Is Eminem really in recovery?

In my last post on Eminem, I mentioned that, while I planned on eventually listening to his new album Recovery, I wouldn’t be consulting the Google first thing in the morning every day until my “review copy” arrived, as if it was pr0n.

I’ve been known to do that, with albums I’m really looking forward to (and with pr0n, natch), but I couldn’t bring myself to bother with Recovery, because I was somewhat disappointed with the first single. That “Despicable” freestyle had my palms itching, nigga, thinking this new album would be like Relapse (which, call me crazy, I enjoyed), but even better. Hence the name change. He didn’t want people to think it was just some shit left over from the sessions for the original Relapse. But then I heard “Not Afraid,” and he was talking about getting his life together, and holding hands with people. None of which, as far as I’m concerned, makes for good rap music. Aside from the fact that, natural hater that I am, I don’t like to see people get their lives together, it wasn’t clear to me that Eminem is capable of making that kind of subject matter entertaining. An album full of Eminem songs about sober living didn’t strike me as tempting in the least bit.

As it turns out, trying to find a copy of Recovery wasn’t an issue. One just kinda turned up in my DM box, on Twitter. [||] Someone must have been interested in my thoughts on the album and decided to make sure I had a copy. I’m assuming it was someone from the label. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have followed the link to Hotfile, where my review copy awaited, thus (not) possibly robbing Eminem of a potential album sale. But obviously I had no way of knowing where the link came from. (Just wanted to make that clear!) I suppose it could have just been some bootlegger. I checked last night, using Twitter’s search function, and apparently it was just rotten with Recovery download links, like Twitter might be the new best way to steal people’s albums. Links turn up there in more or less real time, unlike on blogs, where they may have already been deleted by the time you find them. The TIs might want to have someone look into this.

No longer concerned with whether I’d have to put forth any effort to get a free Eminem album (I spend a lot of time worrying about effort), I loaded Recovery up on my shitty laptop and gave it a listen to. It was already late in the evening, and, because aging fat people need their rest, I was already tired than a mofo, so I wouldn’t consider this a definitive take. I “could” be wrong. Part of it could be that I got mad bored with the album after the first few tracks. I can recall it being very obvious where the new “Not Afraid”-esque tracks ended and the Relapse leftovers began. After one or two of them, I started to cut it off and call it an evening, but I didn’t want to have to listen to the whole thing all over again today, especially since I have to bust a shift at the one job where I always get paid on time, here in a few. My ears only perked up when I heard that song Em did with Lil Wayne, and not because it seemed like an especially good idea. My initial concern was that it contains a sample of that motherfucking Haddaway song from Night at the Roxbury. I didn’t even realize it was the one with Lil Wayne, the only rap collab on the entire album, until I heard his voice. Then come to find out this shit was produced by Just Blaze. Tha fuck? Are they just fucking with us, on some Andy Kaufman shit?

Elsewhere on the album, in one of those first few songs, we learn that Em actually considered dissing both Lil Wayne and Kanye, back when he was on drugs, but he didn’t, either because he was too lazy to drag himself into the studio, or because he had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity. (Never happened to me, once.) Which I of course took as further proof that (a) drug abuse, which I don’t otherwise condone, leads to good music, and (b) great minds think alike. It’s just too bad Em had that coke-induced heart attack before we got what I’m sure would have been one hell of a dis record – way more interesting than song in which he talks about how he once thought about making a dis record. Or did he? I wouldn’t be surprised if this change in outlook didn’t have anything to do with Em’s health. Recovery doesn’t sound to me like an album by an artist who realized that, like whoever Charlemagne the God is pointed out, all hate is just confused admiration, it sounds like an album by an artist who realizes that Kanye and Lil Wayne are what passes for hip-hop in 2K10, and if he wants to continue to have a career, he needs to get with the program. Do we even know for a fact that he’s off drugs? I’m just saying.

  • The_Truth

    I agree, he seems to be follwing wayne, drake, kanye with all the singing shit, but it doesnt suit him, his voice is terrible

    But Eminem was never that great to begin with

    • Beautiful

      I strongly recommend ______ B l a c k W h i t e R o m a n c e * C o m ______ to you where I just found my interracial boyfriend! You know it is a great place to meet black men and beautiful women. What’s kind of relationship do you want?

