anthony-mandler-photography-eminem-gun

The Marshall Mathers LP 2 = Eminem’s Failed Suicide Attempt


“Behold the final chapter in the saga”-Eminem on “Bad Guy”

On September 29th 2013 over 10 million people at home( and millions  of others illegally in anonymous comfort of the internet) watched Breaking Bad’s season finale. After five (real time) years and roughly two (in show) years of watching the morally debased transformation of a middle aged Chemistry teacher named Walter White into a meth dealing genius megalomaniac named Heisenberg. The precision of the meth cooking scenes were so precise that some learned from it. The plight of his cause (paired with early seasons of a wide-eyed Walter White) were so tragic we related to and empathized.

But, Walter White had to die, because Heisenberg would not let him live.

Eminem has wanted to kill Eminem a few times over the past decade. On “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” from his 2002 classic album The Eminem Show he said:

It’s like the boy in the bubble who never could adapt/ I’m trapped If I could go back, I never wouldve rapped/ I sold my soul to the Devil I’ll never get it back.

Seven years, a few rehab stints and brushes with death later and Eminem released “My Darling” as a bonus track on his 2009 comeback album Relapse. The song takes the “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” lyric of selling his soul to the devil and turned it into a storytelling song where Eminem faces the devil himself who reveals that he has been with Eminem since he sold his soul to get signed by Dr. Dre. The song ends with Eminem shooting himself in an attempt to relinquish the grip of the demon and kill it at the same time, but the demon lives and explains to him how his addiction, Proof dying and all of his misfortunes are a result of him striking a deal with the devil for fame.

While listening to The Marshall Mathers LP 2 with these past lyrics in mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to not view it as a long suicide note for Eminem (not Marshall Mathers). An album with a vast array of allusions to this being the “final chapter”, not being afraid to die finally and other themes that permeate the album, is one that forces you to analyze the artist within the context of the world he’s created.

Here are three common symptoms of suicidal behavior:

Talking about feeling hopeless or guilty

No, it’s hopeless, I’m the denial that you’re hopelessly in
When they say all of this is approaching its end-Eminem on “Bad Guy”

'

A common motif of the album (and a few post-comeback Eminem songs) is captivity, both self-imposed and involuntary. Whether it’s an almost innate trait of being a creature of habit (“So Far”) and feeling compelled to rap or the expectations placed on him, Eminem makes it abundantly clear that his actions are not all of his own control.  On “The Monster”,  Em explains that the same vivid imagination he said was “the only way to escape”  his adolescent bullying (“Brainless”) has progressively become more warped the deeper into it he delves to draw out those cartoonish murder lyrics fans praised him for for over 10 years.

Save me from myself and all this conflict/
Cause the very thing that I love is killing me and I can’t conquer it-Eminem on “The Monster”

The idea of his past thoughts haunting him is littered throughout The Marshall Mathers LP 2 with subtle homages to past Eminem lyrics. This theme is best illustrated on the album intro, “Bad Guy” where Eminem has a dream  nightmare about the younger brother of the fictional superfan Stan. Stan’s brother, Matthew Mithcell even changes his murder plot in the middle of the kidnapping based on Eminem lyrics. To drive home this point of self-inflicted destruction, Eminem psychoanalyzes his own dream:

‘Cause Marshall Mathers the rapper’s persona’s half a facade
And Matthew and Stan’s just symbolic
Of you not knowing what you had until it’s gone

Suddenly changing behavior, especially calmness after a period of anxiety

“You trying to save me, don’t hold your breath/
you think I’m crazy..well that’s not fair”-Chorus of “The Monster”
Eminem_And_His_Mom_Debbie--large-msg-121156713861

From 1999 until Spring of 2008 the only thing that calmed down Em’s maniacal ferocity were his daughters and his nearly unlimited source of drugs. Five years later and the constant stream of venomous slurs, pop culture satires and youthful rage has subsided considerably and he has even squashed a few of his biggest feuds. None more important and shocking than his reconciliation attempt with his mother on “Headlights”. For the first time in his entire career, Eminem tells the woman who he’s described as a pill-popping psychopath on numerous songs, “I love you, Debbie Mathers.”

