The self-proclaimed “Rap God” is back.
Eminem’s long-awaited album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 will be released Tuesday and major publications are already weighing in on the record.
Rick Florino of ArtistDirect gave the rapper’s latest effort a perfect five out of five star rating.
“Feelings aren’t safe from Mr. Mathers and no one else is either as he fires off the kind of witty, wild, and wonderful verses that made him an icon on The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show,” said Florino.
Christopher Weingarten of SPIN said, “If rapping were purely an athletic competition, Eminem would be Michael Phelps and Lou Retton combined: pure ability and flexibility, like a bullet with only white-hot hate in his wake.”
Weingarten also states that “we get rhymes…more rhymes than some rappers manage in a whole career.”
Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times rated the album three out of four stars echoing the strong praise other critics have given The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
“Eminem sounds more alive — angrier yet fully present — than he has in years He burns with purpose on MMLP2,” said Wood.
Despite the lack of official release date or title earlier this year, the project that would come to be known as The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was topping several “Most Anticipated Albums of 2013” lists including MTV, Rolling Stone and XXL magazine.
Another addition to The Marshall Mathers LP 2’s early success is the chart performance of the four singles released from the record. The Beastie Boys/Billy Squieresque “Berzerk”, the booming guitar infantry of “Survival”, the assertive “Rap God” and the insta-hit of “The Monster” are all simultaneously listed on iTune’s Top Selling Singles. It is an uncommon feat and a strong prediction of how the album will sell.
“I feel like right now I am working harder than I ever have,” Eminem said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
“Once I had the direction that I wanted to go, and you know calling it The Marshall Mathers LP 2, obviously I knew that there might be certain expectations,” Eminem said. “Like, I wouldn’t want to just call it that for the sake of it. So I wanted to make sure that I had the right songs.”
When asked if he is proud of how the record turned out, Eminem replied in the same pessimistic fashion he is known for.
“For the most part, yeah, but I don’t know if I ever feel totally great about a record when I put it out. With every record that I put out, someone has literally got to come pry it from me because when I listen to my own music, I hear all the flaws,” he said.
Many guest artists are featured on the album such as fun. frontman Nate Ruess, Sia, Skylar Grey, Kendrick Lamar and past Eminem collaborator Rihanna.
For those unable to wait until the official release date, iTunes began streaming The Marshall Mathers LP 2 through their iTunes Radio app on Friday.
Since ending promotion of his last album, Recovery, in 2010, Eminem has kept busy between his Sirius-XM radio station “Shade 45” and production of young talent on his own record label, Shady Records.