The album that brought us "Bad Guy," "Rap God," "Headlights," and "Evil Twin" has turned five.
The aura of Eminem's comeback effort Kamikaze still lingers, with fallout verging on nuclear, particularly for certain devilish foes. Still, yesterday Em took a moment to look to the past, 2013 specifically. A different era to be sure; Em was coming off the release of Recovery, having diversified his production associates to include the likes of Just Blaze, Boi 1da, DJ Khalil, Alex Da Kid, and Havoc. For his next solo effort, however, Eminem enlisted the talents of Rick Rubin, and though the public seems to forget his involvement, Dr. Dre. Together, the three men helped curate The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which celebrated its fifth birthday yesterday.
Em took to Instagram to reflect on his project, which has become somewhat of a divisive effort. For one, it seemed to herald the production aesthetic that would go on to permeate Revival, which many deemed a mismatch. Yet The Marshall Mathers LP 2 contained many memorable moments, including Stan sequel "Bad Guy," "Rap God," "Brainless," "Headlights," and "Evil Twin." In fact, the opener and closer stand among the best Eminem songs in recent memory, with the olive-branch extending "Headlights" finding Em at his most emotionally raw.
While the original Marshall Mathers LP stands among the hip-hop essentials, the sequel found Eminem once again readjusting to an ever-evolving landscape. His skillset was, and still is, unparalleled, though his sense of direction may have occasionally wandered. Overall, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 may be worth a revisit, especially given this latest milestone.