A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Eminem uses shock value to get his message across: four-letter words, explicit sexuality, and gunshot sound effects are all part of the deal. But this visceral, in-your-face rapper is still one of the best around. Unfortunately, this album highlights other artists on Eminem's label who have yet to live up to his artistic standards.
What's the story?
Designed to help launch several new Shady artists -- Stat Quo, Ca$his, and Bobby Creekwater -- RE-UP originated as a street mixtape project, destined only for underground distribution; or so says the press release. The end result, however, is a product every bit as slick as any other Eminem release without the talented treatment of language that he's so capable of. The album opens with a blast of shotgun fire and then rolls into a deluxe assortment of four-letter words (punctuated by more gun shots). Many tracks are performed by the featured artists, with or without Eminem. For the most part, the Shady boss lifts the others up, coaxing good performances out of his crew. But much of the writing isn't up to usual Eminem standards.
Is it any good?
Ths album is filled with tedious boasting about sexual and automotive prowess -- without the pointed poignancy and clever lyricism we've come to expect from this artist. What's not missing from this album is Eminem's usual pissed-off, potty-mouth persona. Employing his trademark throaty growl and uniquely rhythmic phrasing, he attacks every track with the intensity of a pit bull. Parents are likely to be uncomfortable with the graphic and exploitive sexual content on several of the songs. And, there's the obligatory (yawn) cell-phone call, the drug and gang references, and the "N" word used over and over again.