REVIEW: Eminem, Music To Be Murdered By
Dedicated to Eminem’s late bodyguard CeeAaqil Barnes and the late Juice Wrld who features on the track ‘Godzilla’, the album was released with no prior announcement and sent a shock wave through fans and critics. The albums titled and cover artwork share the same name and inspired imagery as the 1958 album, ‘Alfred Hitcock Presents: Music To Be Murdered By’, a theme that Eminem refers back to many times throughout the album and both the albums end with Hitchcock stating, “If you haven’t been murdered, I can only say better luck next time. If you have been, goodnight, wherever you are.”
Open with ‘Premonition – Intro’, the song starts with the sounds of a female being murdered, and the voice of Alfred Hitchcock announcing, ‘This Is Music To Murdered By”. Premonition comes across as an open letter, a swirl of anger aimed at the music critics that say that Eminem isn’t being controversial enough but when he is he also gets in trouble. Before going into the verse, Eminem can always be heard saying, “As much as I hate you, I need you”, referring to how even though the critics are a huge cause of frustration for the artist, they are still there promoting his album for better or for worse.
The next track on the album, ‘Unaccommodating’, is arguably the most controversial track on the album most noted when Eminem refers to the Manchester Bombing in 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert with the line, “But I’m contemplating yelling “Bombs away” on the game like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.” Eminem chooses to draw comparisons between his music’s impact on the industry and bombing attacks, which unexpectedly has drawn a lot of criticism, in particular from the victim’s families. This choice of lyrics is in bad taste but also it’s almost like Eminem is trying to reinforce that his critics are complaining when he’s not controversial enough (as heard on Premonition), but he knew from writing that line that critics were still going to take offence.
In true Eminem style, each track tells it’s own story, some more poignant and necessary than others. The best example of this can be seen in the 9th track Darkness that was also accompanied with a music video, depicting the Las Vegas festival shooting from the perspective of the perpetrator, commenting on the huge gun problem facing America today. The song ends with overlaying news reports from various shootings across America, with Eminem attempting to bring further awareness to this problem.
Overall this album is as Eminem as you can get, featuring comical lyrics, controversial lines, some incredible collaboration’s and of course some sharp, storytelling tracks. There is a reason why Eminem has remained and the top for so long, and may he continue to do so.
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