Breaking Down Which Eminem Album Is Better: “The Marshall Mathers LP” Or “Marshall Mathers LP 2″ (DETAILS)

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    Eminem

    Hip-hop sequels can be a mixed bag. There have been classic ones — like Raekwon’s brilliant Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt 2 or Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III — but, for the most part, hip-hop sequels are stinkers.

    (God, have you heard Onyx’s Bacdafucup Pt. II or Ghostface Killah’s More Fish?)

    So what Eminem just did is impressive.

    Yesterday, the legendary MC released a hip-hop sequel that didn’t suck. It’s called The Marshall Mathers LP 2, the sequel to his 2000 masterpiece.

    We can’t stress how good the album is. But does it compare to the original?

    We decided to go back, listen to both records, and break down which one was better using five categories: rhymes, beats, guest appearances, album flow and concepts.

    Scroll down to check it out.

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    Rhymes

    Basketball fans, who would win in a game of one-on-one: 1988 Michael Jordan or 1998 Michael Jordan? We know what you’re going to say: ’88 MJ blows old man Jordan out of the water. A 25-year-old MJ is stronger and more athletic than a 35-year-old Jordan. However, that late ’90s Jordan had experience. He was wiser, and he had a certain craft to his game that would have made things competitive.

    Do you see what we’re getting at here?

    Throwback Eminem and current day Em are both supremely skilled MCs. There’s a key difference between the two, however: entertainment value. Old-school Em rapped in a way that the everyday man could hear. This current day Eminem literally just races through his verses, often putting rhymes inside of rhymes. It’s impressive, but we’re not sure how entertaining it is, and we’re not sure how people can pick up on it without a trip to Rap Genius.

    The first Marshall Mathers LP is going to get the nod because the rhymes are dense, but easily digestible, something that can’t be said for the sequel.

    Winner: Marshall Mathers LP   

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    Beats

    Here’s something that many Eminem fans don’t want to admit: The Slim Shady LP, Eminem’s first album, while good, sounds terribly dated in 2013. The same can’t be said about his follow-up, The Marshall Mathers LP. There were two kinda sounds throughout that album: the funky, Dre-inspired sounds featured in “Who Knew” and “Bitch Please 2,” and the hard, horrorcore-inspired beats that were on tracks like “Amityville” and “Remember Me.”

    If you really think about it, The Marshall Mathers LP might be Em’s best produced album. The beats really felt distinctive, the only Em album that’s like that. (Everyone knows how that “Kill You” and “The Way I Am” beat sounds).

    The Marshall Mathers LP 2 continues Em’s tradition of rhyming over pretty non-descriptive beats, like the bland guitars featured on “Survival” or the beepy noises on “Rap God.” (However, props to Rick Rubin for “Rhyme or Reason.” That’s a monster).

    Winner: Marshall Mathers LP

       Eminem & Rihanna

    Guest appearances 

    Eminem isn’t Rick Ross. He uses his guest appearances sparingly.

    And, looking back, what stands out about The Marshall Mathers LP is how odd some of the guest appearances are on that album. For an album that’s considered a pop music classic, there’s plenty of features from underground acts, like RBX, Sticky Fingaz, D12 and Xzibit. On Em’s sequel, the features are Rihanna, Nate Ruess, Skylar Grey and Kendrick Lamar. With the exception of Grey, who is pretty bland on “Asshole,” the features on Em’s latest are exceptional.

    Both albums feature great appearances, but we’re going to give the nod to Marshall Mathers LP, off of the strength of that Sticky Fingaz verse on “Remember Me” alone, because that shit is a monster.

    Winner: Marshall Mathers LP

    Eminem At New Jersey Meadowlands Arena

    Album flow

    For starters, both albums are probably a little too long, but we would argue that most rap albums are too long.

    Over the years, one of the things Em has stopped doing is creating skits. In Marshall Mathers LP 2 there is only one skit, while The Marshall Mathers LP is full of them. The problem with skits is that, with the exception of a few albums (the De La Soul is Dead album comes to mind) skits lost their usefulness after the first couple of listens, or so. The immature “Ken Kaniff” skit is so wack in 2013.

    Winner: Marshall Mathers LP 2 

    Eminem Elton John

    Concepts 

    We’re gonna give the nod to the new album here. The first Marshall Mathers LP was pretty much just a big middle finger to everyone — critics, his mother, pop stars. This one has a lot more depth.

    In this album, Em has his jokey moments, his serious moments and his moments where he just wants to rap.

    We love hardcore Em, but the diversity the rapper shows in this album is impressive.

    Winner: Marshall Mathers LP2

    eminem peace sign on stage white shirt hat

    And the winner is… 

    Shocker, but we’re giving the nod to The Marshall Mathers LP. It’s just an all-time classic pop music record that’ll be remembered forever. The sequel isn’t too shabby, though. And despite some initial hate, MMLP2 is a worthy follow-up to Em’s sophomore album.

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