Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2 Review

March 22, 2019

 

Well, I've taken such a long break from reviewing albums, but I thought it was only fair I go and finish the Eminem Marathon. So here we are: The Marshall Mathers LP 2. This was the first Eminem album I listened to all the way through, and at the time, I loved it. This was the soundtrack to my life for about 2 years, then I didn't return to it for a long time. It's gonna be good to dive back in and see what's different, so let's go.

 

1. Bad Guy (Produced by Symbolic One, M-Phazes, Street Runner and Vincent Venditto)

 

I'll say it straight up, this is one of the best intros to any Eminem album by far, possibly the best intro he's ever done. The beat has this really eery and weird vibe, and although it's repetitive it never really get's boring, especially considering Em's amazing storytelling throughout the whole track. I like the vocals during the chorus, they're nothing amazing but they really fit the song well and create a great atmosphere. I'm not going to spoil the story, but if you've heard Stan you'll love this song. The first half of the song is great, but once the story ends it really goes to another level when the energy ramps up and Em starts rapping his ass off. This final verse is honestly one the best that Em's ever recorded, pointing out all of his flaws and mistakes and finishing by introducing the album. Needless to say, this song is incredible, even after hearing it so many times I still don't get bored. 5/5

 

2. Parking Lot (Skit) (Produced by Eminem)

 

This is a pretty awesome skit that acts as a sequel to the one halfway through Criminal from the first Marshall Mathers LP. There's lots of little references to MMLP throughout the album, and I always appreciate them. But this is a skit so I'm not gonna rate it.

 

3. Rhyme or Reason (Produced by Rick Rubin and Eminem)

 

The transition from the skit into this song is so great too by the way. Anyway, this song is another amazing track. I love the minimalist sound of the beat and Eminems witty lyricism for the whole track. It just has so much personality. The hook used to irritate for me this song but I actually really enjoy it now. The last part where he says "FOR NOOTHIIIIINNNG" will always be a little annoying though. That doesn't take away from the song at all though to be honest. I always enjoy this song everytime I hear it and know most of the lyrics off by heart. This song is dope as fuck. 5/5

 

4. So Much Better (Produced by Eminem and Luis Resto)

 

This is the first song on the album that isn't great, and unfortunately it's very early in the tracklist. Some people list this in Eminems Top 10 worst songs, but it's really not that bad. It's not good either though. I like the beat of the song, and Eminem's flow is pretty good during the verses. The hook is funny, but it's pretty bad, even if it is catchy. I honestly just think this song is OK, the lyrics are pretty bad on a large portion of the song, but it's just really dumb tbh. This is nowhere near as bad as the worst songs on Revival or Encore though, not even the worst on Relapse or Recovery. It's just average to me. A part of me still kinda enjoys the song, because the last verse is actually pretty dope, plus the hook is catchy. But there's something about the song that just stops me from coming back. Also this song is way too long, at least he has the Kill You reference at the end. This song is kinda bad. 2/5

 

5. Survival (Produced by DJ Khalil)

 

This song was a classic banger when I was 13 because of the Call of Duty Ghosts trailer hahaha. But in all seriousness, I actually don't mind this song still. The poppy and generic hook is the worst part of the song by far. Eminems lyric's are pretty nice though, and I like the beat, it's nothing great, but it's solid. Overall this song just barely qualifies as good to me. I can't say it's bad at all, but it's not dope or great either. It's just a solid track, even if I still remember all the lyrics. 3.5/5

 

6. Legacy (Produced by Emile Haynie)

 

I've always liked this song, and I think it really doesn't deserve all the hate it gets from a lot of people. It's not amazing at all, and Em's fan's overrate how good it is, but it's not that bad. I really love the beat on this song, and the hook is just ok, but I like Em's subject matter a lot on this song. The actual song overall is just decent after relistening a few times, but it's not that bad. I'll just say it's average, 3/5

 

7. Asshole (feat. Skylar Grey) (Produced by Alex Da Kid and Eminem)

 

