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Eminem, “Music To Be Murdered By” Album Review

An avid lover of music with a flair for writing. A core hip-hop fan with a thing for boom-bap beats and bars.

"Music To Be Murdered By" cover art

"Music To Be Murdered By" cover art

"Music To Be Murdered By" Album Review

After sending shockwaves throughout the hip-hop world with his diss-filled Kamikaze album, Eminem returns with a sinister and darker project titled Music To Be Murdered By. The album, inspired by the late filmmaker, Sir Alfred Hitchcock is Eminem’s 11th studio album, and it's one of his most enjoyable projects in recent years in my opinion. Filled with godly razor-sharp bars, wordplays, and wit that gets you rewinding every song, Eminem was really in his bag while making this album.

Music To Be Murdered By was a surprise release just like its predecessor Kamikaze and it makes for a compelling listen. The flow switches, delivery, production, God-tier lyricism, Eminem’s versatility, and the themes addressed on Music To Be Murdered By are the major highlights of the album in my opinion which would be examined concisely in the following paragraphs.

A major highlight of the album is the top-notch lyricism that Eminem displayed throughout the album. The “Rap God” was on hand to flex the lyrical prowess which he is revered for on this album, using mind-blowing wordplays, substantial metaphors, double and triple entendre that can go over one’s head for days. His pen game was excellent throughout the album and this can be observed throughout the album. An example of such mind-boggling line is “Thought my name was B-side’ cause they flipped over my tape” which is a double entendre that many listeners might not catch unless they carefully examine the line.

Another major highlight of the album is Eminem’s spitfire flow and delivery on this project. Most hip-hop listeners nowadays are more interested in how the rapper flows on the beat and delivers his lines and cadences than the lyrics of the song, and this has been an area where some of Eminem’s previous projects such as Revival has been lacking. However on Music To Be Murdered By, the delivery of his lines was much improved which made the album more enjoyable to listen to. The fact that Eminem also switches his flow consistently throughout the album made it livelier. Tracks such as “Darkness”, “You Gon’ Learn” are testaments to the improved delivery of his raps.

Another talking point of the album is the immaculate production and beat making. While Eminem’s previous projects such as Kamikaze and Revival have been bashed for underwhelming production, Music To Be Murdered By was immaculately produced. With a production team consisting of old friends, Dr. Dre, Royce, Mr. Porter alongside Ricky Racks, Luis Resto, Alchemist amongst others, Eminem succeeded in making an excellently produced album. The beat selection by Eminem was superb save for one or two tracks.

The themes covered by Eminem on the album are also noteworthy. He covers themes such as domestic abuse, gun control, love, etc. These themes are drafted in such a manner that Eminem strives to satisfy all his listeners from the young new fans to the middle-aged fans who started listening to him since he released his debut album.

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"Darkness" Official Music Video

On the flip side, Music To Be Murdered By also has its flaws such as its length. Spanning a length of sixty-four minutes, the album might drag on and it might affect the LP in terms of the replay value. The fact that the album covers several themes also affects the album in terms of replay value as there is no central thematic structure for the album.

Eminem’s tendency to complain about critics and haters non-stop on his albums can also get tiring at some point and on Music To Be Murdered By, it was quite cringing to listen to him complain about the ratings of his Kamikaze album and how he detests his father at his age. While he might have a point, it is unnecessary bringing up such topics at that age, as it puts some listeners off at times. “Premonition” and “Leaving Heaven” are examples of such tracks in which he was guilty of this.

Most tracks on the album sounded quite great to me save for one or two tracks such as “Step Dad” which did not quite cut it due to its horrendous hook although it had an intriguing storyline, it is an album that brings out some of Eminem’s best lyrical stunts in recent years.

While having noted that Music To Be Murdered By is one of his most enjoyable projects in recent years, it still does not cut it for me as one of the best albums he has put out. It cannot be compared to his classic works such as The Eminem Show or The Marshall Mather’s LP where his flows were second to none and his artistic expression was at its peak. All in all, Music To Be Murdered By is one of his best albums in recent years but it could have been a lot better.

Essential tracks: “You Gon’ Learn”, “Darkness”, “No Regrets”.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Fawaz Akintunde

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