The Curious Case of Marshall Mathers
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of JayTeeDee individually and should not reflect those of the entire BamaLoveSoul.com staff or affiliates.Every living thing evolves naturally, everything grows and eventually changes into something else, into some new being. We are born, innocent and new to the world, absorbing everything like a sponge. We experience life and those experiences changes and shapes us into the people we are or will eventually become. We learn and grow up, changing for the better sometimes for the bad, but the ultimate goal is progression. Then after we fade off into existence we've hopefully left behind a lasting legacy that will touch many people long after we've gone. That is if our life's work reflects positive progression. Unfortunately that's not the case for Mr. Marshall Mathers. He missed the memo. His change did not come. Sorry Mr. President.
When Emimen first arrived, he was pretty much a stranger in a strange land. He was unlike anything anyone has ever heard or seen before. Before being accepted into the mainstream hip-hop community he had to first prove himself in a field dominated by a group who's image was vastly different from his. Good thing for him he could actually rap, and it didn't hurt that he was cosigned by the the biggest rapper in the game along with the backing of the biggest producer and a living legend. Em made a name for himself and built a respectable catalog of dope, albeit strange songs about popping acid tabs, matricide, uxoricide, homophobia, and animal cruelty that the average Negro probably couldn't relate to but at least the lyrics were tight and it had a good beat. Marshall had the hood shucking and jiving to suicide, rape, torture, and latent homoerotica. And I'm pretty sure a couple of the homies have tried dropping acid after The Marshall Mathers LP.
But over time Marshall started to let go some of that and attempted to change. It was noticeable on his last album before the current album, The Eminem Show, he was evolving. Maybe it was exorcising his personal demons, or reconciling with his family, setting a good example for his daughter or the untimely death of his friend and mentor, Proof. But whatever it was the man was changing. And his music reflected the kind of progression that some of his counterparts like Pac, Big, and Jay did. And had he ended his career with that album he would be remembered as one of the greatest who ever did it. But he had to go and f*ck it up and literally 'Relapse.'
Let me just clarify that this is not a review of the album, I wouldn't dare sully the coveted Headnod scale by wasting it on this tripe. But I will say this... anyone who publicly states that this was in any way a good album is a f*cking idiot!!!
But at least it's aptly titled. 'Relapse' is nothing more than a repeat of the same old dated material repackaged, only this time it's not relevant, not that it ever was. There is no progression here only regression, its f*cking garbage. I literally suffered through it from the very first track and after it was finally over, in what seemed like forever, I was left feeling physically angry. I just wanted to grab the nearest person and shake them violently and scream at them. I probably would have if I wasn't at my office. I don't think that would have went down well with HR. During a time when literally forgetting to put the cover sheet on your TPS report will get your ass drop kicked to the unemployment line. But I digress... My reaction to the album is partly due to my deep emotional connection with the music I listen too and also Marshall's ability to evoke a visceral reaction to his music. But this experience really made me question if I should have ever liked Eminem's music at all. At least with the old stuff I could nod my head, this time I wanted to rip out my eardrums. If I had paid for it I would have shot the cashier for selling it to me.
'Relapse' is exactly why I'm bored with about 90% of so called hip-hop right now. There's no progression, no evolution, no change. Too many artists are recycling old themes and calling it new. How many times can you talk about defiling Mariah and choking your wife. And dude what the hell is up with the homo stuff? Just come out already!!! Anyway I digress (again)... Some artists haven't learned from past mistakes and caught on to the change in times. Its's no wonder more and more people are flocking to new forms of music and embracing artists who before now wouldn't have even gotten a snippet played on SOHH. I respect rappers out there like Drake, The Cool Kids, and LoJ, et.al for bringing something new and different to the game and I wish them success. And I just want to say that I'm so sorry that my homie Asher Roth had the suffer the misfortune of being compared to that parasite.
I don't know why Marshall chose to come back, or why this is the shit that he unleashed onto the public and called it an album. Who knows?! But I do know this is no longer the kind of music I care for anymore. And anyone who does is a f*cking idiot!!! Who knows if he will release anything else, and if this was indeed an actual relapse we can only hope that he goes back into recovery and comes out officially clean. Or just like most addicts who have a hard time coping and let their demons and addictions get the best of them, just kills himself. Figuratively not literally of course, but on the other hand...
I think the album can be summed up best by the Interlude, which when it came on I was shocked amazed that Paul Rosenberg looked into future and read my mind: "Em, I just listened to the entire album... I don't have your back on this one... I can't even f*cking handle it. I'm done!" Now I got to go and try to erase the memory of this experience from my mind so I can continue my own positive progression, maybe rehab will help.
Ok I'm done.