This is where the album starts to pick up steam again for a bit. I love Em's verses and the hook on this song actually suits it really well, even though I typically don't like Skylar Grey. I used to hate the beat, but I actually really enjoy this song now. It's pretty dope, even if it is a little long. 4/5

 

8. Berzerk (Produced by Rick Rubin)

 

I love this song. It's hilarious and fun, and a great ode to the Beastie Boys. Rick Rubin made a dope fun ass beat and Em's energy is great. The worst part of the song is definitely the hook, but even that is catchy as fuck and still really fun to listen to regardless. I have no real problems with this song at all. It's just fun. 4/5

 

9. Rap God (Produced by DVLP and Matthew "Filthy"Delgiorno)

 

This is the most overrated Eminem song of all time. I used to love this song before I listened to more music, and I just realised it's kinda plain, and Eminem is honestly punching below his weight lyrically on here. The fast rap part sounds cool but it's really not that lyrically impressive, especially considering songs like Lucky You exist now, which reminds me, I have to review Kamikaze too. Anyway, the hook is cool, verses are good, I love the intro and the beat is pretty damn dope. This song is cool. I wouldn't say it's bad, just cool. Also it's way too damn long. 3.5/5

 

10. Brainless (Produced by Eminem and Luis Resto)

 

This song is definitely better than Rap God. Unfortunately it's often overlooked, but this song is great. The beat is dope as hell, and the verses are all awesome and full of personality. I don't mind the hook, but it could definitely be better, I like it a lot lyrically, but it doesn't sound that great. Overall this song is really dope, just not amazing. 4/5

 

11. Stronger Than I Was (Produced by Eminem and Luis Resto)

 

This is pretty much universally agreed as being the worst song on the album. I definitely agree. The beat is average as hell and the hook is pretty awful. This song is pretty much Hailie's song, if he was crying the whole time about relationships and the singing was worse and less touching. This song isn't good, it's also waaayyy too long. 2/5

 

12. The Monster (feat. Rihanna) (Produced by Frequency and Aalias)

 

This song is really overhated. I don't think it deserves to be as popular as it is, but again, much like Love The Way You Lie, I really enjoy this song. I think it's just because I don't share the hip hop communities hatred for Rihanna on choruses. I really love the beat on this song, and Rihanna's chorus is nice. Em's verses are fine, they're not as good as the verses on Love The Way You Lie, but they're still pretty good. The first verse is definitely the best verse. This song is dope to me, I don't care what anyone else says. 4/5

 

13. So Far... (Produced by Rick Rubin)

 

Now this is where the sequence of the best songs on the album start. I FUCKING LOVE THIS SONG. It's so great. The beat is dope af and perfectly fits the funny ass mood of the track. Eminem is pretty much just rapping about being a middle aged grumpy man who's out of touch with the world around him, and how he's still the same even though he's so famous and come so far. I also love the chorus too. This song is dope as fuck. Also the lines about technology crack me up every time I hear them. 5/5

 

14. Love Game (feat. Kendrick Lamar) (Produced by Rick Rubin)

 

This is another fantastic song. It's pretty much just a fun song where Em and Kendrick are rapping about relationships. Em's first verse is great and the hook by Kendrick is really dope too. Kendrick's verse is great as you'd expect, but Em's last verse is fucking insane. The rhyme scheme and content is hilarious and just breathtaking at certain points. This is another amazing song, I can never decide whether I like this or So Far.. more, but they're just both amazing. 5/5

 

15. Headlights (feat. Nate Ruess) (Produced by Emile Haynie, Jeff Bhasker and Eminem)

 

This is probably one of the most heartfelt and beautiful songs Em has ever made. It's essentially an apology to his mother for all the bullshit he's said about her in all his songs. It's honestly really amazing. This song was always good to me, but listening to it now that I'm older makes it mean even more to me. The chorus by Nate Ruess is pretty great too, eve if it is really poppy. This is one of those songs that is so good the length doesn't even bother me at all. I love this song. 5/5

 

