(Not So) Slept-On Hip Hop Songs: Assessing Eminem's 'MMLP2' Singles

posted Sunday November 03 ,2013 at 04:30PM CST | 32 comments

(Not So) Slept-On Hip Hop Songs: Assessing Eminem's 'MMLP2' Singles

HipHopDX staff assess Eminem's "Berzerk," "Rap God" and "The Monster," the first releases off "The Marshall Mathers LP 2."

With the November 5 release of Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 approaching, HipHopDX staff assess three releases off the album.

The tracks include the Rick Rubin-produced single "Berzerk," the DVLP-produced claim to Rap godliness on "Rap God" and the Frequency-produced "The Monster," where Eminem details his internal battles.  

"Berzerk"

With the first single from his forthcoming The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem went all-out retro. The Detroit rhymer partnered with producer Rick Rubin, who was famous in the mid-1980s for "reducing" records, stripping them down to their core and delivering minimalistic, high quality, drum-, scratch- and guitar-driven soundbeds for Run-DMC, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys, among others. Sonically, Rubin takes a page from his 1980s Rap playbook on "Berzerk," with its bare-bones aural approach, while Eminem makes it clear with the line, "Let's take it back to straight Hip Hop and start it from scratch," that his lyrics will include an old school approach. Nonetheless, Slim Shady keeps it current by shouting out Kendrick Lamar (and giving him a cameo in the video, which also pays stylistic homage to the Beastie Boys' "So What Cha Want") and employing his patented pastime of including pop culture references into his rhymes in order to keep "Berzerk" from sounding completely throwback. It's an interesting approach for the best-selling rapper of all time, abandoning a catchy hook and an appearance from a chart-topping R&B act on the chorus to propel the lead single for his new album. "Berzerk," maybe. Bold, certainly. - Soren Baker (@SorenBaker)

Watch the "Berzerk" video by Eminem

"Rap God"

Hip Hop, more specifically Rap music, is built upon superlatives. The nature of braggadocio in Hip Hop felt more like ammo for competitive reasons. It's what's fueled the friendliest beefs, the most intense cyphers, the most gruesome rap battles. But what happens when you've already been labeled as the proverbial "G.O.A.T."? What happens when you've defied all color lines within Black music, and there are arguably no obstacles left nor no one else to battle? Well, you become a demigod named Eminem. On "Rap God," he's claiming the seat we've already given. With a series of indirect jabs, countless switches in cadence, and references to the same story we've been told since the first Marshall Mathers LP, Shady reminds us he's the best. Yes, Em, we know. It's not that "Rap God" isn't good. It's great. But the current State of Hip Hop has everyone attempting to shift from great to godly. We've watched Kanye West be damn near crucified for calling himself "A god" and "Yeezus." Does placing "Rap" in front of this self-inflicted title make it any better? Not really. Mom jokes, sort of playful attempts at murder, and lots of nuts-grabbing is what basically encompasses Eminem's MMLP2 torch single. He's cleverly adept at achieving that topical trifecta, as he's been using that same formula his entire career. Perhaps he felt like we've all forgotten he knows how to Rap and had to shift to the divine? But rhyming about being good at rhyming will eventually run you out of rhymes. God or not. - Kathy Iandoli (@kath3000)

Listen to "Rap God" by Eminem

"The Monster"

Eminem has had many monsters to conquer. The Detroit, Michigan rapper has managed to channel a lot of those battles in his rhymes, fights with childhood bullies, his mother, his wife, his fans, his fame and his drug addiction, among many other on-record plights. On "The Monster," Eminem is backed by Rihanna, another celebrity who has had to face personal monsters in the lime light. Eminem uses the Frequency production on "The Monster" to channel his rhymes. "I wanted the fame, but not the cover of Newsweek," Eminem raps to start the track, before detailing his relationship with the metaphorical monster within. The song taps into many of the concepts that Eminem has had to challenge throughout his life and career, compelling bouts that have helped him become the best-selling rapper in the history of the genre. Taking a cue from hits like "Not Afraid" off 2010's Recovery album, Eminem has another anthemic hit on his hands. - Andres Tardio (@AndresWrites)

Listen to "The Monster" by Eminem

Stream Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2

RELATED: Eminem "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" Release Date, Cover Art, Tracklisting & Album Stream