This sudden change of behavior could be construed as an MC once drunk on resentment and unbridled anger pleading to reconcile with his mother in order to start fresh after cheating death in 2008. However, “Headlights” never gives that feeling of being entirely the extending of an olive branch as he still says he’ll love his mother from afar and the cryptic ending hook sounds more like a man waiting to die than a man trying to start anew:

Never say goodbye cruel world
Just know that I’m alright, I am not afraid to die

Performing self-destructive behaviors, such as heavily drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs, or cutting their body

For me it would have been career suicide. I felt […] I should make a song just dissing everybody who’s hot now.-Eminem in 2010 interview with Big Boy

drake-em-weezy-mtv1

F*ck top 5, b*tch, I’m top 4/
And that includes Biggie and Pac, wh*re
And I got an evil twin, so who do you think that’s 3rd and that 4th spot’s for?-Eminem on “Evil Twin”

It’s impossible to physically harm a persona and legacy short of murdering the artist, so self-destructive behavior for Eminem would be him going all Rambo into the rap field. Eminem has flipped and flopped on where he views himself in the pantheon of Hip Hop greats. One year he’s #9 on the Top 10 (“Till I Collapse”), another year he’s “cool beside Jay Z” (“Never Enough”) or “down at the bottom right after AZ” (“We’re Back”). But, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 contains his most arrogant lyrics of his career and a few subliminal shots at Hip Hop’s elite. Em has mentioned his competition by name before, on the unreleased 2009 song  “Get Money” song as he rapped:

They keep on saying the same rappers are the best /
Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Maybe they’re just trying to distract you from the fact that I’m coming back /
Or maybe it’s cause I ain’t black /
Maybe it’s because of that /
Maybe it’s because I’m the highest selling artist in rap.

As his labelmate and protege 50 Cent will tell him(or should), attacking any and everybody on record can lead to you becoming an unwelcomed target. If Em ever directly dissed a Jay Z, Drake, Lil Wayne or any other artist whose fanbases 1. are diehard loyal and 2. are a considerable portion of the overall Hip Hop listening audience, Eminem would have a hard time staying relevant and beloved.

And that seems like exactly what he wants.

eminem-mm2

Here’s the dilemma that faces Mr. Mathers: The only way to kill a persona as widely known and inextricable to his life as Eminem is to become irrelevant. Given how even Eminem’s most lukeworm of songs (“Berzerk”) will still go platinum quicker than a tourette’s eye blink, it would seem the only way to achieve irrelevance is to completely quit rapping. However, to quit rapping would be to remove a habit that 1. he has been doing for most of his life and 2. is the only thing he thinks he’s good at doing.

The finale of Breaking Bad was a masterwork of balancing fan expectation with artistic closure and in so demonstrated the acknowledgement of one immutable truth: the life of a piece of art is never in the hands of the artist. By the end of the Breaking Bad series, Walter White went from being overly controlling to simply a spectator of the desecration of his name and his legacy. He built a machine gun contraption to murder every one of the Nazi’s in the room with him and presumably allow a random bullet to strike him and end his misery. Walter White’s genius eventually killed him. Eminem is hoping for a similar death for Eminem. One where he gets so lost in his own genius that he disregards all other factors (sales, fan expectations, etc) until he falls into the comfort of oblivion.

But there is one thing he will fight for until his fictional (and literal) dying day:

As long as I’m on the clock, punching this time card/
Hip Hop ain’t dying on my watch.-Eminem on “Rhyme or Reason”

G.O.A.T.

  • Whitefolkslovedoingcrazyshit

    I seriously hope eminem doesn’t equate skill with record sales. He is not the best and definitely not top 20. Just because all these white kids relate to being a loser too doesn’t mean he’s one of the best.

    • just_some_bastard #ALCOHOLIC

      Yeah……I’d say he’s one of the best. Top ten…..maybe top 5.

      • Whitefolkslovedoingcrazyshit

        In your opinion. I can’t relate to him at all. I’ve always bullied people and was quite popular in school and now.He seems like the kid I’d beat up for fun.

      • Joe

        You seem like a real dick. Yet your so proud.

      • Whitefolkslovedoingcrazyshit

        Yep!

      • Keith N.

