A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Marshall Mathers LP 2 continues Eminem's tradition of extremely explicit lyrical content, including violent revenge fantasies, anti-celebrity tirades, and an endless supply of boastful rhymes. Although there are several radio-ready singles on the record, the majority of the album is full of typical Eminem vitriol, with admittedly less shock than he provoked a decade ago.
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What's the story?
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is the latest full-length album from iconic Detroit rapper Eminem, also known as Slim Shady. It's the sequel to 2003's controversial classic The Marshall Mathers LP and includes references to some of the characters and situations first introduced on the original album. Much of the production was done by Mathers himself as well as hip-hop wizard and Beastie Boys mastermind Rick Rubin.
Is it any good?
Eminem is undeniably one of the greatest rappers of all time, and he is still a master of wordplay and creative rhyming. However, his ability to craft good songs is really a matter of taste. Much of the album is drenched in rock samples and screeching electric guitars, and, combining that with too many cheesy sing-song choruses, the result is an album that uncomfortably straddles the line between raw energy and premeditated commercialism. There are a lot of impressive lyrics and even some catchy tunes, but the album is so dark and creepy that it's hard to feel much love for the protagonist.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the evolution of rap music and Eminem's impact on the genre's ascent to mainstream dominance. What role do you think Slim Shady played?
What do you think of the high-profile and pop-sensible collaborations, such as tracks with Rihanna and Skylar Grey, that proliferate on Em's recent albums? Why would a legendary underground rapper want to work with contemporary mainstream superstars?
A decade after the release of the first Marshall Mathers LP does Eminem's story and perspective still seem fresh and relevant? How has he tried to reinvent himself to extend his career?
For kids who love energetic pop music
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