Dear Slim, you wrote me but who was calling? It’s been four years since the self-proclaimed “rap god” released the MMLP2 and Hip-hop has carried on just fine. It fell far short of both the sales and skills put forward on it’s predecessor and left listeners wanting more. Slim released a Campaign Speech single last November which most people didn’t even know about and more importantly didn’t prevent President Trump from being elected and even though the new Beyoncé thrusted single is out, it isn’t getting the attention most Eminem songs receive. So here is the question: if the Real Slim Shady were to stand back up, would anyone notice or care?
I grew up when Em was on top of the world. The 2002 Eminem Show is what made me care about Hip-hop and everyone was paying attention to Marshall back then. He was the voice for a crowd that felt completely ignored and bucked authority in a way that made parents hate him and teenagers love him. However, it’s been 15 years since that record and the follow up Encore was lack luster and Relapse did indeed run the accents into the ground and probably shouldn’t have been included in his catalogue at all.
Recovery had some solid singles and showed a glimmer of the old Eminem at times and also had a bit of maturity added in. It seems as though Eminem is banking on his legacy to make people pay attention, but with his new technical style and his played pop culture jokes it may be time for Em to hang it up. It’s not like he has anything else to prove. He’s won multiple Grammy Awards and done the acting thing as well. His story is well known and has been told over and over again.
There is absolutely no question that at his prime, Eminem could out rap anyone, but even he admits that Big Sean was the better performer on No Favors. Walk on Water shows that he is aware of this current skepticism and rather than taking the Jay-Z “buy my old albums” approach, Em seems to still be trying to push an agenda. Revival is set to drop on December 15th and I will probably listen to it, but it is more out of respect of his legacy and curiosity than anything else.