Eminem continues his streak of horrible albums with his newest surprise release.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the public that Eminem is the greatest rapper alive. On Music To Be Murdered By, his latest offering since 2018’s Kamikaze, the Detroit-based edgelord tries to maintain his relevance by rapping fast and recruiting modern producers.
To the chagrin of my ears, Eminem has somehow managed to top Kamikaze’s awful raps by including some of the worst bars ever written (But I’m contemplating yelling “Bombs away” on the game / Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting).
Before heading into everything wrong with this album, there are a few interesting moments that distract from Eminem’s terrible lyrics. The hook on “You Gon’ Learn” is engaging and pleasant over the richly-produced beat from frequent collaborator Royce Da 5’9”. Juice WRLD and Black Thought’s inclusions on “Godzilla” and “Yah Yah,” respectively, are nice but can’t save the tracks from a jarring Eminem desperately trying to convince the listener he’s still got it.
The best track on the album comes from the Anderson .Paak-assisted “Lock It Up” that sounds much better than it should have been. Paak adds a fiery hook and Eminem isn’t that bad on it, which makes it digestible.
For the most part, the instrumentals are sound and Eminem’s rapping is technically decent, but not much else can be said about the positive aspects of this project.
Once again, Eminem decides to collaborate with pop singers like Ed Sheeran and Skylar Grey in which the song with the former sounds like a five-year-old created a beat on a Fisher-Price toy piano. Both singers sound sleepy and disengaged from the songs they’re on.
The most glaring issue with this new album is Eminem’s failure to put the spotlight on Griselda, the group of rappers he signed to Shady Records. It’s almost a certainty that their inclusion would have elevated this album in every conceivable way given that their recently released project, WWCD, is a breath of fresh air in rap.
The album is also painfully long and clocks in just over an hour with 20 tracks, including some skits.
Despite all these issues, this is Eminem’s best work since The Marshall Mathers LP 2, though that’s not saying much. It’s a step in the right direction as Eminem smartly drifts away from the pop songs that made his previous efforts so unbearable.
Unless Eminem starts rapping about interesting topics and stops sounding like an adult baby, he will never return to making compelling music again. Can someone please teach Eminem that rapping fast does not equate to rapping well?
Trial Track: “Lock It Up (feat. Anderson .Paak)”