    • Anonymous

      wow you must be a fucking idiot if you think this album isn’t good. Who the fuck is you Byron? Git Gud at being a better critic. Fail Post to you xD

  • Truth

    I agree, he seems to be follwing wayne, drake, kanye with all the singing shit, but it doesnt suit him, his voice is terrible

    But Eminem was never that great to begin with

  • hate

    i never been one to jock em’s nuts. but this album is fire.
    it gets better with every listen.

  • http://www.mikestreezy.com Mike Streezy

    I was surprised by the album, but I’ve got to admit that I like it and like hate said, it seems to get better with each listen.

    Click on my name and get a free album.

    • Anonymous

      nah dont download it buy the fuckin album

  • capcobra

    eminem is top 10 forever but it’s no progress…it’s like hearing a new jay-z album…you already know what to expect and if it’s not that then it’s wack…it’s a catch 22…r.i.p ODB.

  • Cal

    ” it sounds like an album by an artist who realizes that Kanye and Lil Wayne are what passes for hip-hop in 2K10, and if he wants to continue to have a career, he needs to get with the program.”

    Exactly what I was thinking even way before the album leaked. From his interviews and selection of collabos you could tell that this Em was paying more to what Paul Rosenberg was telling him than to his heart. He picked Lil Wayne and Rihanna over a slew of far more talented people who could have helped him make better songs but sadly…
    I haven’t heard the album yet and like Bol I was psyched but now I’m back to where I was before Relapse came out hopefully I’ll be wrong though.

    • Anon

      It’s a really good album, just listen to it.

  • Teddy

    give it up for Bo three hate claps

    hate hate hate

  • Sha

    Ok…. I’m about to piss some more people off, but….
    I have long speculated that Eminem wanted to be released from the yoke of Dr. Dre. I listened to the his last two albums and something has become glaringly clear. Hip-Hop has changed since Eminem gave up the mic. That’s not to say that Eminem is not a dope emcee. But things have changed. I am one of the few people that actually believe that Dr. Dre is overrated. Sure… he gave us some classics many years ago. But if you look at Dre’s formula for production, he recruits the latest talent and places them under his production company and gives himself the production credit. I can’t hate Dr. Dre for his business moves. But he puts out an album on average once every 8 years. THERE ISN’T A PRODUCER ON PLANET EARTH THAT CAN STAY RELEVANT WITH A TRACK RECORD LIKE THAT. IN ANY GENRE. Look at DJ Premier. Pound for pound he is a better producer than Dr. Dre because he TRULY PRODUCES. Look at Preemo’s body of work versus Dr. Dre’s. No one can even remotely say he hasn’t put in more work than Dre. But Preemo has even fallen victim to the changing times. Sure, he’s going to be forever a dope producer. But will he stay relevant? Not forever. He is in decline.And so… what was dope 8 years ago has changed. While that may be Kanye or Drake, if you don’t keep up with the times and TRULY PRODUCE, you will suffer. I think Eminem noticed this and chose to finally branch out. I think he only stuck with Dr. Dre’s formula out of respect and loyalty. But there has been a shift in the dynamics of hip-hop. Interscope and Aftermath are no longer the most dominant players in the game. If you are an emcee, there is always a moment in your career where you have to make drastic changes to stay relevant. Eminem’s time is now. Real talk.

    • Notorious AGC

      Sha, I respect your opinion on Premier and Preemo, but to be completely honest with you, its QUALITY not QUANTITY, Over there years the 2 Dre Albums have been listened to and regarded as influential albums to MANY producers(back when KANYE was making beats), people don´t even remember Priemer or Preemo cept for some cats here and there. Your also sleeping on the NWA albums, remember Dre was making the beats,Like i stated some months ago about Dre, So far, from all these years listening to Hip Hop, Everything hes made keeps your head ringin´ for YEARS AND YEARS. I also agree that 8 years to make a album is LAME, and just plain fucking lazy. His new album BETTER be a two disc, or the west coast is really gonna start sleepin´on dudes shit. He´s hyped us all for almost a decade, he better deliver. RESPECT from da westcoast to all the eastcoast niggas!

      • James

        You are not for real on saying that no one remembers Premier are you!?