        You’re proud you caused someone to commit suicide? I hope your children dont inherit your karma.

      • RapItUp

        Somebody just cloned the other guys name, the guy you, Andy, and Joe responded to seems to be a troll who used a similar name.. not saying the original whitefolkslovedoing….. is a saint or anything, just noticed by the # of comments.

      • Guest

        from ur description im half ur size and i wish you’d bully me LOL
        u sound like one of them guys bullied people u knew were weak physically and mentally and had 0 friends.. so u bullied them to make ppl think ur cool when ur compensating for having a 2 inch dick hard. i bet u anyting ur wife gettin smacked out when ur working.. kids might not even be urs lol. u wouldnt dare bully a real dude i guarntee u that

      • brotha_man

        now look at u. I bet ur the fat guy who cant get a date, while those u bullied are top of the business world

      • Whitefolkslovedoingcrazyshit

        Look at me? Nigga,you dumb as hell lol. Here’s my rap sheet I’m 6’4,own my own advance auto,I’m married to a beautiful woman and in 4 months I’ll be the father of twins.I made it out,got a degree and never pitied myself like Eminem or the losers I bullied. They never became anything because of me. One even committed suicide.I am fat though lol

      • Andy

        “They never became anything because of me. One even comitted suicide”.

        Does that make you feel good, scum? YOU are the epitome of a loser, despite what you keep telling yourself.

      • Jason

        You seem like you’re doing well STILL being a proud bully. It’s actually people like you Eminem cant stand.

      • LaurynHernandex

        You never leave the computer.

      • brotha_man

        its called a iphone and ipad, genius. nobody sit on a computer at the crib anymore, what u think this is 2004?

      • LaurynHernandex

        lmao I wasn’t talking to you. Now I know you got multipl accounts too. No life lmao

      • brotha_man

        there is only one brotha_man,u bastard child

      • Joe

        Neither do you. If the headline says Eminem, there you are trolling.

      • Joe

        He’s top 3 actually.

    • Jason

      You’re a complete moron if you’re gonna deny Em top 20 status. MOfo is top 5 of all time

    • his bars are better then everyones. and he has record sales. yeah… next time make a point that can stand up to the truth!!! ahahaha

      • NoGoBoi

        Nas, DMX, Scarface, Andre 3000, Beans, Tech N9ne… Em bars not messing with either of these MC’s bar-for-bar. Em is not trash but he is far from the best. Just because you get a slight pass to say borderline offensive shh and get away with it because of your skin doesn’t make you dope, it makes you the exception. But when we talk bar-for-bar, don’t disrespect or discredit what we know hip-hop to truly be. Just because you sell more records doesn’t mean you’re the dopest MC, it could also mean you sold your soul or sold out just for those sells. Every MC I stated paints pictures to their verbal art, speak on Life as a whole not just that crazy mess Em be over saturating you all with.

      • grabo2003

        Sometimes being exceptional makes you outstanding and better than the competition. Tech named Em in his top nine and Tech is an exception who has been very successful yet he is not your typical rapper (to an extent people thought he was into satanism or some weird ish like that which was actually laughable). Em has actually rapped about real life situations e.g. The whole recovery album I.e not afraid, talkin to myself, changes, love the way you lie….how does that not paint a pic to the verbal art ?

      • NoGoBoi

        Ok I see what you’re saying but one album can’t compare to a catalog or body of work from another. Em is a good example of, if it’s forced down your throat enough, eventually you’re going to swallow. Like I said before, Em has skills but he is def not the best ever bar-for-bar. Substance, growth and knowledge in music is very key, Em is clever, witty and creative but he has very few songs where it touches your soul and takes you to that place like gospel music, and it’s Hip-Hop Music. But hey, this is only one man’s opinion.

      • Keith N.

        ONE ALBUM? Let me first say this…if you dont know by now that Eminem is one of the greatest storytelling rappers ever then you havent listened to much Eminem. “Stan” is a better storytelling song than ANY of the ones from ANY of the MC’s you listed and I respect all ofthem. But you do know that EVERY rapper gets away with saying borderline shit cause they’re rappers, right? You DO know that’s what’s in rap’s core..right? DMX said he wanted to have a man raped in a song, Beanie Sigel has talked about women as bitches(like every rapper)…it’s just that Eminem’s white so people look at what he’s saying as different than the norm when what he’s saying has been said by MANY rappers:

        “My boy gutta known to kidnap kids/fuck em in the ass, throw em over the bridge”-Biggie… and then listen to “Dead Wrong”(which was originally released before remix with Eminem) and tell me B.I.G. wasnt saying offensive shit.

