The Marshall Mathers LP is arguably Eminem’s best album. So how risky is it that he’s planning a sequel to this masterpiece?
The Marshall Mathers LP has sold 21 million copies worldwide. It is certified diamond in the United States, which is the highest rank an album can achieve, sitting at over 10 million copies sold domestically. Critics and fans alike often refer to this album as Eminem’s best.
So, is he crazy to follow The Marshall Mathers LP with a sequel? Maybe.
While Eminem’s last album, Recovery, was certainly well received, many fans called him out for being too “preachy.” Having kicked his addiction to several substances, Eminem’s raps focused on his new life that was free of drugs.
This is most evident in his first single “Not Afraid,” the hook of which was, “I’m not afraid / To take a stand / Everybody / Come take my hand / We’ll walk this road together, through the storm / Whatever weather, cold or warm / Then you know that, you’re not alone / Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road.”
Recovery was still lyrically intelligent and had much of the same intense and witty style that we’ve learned to expect from Eminem. However, it certainly differed from his older music, particularly The Marshall Mathers LP, which was often categorized in the sub genre horrorcore for its violent and horror-themed content.
With previous songs like “Drug Ballad” and “Under the Influence,” which are both from The Marshall Mathers LP, it’s obvious how far Eminem has come from his earlier days. It was an organic change that was influenced by nearly losing his life due to a drug overdose, but many fans felt this was too much of a change from his original sound that garnered him so much attention in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
After albums like Encore and Relapse, it isn’t surprising that some fans are wondering if Eminem will ever get back into the groove. Recovery was certainly a good starting point, but it didn’t quite deliver the version of Eminem everyone was expecting, especially after so much time away from the game between Encore and Relapse.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2, however, could be the album that truly delivers to those fans that have been around since the original record or earlier. It’s certainly obvious that Eminem thinks so.
Seeing as the original album is critically acclaimed and considered a classic, having made it into the top spots on numerous lists ranking the best albums in hip-hop, it could be quite risky for Slim Shady to do a followup album.
Essentially what he’s saying is that this album will be his best since the original. Fans will have extremely high expectations, and if he doesn’t deliver, he could be looking at a lot of faith lost in him as one of the best rappers of all time.
But as he says in his new single “Berzerk,” “Life’s too short to not go for broke.” And he’s certainly taking his own advice here.