The return of Eminem

Meant to blog about this a while ago—forgot.

Have been spending much of my driving time listening to new Eminem which, I must say, might even be better than old Eminem.

Not Afraid, the song above, is terrific. Beyond terrific. First, it’s brutally honest and painful about his drug addiction and recivery. Second, Eminem—vocally—sounds like Eminem again. Third, he stopped taking shots at teenage singers—something that got really old.

At his best, Eminem is the elite. He is to hiphop in the 2000s what Chuck Berry was to rock—not the originator of a genre, but someone who took it to a significantly higher level. Plus, I like how Eminem admits that his last CD, Relapse, was mediocre. For a while all my son wanted to hear was Crack A Bottle, the single he released with 50 Cent and Dr. Dre. The song was catchy, moderately funny—and lame. Truly lame.

Now, the guy is back. And as good as ever.

7 thoughts on “The return of Eminem”

  1. Sad state of hip-hop affairs when we have to look towards aging emcees and find glimpses of their greatness. Jay-Z feeds the public generic pop anthems and throw away lyrics although he has reached the upper echelon of live performers. Nas has truly become a political animal but leaves the masses yearning for his Nasty side. And Eminem, well, after Relapse – almost any follow up album was going to be welcomed favorably. I highly doubt he’s anywhere near the caliber of his former self, but I’ll hold on to the flashes of brilliance I spot since there isn’t much else to turn to for a 30 year-old hip-hop fan. I never thought I’d be going to a concert in Yankee Stadium where the average age of the headlining emcees is 39. But then again, I never thought that hip-hop could take it this far.

  2. Hola, Jeff. I’m curious as to how you reconcile your beliefs on gay rights with an admiration for Eminem’s work. Elton John duets, notwithstanding, some of Eminem’s lyrics – admittedly, mostly from early in his career – have been venomously homophobic.

    (FWIW, I’m not “calling you out” or anything. Just wondering.)

  3. Yeah I’ve been hearing great things about this album, so now I will have to pick this one up. “The Marshall Mathers LP” was one of the most best hip-hop releases of all time (and I’m one of those guys who thinks nothing good has come out of rap since the early 90’s) but since “The Eminem Show” he’s been letting me down (we get it you hate your wife and mom, you love your kid, you’re back…again). This sounds like he’s really back to his true form.

  4. Jeff –

    You have to check out JAY ELECTRONICA, the track is called exhibit c. It is lyrically banangoes

    Also check out Three Times Dope. Track called Funky Dividends.

  5. Still need to get around to this and give it a full listen. My roommate plays this non-stop and even got a hold of 2 unreleased tracks left off the album that were really good. Don’t know why they were left off.

    “Marshall Mathers LP” and “Eminem Show” were unbelievable.

    “Encore” was DREADFUL. “Relapse” was disappointing, but Eminem admitted this.

    He’s also come out in favor of gay marriage, if that means anything. Surprised to hear that Elton John himself was the guy to help Em through his addictions.

    Bill Simmons and Chris Connelly had a great discussion about rap artists and dissected Eminem pretty well. Definitely intriguing since he kind of detests the fame (See: “the Way I am”) and is a bit of a recluse compared to others.

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