2 years ago
Em never lost anything he doesn't still have. He may not have made a conscious decision to stop doing the same album over and over, but I think he did have a desire to try to grow and change as an artist, to evolve, to better his craft and he has, for no other reason than to keep things new and fresh. People who don't like his new music aren't dumb or anything if they don't like his new music. Some of his new music isn't for everybody, and I don't like everything he's ever done, but I think he has consistently released good material since he first released the Slim Shady LP. That CD had some bad songs on it, but it also had Rock Bottom, Still Don't Give a Fuck, Bad Meets Evil, and Role Model (first Em song I ever heard. Still rocks.) Then the MM LP had some of the best rap of his (or any rapper's) career, the Way I Am, Stan, Criminal, Kim, etc. But there are some not so good songs on the album. The Eminem LP had some great tracks too, Soldier, Say Goodbye to Hollywood, and one of my all-time favorite rap songs: Til I collapse. Again some of the songs weren't that great. Drips was pretty bad. Encore is given the most flak but it still had Mockingbird, one of his all-time best. Relapse was not that much different, really, than his first LP, and had some of the best lyrical structures of his career such as 3am, Same Song and Dance, Be Careful What You Wish For, My Darling, and an almost universally beloved "Beautiful."Recovery is perhaps my least favorite, but Not Afraid, So Bad, Almost Famous, and You're Never Over (even if it's corny) were good songs. Refill had a really sick (lyrically) track list, and a fan of horrorcore / hardcore could find some interesting shit on there. I love Music Box, the rhyme structure, the beat, etc. And the MMLP had some great songs, more reminiscent of his early work than anything: "Rhyme or Reason" is a great song, the last verse in opening track is epic, along with the virtuoso performance of Rap God and Wicked Ways, it also had a song very reminiscent of The Way I Am, in Legacy, one of his most intimate tracks in years. And Headlights is a genuinely moving, emotional without being schmaltzy song. Guts Over Fear came out and it was good, the more I listened to it the more I liked it. Then "Detroit vs Everybody" -- his verse on its own is fucking nasty in that song. Even "Best Friend" has its good moments, as he knows how to work with the beat like no-one else. Em has consistently been the preeminent lyricist and word smith in mainstream hip-hop and for 16 years he's dropped #1 album after album, remains the second most followed page on Facebook, in the top 10 most viewed YouTube channels for 2014 and 2013, and has remained interesting and relevant through three decades. How many have rose and fallen since "My Name Is" dropped? Countless megastars have popped up and released a few chart toppers and got some radio hits before fading away. There have been few in music, in any genre, to maintain that level of success for so long, and he gets the respect he deserves 99% of the time. He'll continue to have the same success with equally supportive / dismissive former fans crying fowl over his old stuff being better, but it's not better, it's just different; sometimes the lenses of nostalgia with which we sometimes look upon what we so love can distort the truth about what we're hearing in the present and we can see the past in an historic context, and we recognize epicness, usually, only after the waters settle, after the hype has died down. Em has developed such a loyal fan base because the people he manages to reach can relate to him and, strangely, celebrate themselves through seeing the black sheep that made it, the preeminent failure that became bigger than any rap star to ever live. Had he not burst onto the scene in an era when downloading music and burning cds was catching its stride, his sales would probably be twice what they are now, if not more so. He gave a disaffected youth an outlet and an inspiration, and they've kept listening, if nothing else as friends, more so than fans, as one can really get inside his head, and get personal with his character after listening to his music closely and for long enough. Again, no one is dumb if they don't like his new music, it doesn't make them stupid or wrong. Just my opinion, fellas.