        If Eminem music doesnt touch your soul like those MCs you named then youve never heard Kim, Sing For The Moment, Lose Yourself, Till I Collapse, Cleaning Out My Closet, Rock Bottom, If I Had..I could go on and on.

      • NoGoBoi

        Naw dude, his music does not touch my soul and I’ve head all of those songs. Em is good at putting words together, but he doesn’t touch my soul with his music. I guess we just have different souls, my uncles and grandpa were blues musicians, that’s the cut of my dna and its relation to soul music, down home mound bayou, mississippi blues born in the chicagoland. If u feel his music hey, good for you.

      • Keith N.

        See THIS is all you had to say instead of saying Em doesnt paint pictures or make his music visual. You can debate if it touches your soul..you CANT debate if Eminem paints verbal pictures like the best of Hip Hop. Thats not debatable and theres TONS of songs to prove that.

      • ems bar slauther all there bars, bar for bars, go back and listen dumba ass. the ish u said about the offesive ish is dumb as hell.. they all say offensive ish… lol.. well andre is a homo so he rap about flowers n shit.. beans doest rap about killing people?? while also actually killing people?? LMFAO now thats some racist shit on your part LMFAO.. and smh at the same damn time… like i said em sell records.. AND is the best bar for bar.. suck on that for awhile, and em speaks on his life as a whole MORE then any of them ahahahahahahaha damn u suck.. its be fun schooling u up.

      • NoGoBoi

        lil dude you got too offended about my opinion regarding this situation, people like you don’t know how to disagree and debate with sense and factual statements, you get all gas’d up and start talking reckless like you proving a point and not making yourself look like an idiot. Learned a long time ago not to argue with fools, so I’ll let all your silly comments slide and discuss this topic with someone with more sense and not so much of an emotional attachment to a man that doesn’t even know your name. “enslaved meth cook”… smh

      • womp womp

      • Keith N.

        “Every MC I stated paints pictures to their verbal art”

        So you never heard “Stan”, “My Darling”, “Kim”, “97 Bonnie & Clyde”..and the many other stories he’s painted? Do you listen to the music or skim through it?

        Thanks for reading.

    • grabo2003

      Hold on, how is he a loser when you have acknowledged his tremendous record sales? He is far from being a loser in my own opinion. In terms of skill please he definitely top five g.o.a.t because he outstaged probably one of the top five mc’s on ‘ renegade’.

    • Keith N.

      Is 2Pac and Biggie the best because a bunch of African Americans like hearing about violence? Also, before you say “2Pac was deep and had messages”…so does Eminem, but you clearly disregarded that.

      Thanks for reading

  • wickedjones

    Im a old head, personally I think kendrick lamar lit a fire under these rappers ass. Btw, I dont like eminem style, but that RapGod song was some of the hardest sh%t I ever heard.

  • Reblogged this on TheSkoopHipHop.

  • JaffarR

    There is no artist in hip-hop that cares about all the minor details and dynamics of a hip-hop song in order to present a craft that is absolutely perfect… besides Eminem.
    People that called “Yeezus” a phenomenal album but are hating on MMLP2, should lose all credibility, period.

    • LaurynHernandex

      Eminem has made 4 bad albums in a row and Kanye has always changed each album so he’s excused.

      • kanyes bars are weak sauce, only black people who like leather joggin suits and pretend they are kings and queens bump dat

    • Guest

      and theres the prob. em cares and still pumps out wack, corney music on a consistant basis each and every album minus the eminem show.

      noone cares about ur lyrics if u make the song physically unlistenable.

    • Jah Jah

      agreed, Yeezus is vile. Em’s album is above most people.

