Friday, March 6, 2009

5 Reasons Not To Be Excited for Relapse

I know I'm gonna catch hate for this one, but this is truly how I feel. Just for the record, I've been a huge Eminem fan since I heard "My Name Is" and explored Infinite so don't even think this is an opportunity to bad-mouth an MC that I don't like.

So yesterday, Aftermath etc put out the official press release recently that Em's next LP Relapse is scheduled for May 19th. Excited? I'm definitely not the least bit.

Here's why:

1. Em hasn't made a good quality, all-around album in almost a decade.

I still can't believe that it's been nine years since Marshall Mathers dropped. You remember that one, right? Sold over 1.75 mil its first week. "Real Slim Shady" ripped up the charts, "The Way I Am" spoke on the overwhelming pressure of pleasing industry execs, and "Stan" told the story of a crazed fan. Not to mention, it was packed with hidden gems like "Who Knew" and D-12 collab "Under The Influence."

Let's recall what happened after that. He put out Eminem Show in '02, and although it sold well, how many of y'all REALLY liked it on-the-whole? Sure, I appreciated Em's introspection on "Cleanin Out My Closet" and his amped-up demeanor on "Til I Collapse," but the majority of the album is cold garbage. "Without Me" was the corniest of all of his corny singles, "Drips" is a boring filler track, and the production throughout is just lackluster to say the least.

(Edit: Upon revisiting Eminem Show), it's not as bad as I remembered, I was a lil' harsh. I just like his first two better.)

And don't even get me started on 2004's piss-poor Encore. Even the tracks that I semi-liked ("Rain Man" and "Encore" with Dre and 50) were subpar compared what fans came to expect from the volatile MC. You know you've gone soft when a tribute song to your daughter "Mockingbird" is the best song on the album.

2. Eminem is no longer Slim Shady. And therefore, he's lost his shock value.

I know you're thinking "but they're one and the same, right"? Wrong. Slim Shady emerged early in Em's career as the deranged psychopath persona while Eminem/Marshall Mathers was the level-headed compliment.

We no longer hear purely murderous verses like on Infinite and songs like "Just Don't Give A Fuck," hilarious sexual references like on "As The World Turns," and all the other lunatic shit that made mothers across America protest his wild antics. We no longer get to hear about his struggles with Kim, infatuation with drugs, nothing. All we get now his Em trying to be funny. And that's not what made the rap game fall in love with him so many years ago.

3. "Crack A Bottle" is not that good. Period.

Sure, it's catchy. And Dre laced the beat. And 50's verse is decent. But honestly, the real reason people like this record is because we haven't heard a true single from Em in years. "Crack A Bottle" is soft, generic, and fully representative of the ignorance permeating hip-hop. Plus, Em's sing-song lyrics just make my ears bleed. It's like he lost his pinpoint flow recording 8 Mile soundtrack and just figures people will like whatever he puts out just because it's him. Maybe you, but not I.

4. He's already working on another Relapse album to be released later this year.

The fuck is this about? He's had 5+ years to put together a new album, and when he finally does, he's got to overshadow it by announcing a follow-up LP ALREADY? Am I the only one that thinks this indicates he's going to use the first Relapse as a teaser for what's to come on the second version?

I think the labels made a mistake by announcing this so early. It's almost like a premature excuse as to why Relapse is going to suck more than Karrine Steffans.

5. It's 2009. Eminem does not have the same effect on people nowadays, plain and simple.

Sure, true hip-hoppers will listen because Em began as a crazy talented whiteboy MC who came from nothing. And let's face it, he could spit with the best of 'em.

But, think about the real reason why Em became popular in the first place. It's because of his insane lyrical content, mainly the crazy topics he talked about. He used to piss so many people off when he slayed pop stars, shit all over public figures and urged the youth to rebel. Think about "Guilty Conscience," "Marshall Mathers," "Brain Damage," "97 Bonnie And Clyde" and "Bitch Please Part II."

Think about the singles that actually caused people to organize protests against him. Protesting against a rapper? You won't see that today because Em does not, and will not, have the same effect on people. He's lost his allure, for good.

..Now, I really REALLY hope that Em proves me wrong with Relapse. I hope he comes out and reaks havoc on the industry, shitting on anyone that gets in his way. But he won't. I've been disappointed too many times over the past couple of years to think any different.

I can feel it now, here comes the hate from the Eminem Stan-boys and girls... Bring it. I welcome it. But don't take this ish too seriously, you'll probably just be eating your words come May.


  1. This is pretty fair and even handed assessment of the level of anticipation for "Relapse" that most people that remember when Eminem was in a bidding war between Rawkus and Duck Down before Dr. Dre and Aftermath came through and shit on both labels simultaneously.

    He's not the same Em from "5 Star Generals", "The Last Hit", "Get You Mad", or "Any Man" anymore. I miss that guy...can we get HIM back? LOL


  2. "..most people that remember when Eminem was in a bidding war between Rawkus and Duck Down before Dr. Dre and Aftermath came through and shit on both labels simultaneously."

    Kawt damn, I love me some Dart Adams. No homosexuality implied or suggested.

  3. Wow. I totally forgot I had "Any Man" on vinyl. That song is my SHIT. Well done, Dart.

  4. I agree with well...EVERYTHING you said! I don't think this upcoming album will be that good but I do think it will sell well because it's Eminem and his fan will support him...hopefully lol

  5. I agree, but wait. Wait wait wait. Karrine is about to make a book this July teaching women how to suck dick? Goddammit. GODDAMMIT!

  6. In a year when we should expect to hear from Jay-Z, Jadakiss (and maybe The Lox), Dr. Dre, Saigon, Rhymefest, posthumous 2Pac (rumors), Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Mos Def, OutKast, Lupe Fiasco... (and more?)... I think I'll pass on Em.

    Hasn't been the same since '01/'02...

  7. Truely & sadly I agree with you, as long as its better than Encore I'm good. lmao at the Karrine Steffans joke

  8. Great post, I had the same thoughts. Supposedly Relapse 2 will be better because once Relapse had been completed Dre went into pilot mode and was producing banger after banger in the studio. Em decided to get them on to another album.

    Fingers crossed your thoughts are wrong lol