Eminem’s “Revival”

via Eminem's Instagram

via Eminem's Instagram

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Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP 2” came out about three years ago in November, and since then, fans have been left to question whether or not the “Rap God” has left the hip-hop scene. Though the controversial rapper has appeared on different songs from other artists after the album, he’s chosen to remain astray from producing his own music…until recently. Teasing people with the tracks, “Walk On Water” and “Untouchable,” Eminem has once again sparked interest in his lyrical flow and musical creativity. Now that “Revival” has been released, I would like to review and give my opinion on the overall theme and message that the artist has shared.

The album’s opening tracks outline Em’s rap career so far, and his perspective among new artists and himself, whilst battling the thought of whether or not he can still meet his fans’ expectations that have been held against him since his first album. Other tracks that expand upon his career also include his unapologetic verses on “Offended,” claiming that he could care less about anyone’s opinion on whether or not he’s controversial, vulgar, or politically correct. However, Eminem also realizes that he still has his own frustrations about creating his alter ego “Slim Shady,” a dark and violent, yet comical persona that is shown through many of his past songs like, “Criminal” and “Who Knew.” In the past, this character was also used to express any real life issues that were happening to him at the time, leading Em to now regret not being able to have separated his alter ego from the real world.

The album’s context is more mature, with the exception of some tracks, such as “Remind Me,” “Heat,” ”Offended,” and “Framed.” Songs involving the rapper’s own political views are contained within “Untouchable,” which details racial injustice in America, switching from the perspective of a white person to a black person, and “Like Home,” an anthem supporting the country’s patriotic pride, while also going against Trump’s vision for the U.S. Eminem also includes love-hate relationship songs, describing instances of the struggles that may arise in a relationship, something that a handful of listeners may relate to in one way or another. These specific type of songs also includes his own relationship with Kim, now his ex-wife, that is brought up in the song, “Bad Husband.”

Near the end of the album, Eminem leads up to the last two, and arguably the most significant tracks, “Castle” and “Arose.” The song “Castle” shares his thoughts that he had at the time before his daughter Hailie’s birth,  revealing his fears and hopes for the future of his unborn child. The subsequent track depicts the rapper on the edge of death, based on a real-life experience that took place in 2007, when Eminem overdosed on pills and passed out shortly after, then receiving medical attention afterwards. I personally see these last two songs in the tracklist to be the most important part of the album, as it comes from an emotional place from Em’s heart. The moving tone of both tracks bring, in my opinion, a satisfying conclusion to the entire album.

Upon listening to the album from beginning to end, I find that “Revival” is an entirely different Eminem that most fans, including myself, aren’t exactly used to listening to. Although this may not be a familiar sound to hear from an Eminem album, it doesn’t take away the more in-depth moments that the artist has chosen to add into such a collection of songs. Em has evolved into a different person with age, and it’s brought a new sound to his music with it. With that being said, the album, while it may be something different, has brought a version of Eminem that is still worth listening to for the sake of hip-hop.