I'm not going to lie, I was starting to get a little worried about Eminem's upcoming MMLP2 album. Even factoring in the inevitable "can an album this hyped possibly meet expectations" factor, everything we've heard so far has been...not bad, at best.
"Survival"? He's done a lot better. “Berzerk”? Respect it, don't really want to listen to it. And as long as I'm being honest, I was a little worried during the first few seconds of "Rap God." That beat sounded like some "I'm trying to stay cool and relevant by getting EDMish" shit. But then Mr. Mathers proceeded lay rest to all my worries and fucking First 48 the mic for a solid six minutes. O fucking K then, this is everything rap nerds could have been hoping for.
In fact, lyrically he gave rap nerds more than we could have been hoping for. I know my fellow RefinedHype Nation members picked up on the plethora of rap nerd hip-hop references Em dropping throughout "Rap God". And because I care, I'm going to lay them out:
Eminem (1:27): "Who thinks their arms are long enough to slap box?"
Rap Nerd Reference: There's probably 100 instances of this line being used, but Nas' "You're Da Man" is probably the best known.
Eminem (1:45): "I use it as a vehicle to Busta Rhymes / I lead a new school full of students."
Rap Nerd Reference: Busta Rhymes' original group, before the solo fame, was the Leaders of the New School.
Rap Nerd References: Check the links above. I'm pretty sure I missed one or two in here because he's rapping so fast.
Eminem (1:59): "Be in a position to meet Run DMC, induct them into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame..."
Rap Nerd Reference: That really happened.
Eminem (3:35): There was a time when I was king of the underground but I still rap like I'm on my Pharoahe Monch grind..."
Eminem (3:45): "They come trying / to censor you like that one line / I said on the Mathers LP when I...seven kids from Columbine"
Rap Nerd Reference: He means this line.
Eminem (4:24): "Lyrics comin at you with supersonic speed (JJ Fad)"
Rap Nerd Reference: Still a classic.
Eminem (5:22): "Bumping Heavy D & The Boys, still chunky but funky..."
Rap Nerd Reference: Still chunky but funky indeed.
And I couldn't bring myself to include them, but there's also definitely Waka Flocka, Laffy Taffy, and Fabolous vs. Ray J references for those who want bonus points.
Did I miss any? I'm sure I did, let me know on Twitter.
And regardless of the references, damn it's good to hear Em rappity-rapping again. Sounds like I can get my expectations for MMLP2 back up.