Eminem’s new album Shady XV dropped on Nov 24th 2014. The album includes 2 discs. Disc X (Disc 1) gives you a taste of Eminem and a glimpse into the future of Shady Records with artists like Yelawolf, Slaughterhouse and Royce da 5’9 who carry most of the album. Eminem seems like a special guest. The CD starts with “Shadyxv” which was produced by Eminem. This is typical Eminem flow where you tune in to listen to what he is saying and don’t hear too much else. The beat seems like an afterthought. This track could have easily been recorded a cappella. Passable and not what you would expect for the first track.
#2 “Psychopath Killer” was produced by Boy-1da and Just Blaze – so you know already that it’s gonna be a banger! Throw in Slaughterhouse, Eminem and Yelawolf and you get what I believe is the hottest track on the album! After listening to the album a few times this was the hook that stuck out the most and I found myself singing it out loud while at my nieces B-day party. After a quick look around, I realized everyone had taken a few steps back! Maybe not the best hook to be singing out loud – but good luck getting it out of your head!
“Die Alone” which features Kobe is one of my least favorites. The hook feels commercial. And Em’s lyrics are just not there. The song itself has horrible transitions when the track switches up. The fourth track is “Vegas” by Bad Meets Evil – and sadly Royce gets over Em on this one. For some reason Shady added effects to some of his vocals that just don’t work for me. Next is “Y’all Ready Know” — a Dj Premier joint. As soon as the song starts you hear the familiar call of Premo and know it’s a banger! This is another track where all the other heads on the song kick a stronger verses than Em. But an instant favorite!
#6 is “Guts Over Fear” this has a commercial vibe to it. I wouldn’t be surprised if you hear this on the radio soon as the next single. It’s similar to his collaboration with Rhianna and “Way you Lie” but since it has Sia on the hook she brings a little more darkness to it. Following is “Down” by Yelawolf and this brings a newer vibe to the album instead of the older style that Eminem has. This song only has Yelawolf and Em does not appear on it, but you don’t even realize it until the song ends since its so engaging.
“Bane” features D12 (no Eminem). This wasn’t the best song, but still a better song from beginning to end than some of the solo Eminem jams like “Die Alone”. Don’t expect one of those D12 songs that keeps you wanting more, the song is just mid level. #9 “Fine Line” was produced by Eminem and is a solid song with a good hook. “Twisted” is next with Skylar Grey, Eminem and Yelawolf. The song starts with a soft chorus from Skyar Grey which leaves you wanting more! When she sings “I didn’t know you’d be insane” it has similarities to the Hit “Stan” w/ Dido. Next Em comes in with his own singing then Yelawolf just straight kills the the rest of the song! This one was one of my favs! #11 “Right for Me” is Just Em straight rapping! Once again feels like the beat is an afterthought and after one listen I didn’t find myself going back for more. Last is “Detroit vs Everybody” and if you don’t like this song then you don’t have a pulse. It starts right off with Royce da 5’9 flowing to the dope Statik Selektah beat. Next Big Sean drops a highly anticipated verse. Everyone has been talking about him and Em doing a song ever since his @ss song dropped in 2011. Detroit natives Danny Brown, DeJ Loaf and Trick-Trick also get in on this beat. Em has one of my favorite flows on this joint!
Even with the songs that don’t hit, this album is still better than a lot of the new music coming out nowadays. Em is not at his greatest, but he still beats out a lot of what is out there right now in the rap game. It may feel like a disappointing album when you compare it to Eminem’s old stuff, but you need to keep in mind that this isn’t a solo album. Em is trying to show us he still has it along with the people that he believes will be the future. In a 1-5 rating system I would give the album Shadxv Disc X a 3.5 out of 5 rating. Although I miss the old Em, I can appreciate the new artists that have combined to make this album what it is. And maybe that was the point Em was trying to get across – he doesn’t need to prove anything to us. He can just have his crew handle it! He doesn’t need to be on all the time because he has strong artists that can back him up whether he is on a song or not!