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. Longtime 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 Lyrics. 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. Longtime 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 Lyrics. Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
3.4K Ratings

3.4K Ratings

Getsomewood17 ,

The mumbles brought back the EM

The king is back and the mumble rappers and fakes out there will never be safe now. This album is loaded with BARZ !!!

wgtmcc ,

Eminem is Back Again

Mix of Styles and flows. Mixes it up great while keeping that pure sound.

dcreal ,

Better with time

Rappers aren’t supposed to get faster and better at 47. Theyre washed. They quietly put down the mic and transition into acting. This guy sounds infinitely better now than he ever did then. Phenomenal album.

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