Looks like Em turned up at the Shady Records party last night after all. And he performed the recently released track “2.0 Boys” with his newest Shady family members Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf. For those not lucky enough to be there, as always – there were plenty of people with their mobile phones out capturing the magic…
Kind of difficult to hear many of the lyrics as the audio sounds muffled, as it does with many amateur recordings of performances, but those familiar with the song and the verses should be able to hear the indicators.
So what does that look like on-stage huh? quite the image for hip-hop in 2011: Eminem, Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf spitting their brains out together in unity. A pack of wild hip-hop wolves, knowledgeable and passionate, lyrical and raw, honest and committed. Certainly one fuck of a nice contrast to the kind of images and material circa 2005-2009. Notice that… one of the best periods in hip-hop history, 1999-2003 was Em’s prime and one of the worst, 2005-2009 was his departure?
And now since he’s come back, since 2009, everybody has been commenting on how hip-hop’s in a good place again and how lyricism is starting to matter more again. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. When Em was in his prime he ruled MUSIC (never mind just hip-hop), so essentially set the bar (which was way beyond what anybody else could reach), eclipsing anything in his path. And when he left there was a bit of a gaping hole in rap, and suddenly all his detractors or people who dubbed him ‘overrated’ suddenly saw the alternatives. And were less than impressed.
They realized just quite how significant he was, too late. Just like I see many Em fans realizing the beauty of Relapse and its meticulous craft too late. When Em has trashed its more than probable classic sequel to appease what he saw as, alienated fans.
So now Em returns, and makes lyricism count again, and he forces everybody else to step their game up. Hate him or love him, as a genuine fan of hip-hop, good lyricism and the craft, the art… I think it’d be hard to deny he’s a good thing for the genre. He definitely sets standards, and although rarely credited for doing so – he is still a force to be reckoned with on the mic. And this time he’s signed some other genuine forces in their own right to join him in his second dominance. Long live Shady 2.0.