Here at Hype Off Life we’re all for the culture. And what would the culture be if there wasn’t constant disbute?There’s been pandemonium since Friday amongst Hip Hop heads about Eminem and his latest release, ‘Revival.’ Instead of it being a rebirth of the Marshall Mathers who gave us Stan, it seems like a reminder that maybe we won’t get that Slim back… Insert sad face here.
Some seem to love it, some want to burn the album [chances are they streamed it though, so good luck] and the other third are on the fence. To start, I don’t think anyone who was not listening to him back in 2000 when he was harassing every Pop artist and boy band should have an opinion. Stand the f— back and let us REAL fans handle this. I grew up on Em. I’ve heard him through every sonic stage, including his ‘Infinite’ run, which I went back to listen to a few years back considering I wasn’t up on him at 4 years old. The real problem with ‘Revival’ isn’t all Eminem. Its the formula.
At the heart of it all, standing there like an awkward tall kid during gym class…PRODUCTION. The album’s below average instrumental composition on a good portion of the album is almost annoying to a listener like myself. It’s missing Hip-Hop feel. It lacks those melodies he would keep up with while rhyming and catchy basslines he used to crack in pieces. It’s Rap/Rock mashup attempts do not capture me, whereas songs like “River” featuring Ed Sheeran and “Bad Husband” which gets some help from X Ambassadors hold a great deal of replay value in my opinion.
Em clearly still has much left to say about his personal life and about America’s current political and racial mess. He undoubtedly continues to have the gift to draw us in. Into his heart and soul, no matter how comical, strong, angry or downcast he’s feeling. All this leaves one question to ask…Where the HELL are Dr. Dre and the Bass Brothers?
Because the production on Em’s latest works are off, us radicals of Slim’s classic delivery, can all agree it isn’t the same. Rappers evolve. I get it. If it was up to me Hov would still be spitting like he was in ’96, and Drake would still be on his So Far Gone ish, but hey. I guess it’s inevitable. There’s a huge difference in Shady’s vocal tone and how he spaced his words out perfectly on his earlier projects and his recent faster and aggressive delivery. The passion is still very much felt, it’s just not as effortless and fluent of a flow. I strongly believe [actually scratch that] I KNOW that if the beats aren’t right, everything else becomes sort of disheveled.
Overall, ‘Revival‘ is not a bad piece of work. If you are a fan of good music, the album does make great possible contributions to your playlists with tracks like the “In Your Head” and the duet with Pink “Need Me“. His messages and sentiments are still very much present, they just aren’t as easy to digest as they once were. We will be waiting for the change in formula. Come back Slim… We miss you!