Let’s be real… anyone who listens to hip-hop knows who Eminem is. The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP, and The Eminem Show are some of the greatest rap albums of all-time. These albums have made Eminem a legend and they’ve even made him a no-brainer when people think of who the best rapper alive is. Eminem in the 2010’s is an entirely different story. Recovery, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Shady XV, and features on songs, were just disappointing to listen to as an Eminem fan. He started rapping in this angry flow, he collaborated with more pop artists, and has been using more pop-centric production in for his more recent albums.
That’s why when he released that freestyle at the BET awards and attacked Donald Trump, a lot of hip-hop fans thought they were going to have the more focused and driven Eminem again. Revival shows Eminem lyrically sharp as ever and it’s great to hear the rapper address politics again. Unfortunately, Revival is the same Eminem we are used to hearing and it is kind of heartbreaking. The album features many heavy hitters like Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Pink, Kehlani, and Alicia Keys. Yes, these are amazing artists to have on one album together, but the features do not seem to match the tone of the album. Right off the bat, the first song, “Walk on Water,” has Eminem rapping over his crippling self-doubt as Beyoncé sings the hook.
Sadly, the quality of the album goes downhill immediately after that. “Chloraseptic” and “Heat” are just some of the songs where Eminem delivers lines that are just plain corny. “Like your bitch when she gives me brain// Like she thinks I’m dumb” is one of the many lines that are just downright bad. There are many times throughout the album that Eminem uses edgy and outrageous lines that try too hard to sound like they can fit in The Marshall Mathers LP, but instead they seem more like an imitation. He’s 45 years old now and lyrics like those do not provide the same shock value as they did 15 years ago.
The bad outweighs the good on this album, but luckily, Eminem ends the record on a good note. “Castle” and “Arose” are tracks that are vintage Eminem, but in a good way. The beats are solid and they show that he can still tell amazing stories through rap. Did Eminem have to drop a new album and was it as good as some his older work? Take a listen and see for yourself.
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