Marshall Vs. Marshall: 6 Biggest Differences Between Eminem's 'MMLP' And 'MMLP2'
November 5, 2013 - 5:06 pm
1. There is no Kim
The first couple of Eminem albums had explicit allusions to Kimberly Scott, the girlfriend turned wife turned mother and scorned female figure. Em killed her on The Slim Shady LP’s "97 Bonnie and Clyde", but things took a turn for the worst on Marshall Mathers LP. Towards the end of the album, the menacing, horrifying "Kim" puts the listener in the heat of an argument between Eminem and Haley's mom. Blood-curdling screams and murder follow, while Em sobs like a homicidal killer. Needless to say it was one of the most controversial songs on the album, and to this day remains one of his most excruciating songs.
On his new album, there isn't anything that explicit. The misogyny is still there, but he isn't killing any specific women like he did on Relapse's "Same Song & Dance". Kim hasn't really been a focus since Encore, so it looks like Marshall might have finally moved on.
2. Eminem isn't the industry rebel that he used to be
In a profile by Spin in 2000, writer Mike Rubin described Em as having "perfected the art of biting the hand that feeds him while shaking it at the same time." He was an outsider, an industry-crasher who did whatever it took to piss people off, yet we loved him nonetheless. Nowadays he isn't quite as rebellious. He makes pop songs with Rihanna, he partners with television shows and video games for marketing exposure. He even shows an unusual soft spot on Marshall Mathers 2. The industry has changed, and he has changed with it, remaining mostly out of the spotlight except for when a new album drops. He is no longer the in-your-face rebel that he once was. Now he's like the funny, perverted older dude.
3. Dr. Dre isn't on MMLP2
For all we know, there could be a whole other album’s worth of material produced by Eminem’s mentor that harkens back to the basic pairing of the two from MMLP. But it's in the vaults. Fans expected at least a few beats by Dre when we were slapped in the face with "Executive Producers: Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin" during the first commercial for the album, but Dre is nowhere to be found. He might get credit for a mix or two in the liner notes, but not a single beat on the new album sounds like Dre had anything to do with. It's more than a little disappointing.
4. No more Paul, Steve Berman, or Ken Kaniff skits
It's unclear exactly why Em has abandoned the skits depicting his manager's disappointment and the label rep's outrage at the latest album being turned in. It's probably a simple manner of Eminem finally being accepted by the industry at large, so skits about how much of a headache he is would seem disingenuous now (those kind of conversations probably don't go on anymore). Ken Kaniff was a nasty-sounding pervert that embodied all of the seedy sexual acts that Marshall would ridicule in his rhymes. Rumor has it that you can hear Ken pop up on the bonus tracks for MMLP2.
5. His punchlines used to be more clever
"When I go out, I'ma go out shootin'/I don't mean when I die, I mean when I go out to the club, stupid" was how he opened his verse on MMLP's "Remember Me." Thirteen years later, he's actually saying punchlines like "Don't try to fix me, I'm broke so I don't work/so are you, but you're broke cause you don't work." Lil' Wayne must have devoured his soul or something. More cringeworthy punchlines pop up on "Asshole," and it only goes to show how much funnier Eminem used to be. He's still a jokester, but his humor is aging, and a dude in his early 40's doesn't sound right rhyming "oink oink oink" with "doink doink doink."
6. He's sober
MMLP was originally slated to be called "Amsterdam," so you already know a bit about where Em's head was at during the time of that album. "Drug Ballad" and "Under The influence" made it clear, but his manic delivery and quick-to-explode sensitivity are often attributed to his rampant drug use. In recent years, some fans have wondered whether getting back on drugs would help Em's flows get back to where they used to be, but that's just fucked up. Let the man live a healthy, peaceful life with his daughter. If that means retirement, so be it. He's already given us classics.