Eminem’s The Relapse showcases rapper’s recent dark years

And just when you thought Eminem couldn’t get any darker, he had a relapse and did.
Eminem’s latest album, The Relapse, is a harrowing tale of murder, rape, pill addiction and rehab. His evil alter-ego Slim Shady takes us on a guided tour of the fantasy horrorland inside Eminem’s head, musing about everything from murdering Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears to accusing his stepfather of molestation.
The album is the rap artist’s first release since Encore in 2004, which led fans and the media to highly anticipate his return. But for a comeback, the content can get a little tedious at times, with shock-value lyrics similar to previous albums like The Slim Shady EP. In “3 a.m.,” Eminem raps about a nightmarish, serial killing spree that Shady executes while he is under the influence of drugs.
Underneath the usual pop-star bashing and ghoulish horror images, however, lays insight into what Eminem has really been struggling with over the past five years; the death of a close friend, addiction to prescription medication, and anxiety and disappointment that it took so long to release another album.
In “Déjà Vu,” Eminem raps, “So I take a Vicodin, splash it hits my stomach and ahh / A couple weeks go by it ain’t even like I’m getting high / Now I need it just not to feel sick, yeah I’m getting by / Wouldn’t even be taking this shit if DeShaun didn’t die.”
The lyrics in most of Eminem’s songs slip effortlessly off his tongue. The tracks on The Relapse are more succinct than previous albums, demonstrating a maturity in Eminem’s capability as a rap artist. He also branched out and showcased a few pop songs on the album, such as first single, “We Made You,” and “Same Song & Dance,” as well as the inspirational track with a rock instrumental, “Beautiful.”
For most of this album, we just get pure, raw and uncut Eminem, with only a few guest appearances by 50 Cent and album producer, Dr. Dre. Dre’s beats are what make The Relapse unique from Eminem’s other albums. The orchestral background music is coupled with crisp beats and loud bass, matching the haunting themes of Eminem’s lyrics and making for an eerie, gut-wrenching and powerful final production.

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