Finally. Here’s the tracklist for MMLP2.
My first impressions, unfortunately, are not good.
I don’t want to jump to conclusions but I’m disappointed from quite a few angles just on sight here.
Firstly – having Rihanna and Skylar Grey on MMLP2… really Em? It’s not the fact that they are pop stars (waits for someone to mention Dido) – as obviously Dido was on MMLP1, but that was an organic sample flip. And Dido was NOT a huge pop star, she became that because of “Stan”, so the move was not done for sales. Where as having Rihanna on the fucking album… it’s just so obvious.
MMLP was the anti-everything album: anti-censorship, anti-commercialism, anti-obvious… so if Em is going to create a sequel to that, shouldn’t it aim to be even less obvious, rather than settling for really mediocre artistic decisions which Em’s biggest detractors could guess with their eyes closed?
Secondly – these track titles look abysmal. They literally look like track titles fans have been guessing for the past two years +, “Legacy” (really!?). These kind of cute TV-friendly metaphor summations of themes about overcoming the odds, intended to be played over fucking sports montages are Recovery!
Finally – “Survival”. I don’t think I need to explain why on this one so much. Em’s rapping on this track is fantastic, and the production actually isn’t bad… but it’s soo generic and predictable. Again, this sounds like a Recovery leftover, it does not sound like a new era of Eminem let alone an era which is supposedly a sequel/improvement to his absolute masterpiece. The Marshall Mathers LP was not about overcoming any odds – Eminem was not a self-serious fighter of obstacles… he was a detached badass, there was no such thing as odds to overcome, he defined his own reality with his ingenious irony and storytelling. This new Eminem is much more lame.
Also, to put a track which since day one has been associated with a fucking video game, and to have COD footage in the video and still put it on MMLP2?… Wow.
1. Bad Guy
2. Parking Lot (Skit)
3. Rhyme or Reason
4. So Much Better
7. Asshole (feat. Skylar Grey)
9. Rap God
11. Stronger Than I Was
12. The Monster (feat. Rihanna)
13. So Far…
14. Love Game (featuring Kendrick Lamar)
15. Headlights (feat. Nate Ruess)
16. Evil Twin
On a more positive note, I’m looking forward to “Bad Guy”, but tracks like “Rhyme or Reason” sound like B-Grade rapper song titles. At the very least I’m glad that it appears he’s going to be tackling hip-hop themes, but I can just imagine “Headlights” being some stadium-filling attempt about the trappings of fame. That’s really fucking lame if that’s the case – I really fucking hope it’s not, because this kind of predictable conformism will tarnish the MMLP legacy.
I reaaaaaaaaaaallly hope that I’m reallllllllly wrong and that Em surprises the fuck out of me with mind-blowing concepts and a sound which is as consistent as fresh. I really really hope that’s the case and I think a lot of worried fans do too, but all the signs are pointing to something a lot less thrilling.
Only a few weeks until we find out…