Once upon a time, there was a man. He was a simple man, from simple beginnings in a section of Detroit known as 8 Mile. The man, Marshall as most called him, had an ability with words that made even his melanin-possessing brethren take notice. See, Marshall was a rapper named Eminem who said almost whatever the hell he wanted. Sometimes, it was for the sheer shock of saying it. Sometimes, there was a greater purpose. But, nevertheless, Eminem–with all his “fucks,” “cunts,” and death threats to his mother–managed to infect a generation with his lyrical virus. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy for the guy who once said he was “the best thing since wrestling,” which ironically has suffered a similar fate as Marshall.
And then he started doing random shit for the fuck of it. I get that “hey, I’m 40-plus. I don’t have to rap about that wild shit anymore. Now, I can use my way with words to get even more money for my family and more mainstream appeal” mindset. I really do. I don’t rap about the same shit I did when I was a teenager. I wouldn’t want Jay to still rap about being poor. Nor do I want Drake to still rap about not being able to find the right girl at 35. People grow up. They mature. They change, along with their priorties–and sometimes their approach to music. But, at the same damn time, I at least want good music from those aforementioned artists.
Nothing Was The Same is the same Drake album we’ve received since So Far Gone. And while that’s a bad thing (it doesn’t really show much growth as an artist nor a human being), it’s still consistent. Eminem, on the other hand, seems to just rap in double time and put as many dated, multisyllabic monstrocities into every song as possible to show that he’s still got it. Any growth that Eminem has displayed (and, in some ways, the guy’s grown up a lot–even while still threatening to beat Brooke Hogan down) is often lost on the listener because he’s more concerned with showing off his abilities than making a good song.
The Kendrick Lamar-aided “Love Game,” to not be on either artist’s dick, sucks. Miss me with all the “oh, he’s talking about his listeners’ feelings instead of his” bullshit. Also, miss me with the “it’s just a silly song and Em and Kendrick are at the top of their game, but still they’re trolling us” bullshit. The song sucks. Lyrically, as many Em and Kendrick songs do, it has its moments, but overall? It sucks. The topic has been done better–by both artists, ironically enough–before. And while I get MMLP2 isn’t about reinventing the wheel, you should, as a listener, still be able to go in and get something new from it*. “Love Game” reminds me of a more lyrical “Drips,” which, in some ways, was a superior song. In some ways, it showcases another flaw in Eminem’s new resurgence.
The guy relies way too much on corny punchlines and similes. But, that’s another grievance to air out another day. Later, botches.
*I will revisit this when the whole album drops on Tuesday.