Eminem is having a relapse – the best kind.
After nearly half a decade without a solo album, Detroit rapper Eminem is set to debut his new album, “Relapse,” on June 15.
“Relapse” is Eminem’s first solo effort since 2004’s “Encore.” With a long, mostly unexplained hiatus, comes a thirst from fans and critics alike to know what would have happened if Eminem never took his pen off the paper.
Needless to say, Slim Shady’s sound has been laying dormant in a mid-2000s time capsule, waiting for the right moment to change the rap game over again.
Eminem’s noticeable absence from the rap scene left a strange void. While Eminem himself dealt with a brief marriage to his infamous ex Kim, a stint in rehab and the tragic club shooting of best friend and fellow artist Proof, fans drawn to the genre and critics who fed off Eminem’s volatility to fuel their own careers (who would have known the Insane Clown Posse existed if Eminem hadn’t had issue with them) were left without a catalyst.
Rap had lost some of its glimmer and controversy. Instead of anxiously waiting to see how far Shady would take his lyrics and emotions next, rap connoisseurs were subjected to additional mediocre offerings from Eminem’s colleagues, including the lackluster 50 Cent disc, “Curtis.”
Outside of Eminem’s friends, rap has seemed stagnant. Besides the always brilliant and chameleonic efforts of Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Clipse, rap has been mired in a formulaic rut of bragging about money, possessions and the drug business. Songs such as Rick Ross’ “Hustlin’” have a good sound and a catchy beat, but don’t possess the same visceral fury and mission that lace Eminem’s voice when he writes a track.
Loyal fans of Eminem have been tempted in the past years by scintillating guest appearances on albums with Akon, T.I. and more. Every time Eminem jumped onto a track, it was a heavy reminder that the crossover entertainment icon could still throw rhymes onto beats in his =sleep.
From all indications, “Relapse” looks to be a powerful return to the forefront of rap. With the recent release of collaborated single “Crack a Bottle,” Eminem has proved, once again that his drawing power and popularity haven’t diminished.
“Crack a Bottle” is the perfect anthem for the coronation of a never-forgotten king of hip-hop and rap.
The newest single, “We Made You,” is full of recent pop culture parodies. It features a more mainstream sound than previous albums have boasted.
Other songs supposedly on the final track list have been leaked onto the Internet. “We’re Gone” viciously reminds detractors of Eminem’s tendency to lose his cool and throw a chair or two when confronted.
“I’m Having a Relapse” is done in an almost Rastafarian accent as Eminem raps about anything and everything to announce his return.
For a rapper that has already “returned” a number of times in his illustrious career, Eminem definitely knows how to make his reappearance seem significant again and again.
“Relapse” could be a revival of Eminem’s star power and if it goes as planned, picture dream tracks with Lil’ Wayne and Jay-Z. Eminem will reshape his career in the only way he knows.
“Guess who’s back?” has never sounded better.