Album Review: Music To Be Murdered By


Ahsab Rahman


After Eminem’s record Kamikaze, I was patiently waiting for his new album. I was really curious to see where he went from there. Kamikaze was filled with rapid-fire songs with a few filler tracks. Although the production wasn’t the best, it was definitely miles ahead of Revival. With Kamikaze‘s success, and a great MGK diss track under his belt, Eminem’s new album definitely was something people were looking forward to. 

In the month of January, Eminem surprised everyone again by dropping his 10th studio album Music To Be Murdered By. Inspired by one of the greatest directors, Alfred Hitchcock, Eminem pays tribute to the late director in an extraordinary fashion. With this album, Eminem finally embraces the sound that is relevant in this era of music. Backed by Dr Dre, Royce 5’9, and some other great producers, Eminem delivers a 20 track project that shows he still has it in him. Starting with the intro track Premonition, Eminem goes hard again at the critics who panned his last few albums. He talks about how he doesn’t get respect for his longevity. He also points out that no matter what he does, critics dislike it, ultimately. He says, 

“Revival flopped, came back and I scared the hell out ’em/ But Rolling Stone stars, I got two and a half outta five”

He also talks about how fans keep pulling him one way, and haters in another. Some people want angry Eminem, some people want conscious Eminem. Who will he satisfy? I also like the word-plays here. When he says “broke”, he spells it out as “B-R-O-K-E”. I don’t know if many have caught that yet, but it was really clever. He also made a good wordplay about G.O.A.T that I liked as well. In the next track Unaccommodating,  it feels like Eminem is straight up spitting some fire. He talks about how some of his students took inspiration from him but failed to implement the formula in their music. He goes hard at MGK again talking about how corny he was with that diss track. He made a clever wordplay with the eyeball line that is not out of context. The newbie rappers remind him of his eyeballs because his “pupils are getting cornier” (cornea). I disliked the Young M.A. feature here, and thought it to be the worst rap feature in this project. You Gon’ Learn is the track where Bad Meets Evil. Royce produced this track, and goes crazy on it. I always found Em and Royce’s chemistry to be excellent. They always bring out the best in each other. 

We get an interlude next where we can hear Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic voice. The following is an Ed Sheeran featuring track called Those Kinda Nights. Ed’s auto-tuned voice sounds horrendous here. Eminem’s verse was cheesy and unnecessary. This was probably the worst song in the entire album.

In Too Deep isn’t a fantastic song but I found it to be better than the previous track. The hook was good but the content of the song wasn’t the best in my opinion. Godzilla is another example that Em still has it. The song has late Juice Wrld in it. I believe Eminem did a tremendous job, and Juice would have been really proud seeing this today. Eminem dedicated this album to him. On another note, Eminem breaks his record of fast rapping that he established with Rap God. Godzilla is officially the track where Eminem spits the fastest verses of his career. 

The next song Darkness is probably one of Eminem’s best songs. The way he metaphorically blends his own self with the shooter of Las Vegas is mind-blowing. He sampled Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence in the hook which I found to be really sweet. 

Leaving Heaven is a great song that has one of the better Skylar Grey hooks. Em goes hard at his dad in the last verse. The way he spits some bars at him shows how much he hates his late father. I enjoyed this song, and believe — it is far better than their collaboration in Revival. Yah Yah might possibly be my favourite song of the album. Everyone did their thing, but Black Thought outshone everyone. I like how they paid homage to the old-school rap. The song has the best hook of the entire album and I can’t help feeling nostalgic when Q-Tip and Royce deliver it. The only problem I will say with this song is the mixing of it. I think it could have been done better. 

Stepdad is not a song I like a lot. The hook is trashy. Wish Eminem did better with this one. Marsh is a fantastic track that I absolutely enjoyed. The hook is great, and his verses are top-notch. Never Love Again isn’t my favourite song again but this is likable as well. Little Engine gave me strong Relapse vibes. That transition to the little engine go/little go, is masterful. It is one of the best beat switches ever by Eminem. Besides, this track was produced solely by Dre. In the next song, we get Anderson Paak who did a decent job. His voice gives me Kendrick vibes to an extent. Nothing much to say about Farewell and No Regrets. Both are nice songs. I loved the production a lot. The closure track I Will features Slaughterhouse minus Joe Budden of course. This is probably my second favourite song from the album — a certified banger. Everyone goes crazy on this record. Eminem was easily the highlight of the track. I loved how he dissed Lord Jamar. The production and hook were on point as well — definitely a fitting end to this album. 

I will say that this album definitely has its flaws but a significant improvement from his previous records. Give it a try.

 

FAVOURITE TRACKS: Premonition, Yah Yah, I Will, You Gon’ Learn, Darkness, Unaccommodating, Godzilla, Leaving Heaven, Little Engine, Marsh

 

LEAST FAVOURITE TRACKS: Those Kinda Nights, Stepdad

 

Reviewer’s Rating: 7/10

 


Ahsab likes to spend time thinking about how the manga “Nana” could have continued, and daydreaming about getting Eminem’s blessings to start his own rap career. 

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