After a five-year hiatus, one of the most famed MC’s of the modern day era; Eminem finally returns with his long awaited sixth studio album, Relapse.
Filled with usual Eminem recipe of making fun of pop stars, suicidal/murder tendencies, and his love for prescription pills, the lyricist from Detroit leaves no stone unturned on a project that features 98 percent of Dr. Dre-driven production.
After the ‘Dr. West’ introduction where he discusses his release from a medical facility, the album gets underway with ‘3 A.M.,’ [Click to watch '3 A.M.' video] which leads right into ‘My Mom,’ as he talks about his habit of drug usage being caused by his mother.
Behind the heavy horns provided by Dr. Dre, Eminem recaptures his childhood drug abuse, “Valium was in everything, food that I ate/the water that I drank, f*ckin’ peas on my plate/she sprinkled enough of it to season my steak/so everyday I had at least three stomach aches.”
On ‘Bagpipes From Baghdad,’ the use of bagpipes and a drum loop assist Em, as he takes the time to reminisce on his past relationship with Mariah Carey, which she vehemently denies; while taking digs at her new hubby in the process, “Nick Cannon, you prick I wish you luck with the f*ckin’ whore/every minute there’s a sucker born.”
‘Same Song & Dance’ finds Eminem going into full kidnapper mode, as he tells stories of abducting unsuspecting (famous) women.
Slim Shady then proceeds to use songs like ‘Medicine Ball,’ ‘Underground,’ and ‘Stay Wide Awake’ to show that even with a five-year vacation, his lyricism and delivery are still amongst the best in the business.
With ‘Beautiful,’ Eminem makes more of an effort to get a little closer with his listeners on a personal level by voicing lines like, “I don’t know how, why or when/I ended up in this position I’m in/I’m startin’ to feel distant again/so I decided to pick this pen/up to try to make an attempt to vent/but I just can’t admit/or come to grips/with the fact that I maybe done with rap, I need a new outlet.”
Other over-the-counter drugs written out on Eminem’s prescription are slow and drawn sounds of ‘Must Be The Ganja,’ ‘Hello,’ and the crazy tales of ‘Insane.’
As aforementioned, even with such a long layoff, Eminem proves that his ability to basically have his way with the English language by bending it forwards and backwards is still intact, with Relapse being the perfect title for this album, as he reverts back into his comfort zone of material that made him so successful in the beginning of his career.
By no means will Relapse do for Eminem what Stillmatic did for Nas, or what the Black Album did for Jay-Z in terms of being able to make another stellar album when the entire world was in doubt, but maybe this record will give the 36-year-old MC who’s always carried a chip on his shoulder a little more piece of mind…