Eminem delivers one of his best projects since 2013 in the menacing ‘Music To Be Murdered By – Side -B’ [Review]
Eminem’s deluxe version of his early 2020 release, Music To Be Murdered By, is a strong and riveting ride which fulfils the murder/shock rap theme we were all expecting from the original. There were very few skips on this project and the highs were superb. Eminem’s lyrical ability has never been in question and he delivers yet again in spectacular fashion with a litany of complex syllable patterns and rhyme schemes. He has also managed to embed an inordinate number of double, even triple, entendres along with top tier wordplay bar after bar.
The project is cohesive and better than the original in my opinion as it did not have any weak tracks. As a result, it holds its own as a top rap album of 2020. Eminem begun the year with a bang with Music To Be Murdered By which had a handful of hits especially Godzilla featuring the late Juice WRLD and sold almost 300K in its first week. Albeit the deluxe sold under 100K in this time frame, it’s a solid project which still garnered much attention and one which is a sign that Eminem’s inconsistent album run is improving ever since his disappointing 2017 release, Revival.
The veteran emcee has said on numerous occasions that he will never stop rapping and if he manages to execute another highly acclaimed masterpiece such as his earlier works that will be a testament to his longevity. However, I do believe he should hang up his boots in the near future as to preserve his legacy with Side-B a great conclusion to his discography. That is not to say he has irreparably fallen off, but his latter releases have received rocky receptions to say the least. Even though he is arguably improving as a pure lyricist his albums don’t match that elite tier standard.
My two favourite tracks off this album are ‘Zeus’, where Eminem asserts his status as the God emcee and disses rap legend Snoop Dogg, and ‘Discombobulated’ where he revisits the accents he utilised on his iconic 2009 cult-classic Relapse. The latter song has incredible production by the super producer that is Dr Dre with incredulous beat switches coupled with Eminem’s remarkable, malleable flows and cadence. ‘Zeus’ takes shots at a number of rappers and the hook by White Gold is a standout for me. This track showcases Eminem’s premium emceeing ability and ‘Discombobulated’ reminds us that he can still tap into his classic flows and voices.
In fact, Eminem has noted in the past that the noticeable change in his voice since his early Slim Shady-era sound is due to him wanting to try new flows and so on instead of delivering the same tone and vocal sound over and over again. The man is a rapping genius for sure and for a while has maintained his spot in the top five dead or alive rappers lists for the majority of hip hop heads. His haters are rampant yet his stans outnumber them with their overwhelming loyalty and support.
The emcee lashes out on his doubters and the status of showbiz on the album which he has notably done throughout his career with great aplomb and attention to detail. He takes shots at Snoop Dogg, 6ix9ine, Machine Gun Kelly, Ja Rule (again) and a number of other artists. The project demonstrates an upwards trajectory in Em’s album making and I cannot wait to see if he has anything special in store for us in the following months. As I have mentioned earlier, the rapper is in his twilight years and has to retire sooner or later, but as a massive fan, a Stan even, I will be excited and giddy if he decides to drop anything anytime soon.
Eminem’s late 2020 comeback has been successful and proof that he can still deliver and keep up with his contemporaries. Compared to other rappers from his era who are still making music he is up there but below the likes of Black Thought, who nobody can really compete with, as he still produces lacklustre songs. Nevertheless, Side-B, which is really not your typical B-Side disk, was a thrillingly good project.
Favourite bars off the album:
‘So, imagine the havoc these black thoughts [Black Thought] are to wreak [Tariq]/ As in Trotter’
‘Next, there’ll be mentioning Future in the past tense’
‘I still get the bag when I’m putting garbage out’
‘She says that I’m trash, but she listens to Tekashi’
‘Last thing I need is Snoop doggin’ me/ Man Dogg, you was like a damn God to me/ Nah, not really (Haha)/ I had ‘dog’ backwards’
‘Miss you ovulatin’?/ Sorry I never meant to piss you off my lady’
‘Before I check the mic/ I give it an extra swipe with a Lysol disinfectant wipe’
‘You could give your whole damn life to the music thing/ They gon’ turn around like they don’t love you’
To be fair I can cite every line on this album it is that full of lyrical gems.