Recording information: Effigy Studios; Larrabee Studios, Universal City, CA; Shangri La Studios, Malibu, CA. Photographers: Jeremy Deputat; Kevin Mazur; Paul Rosenberg ; Jenny Risher. After centering himself with the confessional 2010 release Recovery, Eminem entered his forties while watching his beloved city of Detroit literally go bankrupt. The cover here displays this descent with an updated picture of the rapper's teenage home, first featured on the MM LP of 2000 but now boarded up, and yet this 8 Mile child cares much more about the present than the past, as this vicious, infectious, hilarious triumph is no nostalgia trip, just the 2013 version of Marshall the experienced maverick on a tear, dealing with the current state of events and kicking up dust with his trademark maniac attack while effortlessly juggling his over-40 wisdom with stuff you'd slap a teenager for saying. Key cut "Rap God" is the quintessential track as it blasts out homophobic cut-downs and other inexcusable lyrics, because Marshall's the "Dale Earnhardt of the trailer park," but "I still rap like I'm on my Pharoahe Monch grind," and suddenly his Stan Lee-like origin story begins to take shape. Marshall is a super villain so familiar with hate and depression, he's powered by all shades of anger. Be it pissing off the neighbors (rocking the house with a some Beastie Boys and Billy Squier samples on the Rick Rubin-produced party starter "Bezerk") or being threatened by critics (and his biggest ever, too, as "Bad Guy" revisits the MM LP character "Stan" via his revenge-obsessed brother Matthew), it all feeds into his super nova, and it's a unique spectacle when it explodes. Silly, manipulated voices and all, "The Monster" with Rihanna offers insight with its "I get along with the voices inside my head" attitude, then "Headlights" ups the game and offers mom an apology, referencing his earlier hit "Cleaning Out My Closet" and explaining it as an angry and irresponsible moment. Funny thing is, most of the best moments on MM LP2 are just as an...
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
No Description Available.Genre: Rap, Hip-HopMedia Format: Compact DiskRating: PARelease Date: 19-APR-1994 Nasir Jones made this debut album at the age of 20, already armed with the calm perceptiveness and been-there-done-that attitude of a much older ghetto vet, though sometimes his inner callow youth shows itself. Illmatic is a look back at a life spent in the culture of the projects, acknowledging joy as much as pain and taking note of violence as a fact of his environment rather than a focus of his life. It's enlivened by Nas's kicky, deep-threaded multiple rhymes--you can tell he grew up listening to Mr. Magic's rap show and internalizing the secrets of everybody's flow--and by tracks from a bunch of all-stars, including the Large Professor, DJ Premier, and, most memorably, Q-Tip ("One Love"). --Douglas Wolk
Double vinyl LP pressing. 2014 release, the third album from the rapper. The album was named after his childhood home address 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Produced by J. Cole with guest producers Elite, Ron Gilmore, Tray Samuels, DJ Dahl, Illmind, Cardiak, CritCal, Vinylz, Organized Noize and Jproof. Cole calls out white rappers Justin Timberlake, Eminem and Macklemore on the track "Fire Squad" hinting "history repeats itself" ala the Elvis rip-off controversy in the '50s.
Brand: My Favorite Things
2003 two CD release from the Hip Hop duo that contains a quasi solo album from each member (Big Boi and Dre 3000). At a time when experimentation is taboo in most overground rap, thatâ€™s all Outkast seem intent on executing. Firstly, this double CD has no cohesive link, other than the fact that it sounds like a pair of solo albums stitched together to demo exactly how Andreâ€™s yin works to augment Big Boiâ€™s yang. Andre 3000â€™s Love Below disc rates as the more eclectic of the two, given that heâ€™s turned in his emcee credentials to become a full-on funk-soul-jazz vocalist who mostly sings about items of love ("Happy Valentine's Day"), carnal lust ("Spread"), and female adoration ("Prototype"). Minus the big band schmaltz of "Love Hater" and cheesy cover jobs ("My Favorite Things"), Andreâ€™s disc is sick (meaning great). As is to be expected, the Big Boi disc is less arty, more gangsta and worldly, and features the less-progressive guest raps of ATL crunk purveyors Lilâ€™ Jon and The Eastside Boyz ("Last Call") and Jay-Z who rhymes the hook on "Flip Flop Rock". Unlike Big Boi, Andre keeps his collabos to a minimum, once crooning alongside Norah Jones on the cool yet sappy "Take Off Your Cool", and once with Kelis. Boi fulfills his Dungeon Family duty with flying colors by flipping some dirty southern up-tempo raps over electro beats on "GhettoMusick". By the time Cee-Lo sermonizes on "Reset", Speakerboxx and Love Below rate mostly as majestic and inspiring, with the remaining 23 per cent being just plain incredible --Dalton Higgins