  • If Em ever directly dissed a Jay Z, Drake, Lil Wayne or any other artist whose fanbases 1. are diehard loyal and 2. are a considerable portion of the overall Hip Hop listening audience, Eminem would have a hard time staying relevant and beloved

    I Can tell by the depth of this your a smart dude so you tell me why would you go out and make a dumb ass statement like this.
    I mean thats a statement someone makes who doesn’t really know hip hop if you really believe that statememt then here’s 4 magic seeds that when planted will grow into money tress that grows 100 bills on it

  • Clarence Clementine

    What your auditory cortex is processing is the absolute limits of the english language synthesized with various elements from multiple musical genres. Many of you shrimp-fried face ass dumbfucks will simply fall intellectually short to comprehend the multifaceted metaphors, puns, alliterations, allusions, entandras and similes since your brain’s cognitive development has been stunned by airwaves of chief keef’s “music” quote quote; the same folks that can’t follow Inception will be the ones screamin this sucks- that response is perfectly acceptable from degenerates and imbeciles alike.

    • kylars

      whatever ya weirdo

    • NEWSKULL

      Please don’t insult our intelligence!… hip-hop is our religion…the album is not going over our head… the album is wiggity wiggity (….)! (you probably don’t know the rest)…the guy who wrote the article is being kind because Eminem is one of the top 5 most successful artists MC…

      TOP 5 (mainstream/urban level combined)
      1- 2PAC
      2- EMINEM
      3- 50 CENT
      4- OutKast
      5- Jay-Z

      TOP 5 ( All Time aka the GODs)
      1- 2PAC
      2- NAS
      3- BIG
      4- Rakim
      5- JAY-Z

      Eminem will be a rap god if he gets back to “Till I collapse” level… that’s what we are all craving here… and when I heard recovery I thought he was on his way…. So when he said MMLP2 boy I was excited… but on some real shit I got mad respect for him but what he is doing right now is just gibberish…
      Bring out the REAL Monster Em… You got it in you… I heard some of it on Rap God… “Me I am the Student of Rakim…” see that part got me “hmmm!!!”… we all know you got it!….

      BRING IT OUT!… We will give you your god status!

      • LaurynHernandex

        None of them you’ve rated are top five except pac,nas and rakim. Eminem,50,big boi hell no. Andre 3 k is top ten.

      • andre could be top 10.. if he rapped more and consistently put out dope music… and wasnt a complete homo

      • LaurynHernandex

        you lost a long time ago

      • nigga u ant seen a W since preschool.

      • LaurynHernandex

        lol you are mad

      • LaurynHernandex

        No one is craving a eminem album except 13 year olds.

      • keep telling yourself that lol… u mad

      • Jason

        You had me at first, till I saw your wack ass lists.

    • atlantahiphopshop

      He’s just another drugged out white dude rapping Stan, calm down with your over-literate ass.

  • JimJames29

    Its a good album but he still has weak bars.
    ‘Feels like I’m in an animal shelter with all these pet peeves’

    • weak bars?? More like the best bars in the business. lol dumbass

    • yo did u even listen through the lyrics on the album most his wordplay is nuts

  • atlantahiphopshop

    When his real personality shows, he sucks. He can rap but he is obnoxious and privileged. Just a lil corny white dude, period.

    • obnoxious and privileged?? kanye west?? jay z??? every rapper out??? lol

      he just a corny white dude… who uis the ebst rapper alive. lol thats whats great about it. You dont have to be a thug or leader of a crime family to be the best rapper… all u gotta do it rap great.

  • damnbrah

    This is the best eminem album so far !!! open your ears !! its a eminem
    in his best,no doubt listen to the rhyme complexity, the producing, the
    nostalgic feeling to the mmlp2, if your really interested in rap and if
    you call yourself a “rap fan” i mean a real rap fan, then you have to
    admit this is one of the sickest albums ever produced !!!!!!!! stop being ignorant and start listen to what this genius says !

    • Guest

      the production is the prob. nooes denying lyrics. his choice of beats are shit. and love game– i dont got enough time to rant about that song. i felt so sorry for kendrick. finally gets a song w one of his rap idols and its one of the fuckin gayest songs ull ever hear. em might be a closet homo

    • its def not his best, but the bars are great.

  • Reblogged this on kapriqorn soul.

