20 Songs, 1 Hour 4 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

If you were hoping that an Eminem album released in 2020 would be less offensive, violent or controversial, this album isn’t for you. It’s called Music to Be Murdered By, after all—a title borrowed from a creepy 1958 music compilation presented by Alfred Hitchcock. In one interlude, Hitchcock’s voice can be heard explaining the premise: “This was meant for your listening pleasure—while you are being done in.” This surprise drop, in which we’re reacquainted with Eminem’s chainsaw-wielding alter ego Slim Shady, is as cold and uncompromising as it sounds. The snarling beats—produced by Dr. Dre, The Alchemist and Eminem himself, among others—heave beneath wordplay as impressive and elaborate as it is aggressive, sinister and, occasionally, unacceptable.

Unlike his last two releases, this album is neither pop-leaning (with exception of one Ed Sheeran feature) nor a straight-up diss record. For better or worse, most of Music to Be Murdered By is simply Eminem doing what he does best: gratuitously savage, antagonistic rhymes for the pure, juvenile sake of it. Long-time stans will rejoice to find three (!) collaborations with Royce da 5’9”, particularly the frenetic “Yah Yah”, also featuring Q-Tip and Denaun. The beats on “Stepdad” and “Lock It Up” are second to none, while “Little Engine” and “Farewell” wouldn’t feel out of place on albums released two decades ago.

But the world has changed in two decades. The divide between Eminem, lyrical savant and god of rap, and Slim Shady, a trigger-happy psychopath, has always been difficult to bridge. It’s harder to hear shock-value sucker punches about domestic violence and disability—least of all because they risk discrediting the genuinely powerful moments that Eminem is so uniquely capable of. The song worthy of the most discussion (and controversy), “Darkness”, is one such moment: What begins as a tender, personal tale soon reveals itself to be the disturbing account of a man committing mass murder from a Las Vegas hotel room, before ending with a series of breaking-news voiceovers reporting on real-life mass murders throughout America. For all the wrath and bloodshed on Music to Be Murdered By, its most provocative song is its least fictional.

Parental Advisory Explicit Content Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

If you were hoping that an Eminem album released in 2020 would be less offensive, violent or controversial, this album isn’t for you. It’s called Music to Be Murdered By, after all—a title borrowed from a creepy 1958 music compilation presented by Alfred Hitchcock. In one interlude, Hitchcock’s voice can be heard explaining the premise: “This was meant for your listening pleasure—while you are being done in.” This surprise drop, in which we’re reacquainted with Eminem’s chainsaw-wielding alter ego Slim Shady, is as cold and uncompromising as it sounds. The snarling beats—produced by Dr. Dre, The Alchemist and Eminem himself, among others—heave beneath wordplay as impressive and elaborate as it is aggressive, sinister and, occasionally, unacceptable.

Unlike his last two releases, this album is neither pop-leaning (with exception of one Ed Sheeran feature) nor a straight-up diss record. For better or worse, most of Music to Be Murdered By is simply Eminem doing what he does best: gratuitously savage, antagonistic rhymes for the pure, juvenile sake of it. Long-time stans will rejoice to find three (!) collaborations with Royce da 5’9”, particularly the frenetic “Yah Yah”, also featuring Q-Tip and Denaun. The beats on “Stepdad” and “Lock It Up” are second to none, while “Little Engine” and “Farewell” wouldn’t feel out of place on albums released two decades ago.

But the world has changed in two decades. The divide between Eminem, lyrical savant and god of rap, and Slim Shady, a trigger-happy psychopath, has always been difficult to bridge. It’s harder to hear shock-value sucker punches about domestic violence and disability—least of all because they risk discrediting the genuinely powerful moments that Eminem is so uniquely capable of. The song worthy of the most discussion (and controversy), “Darkness”, is one such moment: What begins as a tender, personal tale soon reveals itself to be the disturbing account of a man committing mass murder from a Las Vegas hotel room, before ending with a series of breaking-news voiceovers reporting on real-life mass murders throughout America. For all the wrath and bloodshed on Music to Be Murdered By, its most provocative song is its least fictional.

Parental Advisory Explicit Content Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
180 Ratings

180 Ratings

Hfhvdfg ,

Masterpiece

The album is great but Darkness is a stand out! The word play and detail, goosebumps!

RFW85 ,

Eminem proves why he is still the best

Unbelievable album, almost zero filler. Just constant barrage of absolute banger tracks, you get a bit of everything here - aggressive flow, retrospective, storytelling, wordplay, and modern club tracks, even a somewhat throwback 90’s feel on Yah Yah with Royce. Honestly can hardly fault the album, Em’s really outdone himself this time. 2020’s off to a great start.

Legendary Em ,

Even more godlike

Em is still the god we know and love 🤴🏼

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