Eminem is one of the GOATS – no discussion about that – who had his peak around the turn of the millennium: The Slim Shady LP (1999), The Marshall Mathers LP (2000), and The Eminem Show (2002) are indisputable classics. Since then, Eminem’s output has been more miss than hit – Relapse (2009), generally underrated, was his best album since The Eminem Show.
Eminem hit his lowest point with Revival (2017), and even if both Kamikaze (2018) and Music To Be Murdered By were a step up from that disaster, he didn’t fully redeem himself with them. Music To Be Murdered By – Side B is solid enough, but it’s not that album either.
Music To Be Murdered By – Side B is Eminem’s 16-track bookend to January’s Music To Be Murdered By. Music To Be Murdered By was a mixed bag and this companion LP is the same. Like on the first one there are plenty of flashes of Eminem’s lyrical brilliance, but with way too many juvenile one-liners there is just as much corniness. Also, like so many Emimen albums in the last 20 years, the album is plagued by mediocre beats, weak choruses, and unnecessary guest spots (autotune crooners like Ty Dolla Sign and White Gold shouldn’t have a place on an Eminem album).
All in all, Music To Be Murdered By – Side B is a little more consistent than Music To Be Murdered By is. There is a marginally less cringe here, and Eminem sounds more ‘comfortable’. But even if Music To Be Murdered By had deeper lows, it had higher highs too. There is no “Darkness” on Music To Be Murdered By – Side B. And the overabundance of trap-like beats brings this album down a notch or two as well. A track like “Zeus” symbolizes the album: great wordplay diminished by a weak beat and a weak hook.
Best tracks: “Alfred’s Theme”, “Discombobulated”, “Higher”, and “Book Of Rhymes” (which presents the interesting juxtaposition of having DJ Premier scratching over a trap beat).
Keep the best 14 or 15 tracks from both albums and the result is a GREAT Eminem album, as it is we have two mixed bags that despite their good moments ultimately do not have enough replay value to reward them with repeated listens. 67/100
Also read: The Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2020 & Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2020 – The Honorable Mentions