audiences can reminisce on the nostalgic pleasures of Eminem’s past musical catalog while still being able to enjoy trendy beats.
The next track sounds like a diary from a mid-life crisis with Eminem’s character torn between the marriage that he’s in and the mistress that he wants to be with. The lyrics are as complicated as the emotions that Eminem is trying to convey, and even though this is not my favorite song, I think it works overall for the context of the album.
This brings us to “Godzilla,” featuring Juice WRLD, which is a beast of a song and a true return to form by Eminem. In one song, Eminem showcases all of his lyrical styles from Slim Shady and Marshall Mathers to the quick and unconquerable Rap God. This song has exploded onto the charts and is already a favorite of Spotify listeners.
The remaining tracks on the album are lyrically strong and will be welcome additions to the Eminem musical discography, but are not nearly as strong as some of the earlier tracks on the album. If “Godzilla” was Eminem’s return to lyrical dominance, “Darkness” is the type of song that stirs up media controversy.
In the past, Eminem has had success generating interest in his music by including references and imagery that disturb conservative audiences, who then take to the media to denounce his work. “Darkness” follows in this tradition by capturing the planning, mindset and execution of one of the deadliest shootings in American history, the Las Vegas Massacre. Like the event itself, the song doesn’t offer any easy answers to the pain and senselessness of the event.
The album concludes with Alfred Hitchcock congratulating the audience on making it through the show and bidding the audience farewell until next time. This is a fitting end to “Music to be Murdered By.”
- Strong lyrical content
- Successful collaboration with new and established artists
- Incorporated rap styles of previous albums
- Some lyrics seemed unnecessarily sexist
- Tried a bit too hard to be controversial
- Might alienate some fans with its imagery
Photo courtesy of Eminem