Fire Marshal(l)

It was exactly one year and one day ago -- 366 days to be exact -- that I wrote about Eminem's latest solo album, Recovery. I'll reiterate what I said last year, which is I think the album is the best of Shady's career. As I said in that piece, I really believe Mr. Mathers is at his best when he's not talking about spitting in people's onion rings or sticking test-tubed gerbils up his ass. That stuff may be good for a chuckle or two, but the reality is Eminem is at his best when he's real, talking about real shit. That he's so raw and candid on Recovery is the main reason I love it so much. And I think he loves it too, because especially on this song he says he "ain't going back to that1 now". Without question, Recovery is my favorite Eminem album. It's his comeback, and I think he's better than ever because of it. But Eminem's comeback trail didn't stop with Recovery. Far from it. Earlier this month, he and Royce Da 5'9" released an 11-track EP titled Hell: The Sequel under the stage name Bad Meets Evil. ('Bad' being Royce, 'Evil' being Eminem.) I've been listening to the album practically non-stop since it came out, and I love it. Eminem's wizardry with his words and the ferociousness with which he delivers them is further proof that he's back and better than ever. And I love it. It's awesome music. I really think Hell: The Sequel has a chance to contend for Best Rap Album -- at least, until Lil Wayne releases The Carter IV come August. It's just a great, great, great album. The chemistry between Saddam and Osama bin2 is undeniable. Lyrically speaking, it beats the pants off of anything else in hip-hop right now. What's more, I think it further cements Em's place as Greatest Rapper Alive.He's such an incredibly talented individual, regardless of how he's perceived. The man can flat-out rap and I love listening to him. I love the album as a whole, but here are my favorites tracks. Links are to YouTube.

My advice? If you're any kind of Eminem fan, get this album. Highly recommended.

1. 'That' being Em's alter ego, Slim Shady. And use of the many accents heard on Relapse.

2. A reference to a line in one of Em's verses on Track #1, "Welcome 2 Hell". (See above)