  • Home Skillet

    Not quite sure about this piece:

    “his most arrogant lyrics of his career and a few subliminal shots at Hip Hop’s elite……If Em ever directly dissed a Jay Z, Drake, Lil Wayne or any other artist
    whose fanbases 1. are diehard loyal and 2. are a considerable portion
    of the overall Hip Hop listening audience, Eminem would have a hard time
    staying relevant and beloved.”

    My opinion if em did diss directly:
    1. Staying relevant is no issue after all he is Eminem,people pay attention to controversy, and also it doesn’t hurt to have Jimmy Ivone and Dr.Dre behind you.

    2. Maybe i took this out of context but, Why is it OK for everyone else to have arrogant lyrics but not Em?

    3. You dont think em has his own die hard fan base?

    To they guys straight hating on Eminem its quite simple click on another link

    • Guest

      Also, 3. You don’t think Em has his own diehard fan base?

    • Keith N.

      1. 50 Cent has those same people behind him and he’s not even half as relevant as he was 10 years ago because of how he burned so many bridges in fans’ eyes.

      2. Nah…I LOVE that he has arrogant lyrics ..LOVE it…I hope I didnt make it seem like it was a bad thing.

      3. Em does have a die hard fan base…you dont get that big if you dont ..but even he says it on the album, sooner or later they’ll leave you and dissing the biggest artist out could lead to that if he loses the battles. ‘

      Thank you for reading.

      • 50 fell off cause his bars just arent good enough to diss everyone he dissed.

        ems bars are unfuckwitable.

      • grabo2003

        I don’t think Fif fell off at all….I think at some point it became cool to hate on Fif because of the success he had in a third of the time it took yo jays, diddys of this world to make it! I have a question which no one has ever seem too keen to answer…between the over 30 year old rappers (say late thirties) who hasn’t ” fell off” because none of them are selling more than they did their first few albums?? What makes Fif’s case worse than Nas,J, fat joe, busta, jadakiss, wutang etc?

      • nah, he def fell off as far as lyrics and bars, got a little lazy wit it… some gems here and there tho

      • Nas is a god, fat joe sucks, busta still doing damage in his own way… jada doing tracks here and there but no direction he comfortable. wu tang, rae is doing it, ghost had that fish scale, rza doing movies.. theres so many of them of course some gonna fade out.. ok it was good schoolin u up..

  • Tony P

    Eminen is the best rapper out….PERIOD #mmlp2

    • Joe

      Everyone knows this. Some people, such as racists, homosexuals and women will pretend and lie to themselves, but trust me, they know.

      • Opposite Of Everyone

        why/how is he the best?

  • RazaBladeKing

    Anytime I hear someone say “OMGZZZZ!!!!1!!1! Eminem is the greatest rapper of all times ever!!!1! Haterzzz!!!1!1!” or some other garbage, I usually just ask them to name 20 rappers. They usually shut up real fast… or they start naming garbage rappers, and still can’t get to 20. Funny how that works.

    • SlutMagnet

      Opinions differ, get over it.

  • brownhill

    spoiler alert for those of us who haven’t finished breaking bad good christ

    • if you havent watched the end of breaking bad yet then THAST YOUR FAULT!!! by the way jesse lives after walt saves him.

    • water_ur_seeds

      yeah i’m only on season 4

      • R.I.P Ultimate Warrior

        sucks for you too.

    • R.I.P Ultimate Warrior

      sucks for you

    • SlutMagnet

      LOL

  • Jason

    Overall, the album is wack

    • the 1st track sucks, and most of the hooks are doo doo, but the bars is better then everyone in hip hop.

      • Luke Drummond

        The first track sucks? What? We are talking about the same album right? The one with Bad Guy as it’s first track, right?

      • yeah, it just wasnt right, something off about it.. a little cheesy, rhymes are well structured but its a little monotone and boring..

  • pretty good article. great comparison with walter white, and M and M upside down is W W.. walter white!!!!! i kno i just blew ur mind…

  • DJ WIRED

    Good Article!

  • KardellCosbeeJR

    Wow. Reading your article it becomes pretty blatant that you have no clue about the world of hip hop

    • Keith N.

      How so? (Also, you used ‘blatant’ wrong)

      Thanks for reading

  • poop

    what the hell did i just read?

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