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Comments 32 Posts

  • Jibbex
    The Monster and Survival Suck. Rap God and Berzerk were awsome and subsenqquentaly are only really for Hip Hop fans.
  • don
    To that B*tch named Kathy, F*ck you LL Cool J been rapping since it has begun and he is about to bring out a NEW album so your theory is wrong B*TCH
  • Vanbiguous
    Em on 'Rap God' was clearly being tongue in cheek about the deity angle. He noticed the trend of rappers calling themselves it and he simultaneously declared his omnipotence while basically making a bit of a joke about it. So I don't think he was piggy backing off the trend I think he was saying it's obvious he's a God while making fun of the idea in the first place.
  • Barrs
    Eminem's catalogue will always divide opinion but what cannot be debated (in my opinion) is that he has proven himself "technically" stronger than any mainstream rapper to ever lay down a verse. I am black, I'm no "Stan" and I have a pretty decent knowledge of hip hop and its history and reserve my judgement on what it has become. I profoundly believe that if Marshall Mathers were black he would have been acclaimed as the best that ever lived. His knowledge of, and respect for, the art form and the culture is unlike most the rappers out there. He is the GOAT in my humble opinion. His will join poets like Keats and William Blake in having his work deconstructed by future generations.
  • sxxx4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zcDr4DbKEg
  • Anonymous
    "Sometimes I listen and revisit them old albums often as I can, and skim through all them bitches just to make sure that I keep up, with my competition haha"
    • Anonymous
      why you keep posting this
  • Observer
    Id love to hear an Eminem & Andre 3000 collabo.... Pity & funny how all these rappers calling themselves best, never rhymes with their lyrical equivalents How about you feature a Nas, Andre 3k, Rakim, or Kool G Rap on your albums Em?
  • ANOTHERWASHUP
    I gotta agree with everyone below... this eminem shit is ridiculous, im one of his biggest fans but he needs to hang it up. He is washed up and his new stuff is so corny. Good point by kathy tho, how long can he rap about how good he raps. if he wants to take it back, take it back to infinte not beastie boys. Fuck he sucks now
    • LOL
      Keep hating he's still best in the world right now, fake ass fag
  • Anonymous
    Lets not act like we havent heard the leaked album hiphopdx.com has been constantly talking about the last couple days.
  • j
    "The Monster" sounds like something Flo Rida was lined up to rap over had Em turned it down
  • One
    To the Admin of this site: We are tired of Eminem articles. Please cover something else besides promoting him. Yes, I know "he is the greatest of all time(for a white dude)." Cover somthing else. Hell you might as well give everyone on here a copy of the albums because you damn near posted half the album on here.
    • LOL
      You that nigga you had me laughing non stop
  • smh
    I haven't seen any artist be promoted as much as eminem on this site....7 out of 8 of the "singles" posted on this site are Eminem songs and you make a whole new "news" article every time a song comes out. Also notice even when this dude is quiet and isn't dropping anything you find a way to tie him into articles. Either this site is run by all white eminem groupies or the majority of people who come here are white eminem stans and you're doing this to get those page clicks.
  • dentaldamboy
    Lil Wayne told me that he ghostwrote Rap God.
    • Anonymous
      did Gillie ghostwrite it for Wayne?
    • dentaldamboy
      I saw wayne ghostwriting something and he told me it was rap god.
    • KING KENDRICK KOMPTON
      Kendrick Lamar > Lupe Fiasco > Emienem > Nas > Drake > Isaiah Rashad > Kanye West > Lil Wayne
    • Anonymous
      Hahahaha nice one
  • wd
    We don't give a damn about no white man law if you attack what we love. And frankly, it ain't none of your business. What do you got to say about it? Did you teach Em? Did you make Eminem? Did you clean up Eminem? Did you put Eminem out before the world? Was Eminem your traitor or ours? And if we dealt with him like a nation deals with a traitor, what the hell business is it of yours? You just shut your mouth, and stay out of it. Because in the future, we gonna become a nation. And a nation gotta be able to deal with traitors and cutthroats and turncoats. The white man deals with his. The Jews deal with theirs
  • Anonymous
    Wow what a shitty article.
  • Champagne Papi Life
    How much is Eminem's camp paying you DX? Eminem is garbage.
    • Anonymous
      He's the GOAT but this is just ridiculous, this website has posted more Eminem things than anything else combined the past few days.
    • Anonymous
      ^^Agreed with you both. I like Eminem but DX is making up articles just because. Its ridiculous.
    • HipHopDX
      We do this for every big release. Haven't you noticed? E.g. Kanye, Jay-Z, Drake
    • J
      There are so many anti-stans on this site that it's incredible. Don't read the article if you're not interested. Obviously Em is one of the biggest hip hop artists out today and HipHopDx is a site that relies on views like any other. I'm interested in what they have to say (while I don't agree) so I read the articles.
    • Anonymous
      yeah same shit happened to kendrick , kanye, jay-z, etc... the bigger the release obviously the more promo/interviews theres gonna be hence more coverage... you should probably cry about it some more though. maybe on the next 3 eminem article that pop up tomorrow
    • Anonymous
      they did the same thing to your boy Drake fuck nigga.
    • Anonymous
      "Champagne Papi" wasnt complainin when every other article was about Drake when his album came out. By the way thats the gayest fucking screen name ever
    • Anonymous
      Get used to it, Eminem is going to be all over the place including this site for the rest of the month. So suck it up haters.
    • Anonymous
      ^^You must love gargling on his nutsack bitch.