16. Evil Twin (Produced by Sid Roams and Eminem)

 

This is probably the most lyrical song on the album and is the perfect closer for an Eminem album. Pretty much just him talking his shit the whole time with some amazing bars, a dope ass beat and a simple but effective hook. This song is dope af. The ending skit is a great nod to Ken Kaniff, but since this is the Deluxe edition Í'll talk about it more on Wicked Ways. 5/5

 

Final Thoughts (Regular Version)

Well, needless to say this is one of Eminem's best albums, it definitely doesn't compare to his first three, but outside of his classics this is definitely the best. It's inconsistent, which is to expected from Eminem but it's still a good album. It's just a shame he couldn't keep this up in his future albums. On to the Deluxe Tracks....

 

 

Overall Result (Regular Version):  80/100

Favourite Tracks: Bad Guy, Rhyme Or Reason, Asshole, Berzerk, Brainless, The Monster, So Far..., Love Game, Headlights, Evil Twin

Worst Track: Stronger Than I Was

 

DELUXE TRACKS

 

17. Baby (Produced by Eminem and Luis Resto)

 

I'm glad this is a bonus track. I don't like this song that much at all tbh. The beat is cool and the verses are pretty dope lyrically, but that hook is garbage to me. It's on some Encore shit and I hate it so much. Yuck. If this song had a good hook I might like it way more, but nah, I can't rock with this song. It's pretty bad to me despite the dope verses. 2/5

 

18. Desperation (feat. Jamie N Commons) (Produced by Alex Da Kid)

 

This song is just straight mixed emotions to me. I love the beat and the chorus, but I just don't think Eminem belongs on this song. This is definitely Jamie N Commons' song. Their chorus is fantastic to me, and I like Eminem's contributions to the hook too. But otherwise. I just don't mess with the verses to be honest. This song is just average because the chorus is so good, if the chorus was bad this would be wack. 3/5

 

19. Groundhog Day (Produced by Cardiak, Frank Dukes and Eminem)

 

This is probably my favourite deluxe song. The beat is dope as fuck, and I really like Eminem's rhymes and flows across the whole song. This song kinda reminds me of Brainless a little in terms of it's content, but I think Brainless is definitely better. I won't lie though, this song is pretty long and it gets too long after a while; but Em's aggression towards the end of the song is great. I also enjoy the very short skit at the end too. 4/5

 

20. Beautiful Pain (feat. Sia) (Produced by Emile Haynie)

 

This song is fine. Sia's chorus sounds pretty great, but if you're not a fan of Sia you won't enjoy it at all. I really like the beat and sound of the song. Eminem's verses are pretty damn great too. Something about this song is missing to me though. I feel like this song should be amazing to me, but it's just good. I enjoy it anyway. 4/5

 

 

21. Wicked Ways (feat. X Ambassadors) (Produced by Alex Da Kid)

 

I used to really enjoy this song for some reason, I think it was the chorus. The beat is decent and Em's verses are dope, but nah. This song is just average to me to be honest. Em's verses are dope enough to push it up to kinda good, but I just don't like the hook or the beat that much, and the fact it's so damn long doesn't help either. Ok, now for the Ken Kaniff skit at the end, so it's pretty much just Em going to the bathroom and then Ken just saying the gay version of Berzerk, then Em sees him and runs out. It's one of the less interesting Ken Kaniff skits for sure. 3/5

 

Final Thoughts (Deluxe Version)

Well, the deluxe tracks actually moved the album from dope status to good status, so that sucks. I still love this album but you're not really missing out if you don't listen to the deluxe version. This album is good, and if you love Eminem, you'd be missing out on some of his best tracks if you never listen to this.

 

Overall Result (Deluxe Version):  76/100

Favourite Tracks: Bad Guy, Rhyme Or Reason, Asshole, Berzerk, Brainless, The Monster, So Far..., Love Game, Headlights, Evil Twin, Groundhog Day, Beautiful Pain

Worst Track: Stronger Than I Was

 

 

 

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