Eminem - Bad Meets Evil
- Jul 05, 2011
12 years ago, Eminem released his debut studio album ‘The Slim Shady LP’ and hip hop fans had their first taste of ‘Bad Meets Evil’ (Eminem and Royce da 5’9).
The song entitled ‘Bad meets Evil’ featured on the album and finished with Royce saying “see you in hell for the sequel”. 12 years on we finally have the sequel, a nine track album of pure evil. But why now and why so long?
Eminem roared straight back to the top of the billboards last year with his ‘Recovery’ album after a lengthy spell out of the game with a host of drug problems, whilst dealing with the loss of his best friend and member of D12 - Proof. Almost a year on from the release of the album ‘Hell the Sequel’ almost came out of nowhere and has brought Royce da 5’9 to the limelight.
So is that the reason for Slim Shady’s new collaborative album, giving a lifelong friend the chance to break into the mainstream. Odds are there is probably some element of truth in the above, however, with a new thirst to cement his name as the greatest Marshall Mathers is just destroying the hip hop industry and it would be criminal to suggest the album is made purely out of sympathy.
After the self-criticised ‘Relapse’ album, he returned a year later to prove to the world he is the greatest; with his personal and popular ‘Recovery’. Now his status is reinstated, Eminem, joined by Royce return to their gonzo style hip hop that made the Slim Shady LP so successful.
However, this is more than just gonzo, it’s downright dark, sinister, brutal, foul mouthed, and pure evil! The beats are raw and heavy that almost appear gothic like, and fans can thank Eminem and co-producer Mr Porter (Kon Artis from D12) for that.
Rapping at a 100mph, Marshall and Royce interchange incredibly well, reminding me of a certain 'Blackout' album from Method Man and Redman. Jumping in and out songs as if they have been spitting together all their life, Royce’s dark voice contrasts Eminem’s perfectly, bringing a great balance to each song.
The first track is eerie and gloomy and rightly titled ‘Welcome to Hell’; a little sample of what you are in for. ‘Fastlane’ was the first and only track to be released off the album so far and deserves to be turned up full on any stereo. With an angry war-like beat, the Detroit duo delivers fast polysyllabic lyrics which definitely need listening to more than once; with a great soulful chorus that resembles the voice of the late Nate Dogg – quite nostalgic.
In true Eminem fashion, both rappers run through a host of similes and contemporary semantics, relating to Manny Pacquiao, Katy Perry, White men can’t jump, Darth Vader, Justin Timberlake and again David Carradine while dissing Lady Gaga. The boy from 8-mile has never been afraid to voice his opinion.
The actor Mike Epps (Next Friday) provides a Method Man like voice-over for the chorus on ‘I’m on everything’, a drug fuelled track that sounds like a weekend from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. ‘Lighters’ provides us with a soothing percussion over a fast beat as Eminem lyrically dumfounds for the umpteen time, before both artists allow a personal insight into their rise and fall in the game which is actually quite touching. Although the song has no place on the album.
Featuring the powerful voice of Bruno Mars, ‘Lighters’ is more than likely to be the next single released and will be most definitely be played by Eminem at V Festival this year. Peculiarly though, the song is far from the tenebrous aura the rest of the album portrays. The lyrics are kept to the same standard, with Royce paying homage to Slim Shady, in the same way he does to Dr Dre, but the song has a very poppy feel to it and yet is still excellent.
The final track features Shady Records recently signed group Slaughter House, which Royce da 5’9 is actually part of. Nonetheless the song has the greatest intro for every artist who spits on it. Imagine the intro to Sky Sports News turned cool, shady and downright funky - proper G funk that gets your attention every time.
This album is not the faint hearted or even easily offended and most are not radio friendly in the slightest. But this LP is for every fan who loved ‘Recovery’ and ‘The Slim Shady LP’. Both rappers deliver phenomenal pronunciation and annunciate their lyrics with such passion and emphasis; it must be heard by any true hip-hop fan.