        Biggie wouldn’t be Biggie without all those beats and hits he gave him, and you wouldn’t be using his name. haha

        Go do your homework homie

      • ILoveHaters

        Dj Premier and preemo? Dj Premier is Preemo hahaha wtf man

  • WishingLo

    Bol, what exactly does TI’s mean? I know you’re talking about label suits, but what’s the abbreviation?

  • Uncle Tom

    Tall Isrealis
    That nigga got his own language
    Bol u need a dictionary (I get 35%)

  • Josh

    WOW.

    You’re Recovery story sounds just like mine. And I’ve actually never downloaded an album before it hits stores, but felt compelled to give Recovery a listen this morning past the midnight hour.

    Even though I really don’t like “Not Afraid” (sounds like a Drake song with Eminem rapping instead), it’s not that bad of a song and actually fits well on the album.

    The first half of this album is damn near classic. It had me captivated right up to that damn Lil’ Wayne song with the horrendous Haddaway sample. Sorry Just.

    The album really kind of bored me from there. I went from feeling like the album was going to bring hip-hop back to “why is this album so long?” Whatever. I’ll give it a second listen. Maybe it was just late.

    At this point, “Going Through Changes” was really the high point of the album. I heard Emile did that joint. Kudos.

  • b

    I dont know, I think em hits some people or doesnt. Some love his subject matter, some dont think its hip-hop, it’ll always be like that.

    What everyone knows, is that eminem, is far and away the best lyricist…and that doesnt just mean his flow, that means his word play, his passion, and his feeling. Thats a no contest.

    I thought this Album was hot, I refuse to compare it to his other classics, I think you pigeonhole a dude big time by comparing every joint to 30-35 classic tracks 8 yrs ago. All I know is that the first part of the album was real strong, real emotion, sick flows, and new interesting beats. I agree it hit some repetition parts but for the most part the second part of the album had some fire tracks. No Love was hot, em killed it. Love the way you lie is going to be EVERYWHERE in about a week and a half, and I think he goes hard as ever on almost famous and Cinderella man.

    Dude who wrote this should listen to 25 to life…hes in it.

  • Mike

    TI=Tall Israeli e.g. Lyor Cohen of WMG…Look up Mos Def’s critical song The Rape Over Jay’s Takeover track and the Mighty Mos can shed some light…Word Up to Bol

  • http://www.xxlmag.com/?p=81869 jay

    this album (recovery) is the best album i heard since rae’s ob4cl2.. granted two completely different sounds/moods/lyrics..but i cant stop listenin to recovery..def his best album since eminem show and i believe its top 3 pushes slim shady lp out of the top 3 spot ..recovery is crazyyyyyyy… spacebounds amazing..

    ps bol..relapse sucked balls concept wise.. lyrics were on point but is the actual lyrics i didnt like his delivery and multi rhymes in one bar were amazing but i cant vibe to gettin fucked in my ass or rape or no shit like that..recovery is where its at

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  • nicholasdelorejo

    “…it sounds like an album by an artist who realizes that Kanye and Lil Wayne are what passes for hip-hop in 2K10, and if he wants to continue to have a career, he needs to get with the program.”

    Recovery is Em’s “Blueprint 3″. Comercial production over lyricism that doesn’t match to their best work. People kill me the way they hated on Jay for the production on BP3. But now that’s going to be the standard for every hip-hop release. Hell for every pop-related album. Black Eyed Peas sucked balls so bad yet Will.i.Am production allowed them to sell 2.7 million. Music genres from rock, rap, country, and whatever are selling extremely low. Considering how record accounting for all genres of music are now selling an average of 4.5 million per week (since last week) record labels aren’t even attempting to let their top selling acts comprimise their success with a little thing like “artistic integrity”.

  • T-marT

    real dissapointed that the just blaze track was the goofy sample.. this is wizzack, album is soft…….

  • Smell Deez.

    eminem is like still 5 years behind …. catch up where this guy been ??????

  • Anonymous

    Do you even listen to the album? Honestly people just love to hate. You don’t have to like his subject matter, but I don’t know how people can even deny that lyrically he can’t be matched. We got buck nasty and Silky johnson up in here, Player haters ball

  • Endeavor

    Obviously people (in this case bloggers) hating to get recognition.

    The album is good, that’s all I have to say for now. I need to have a good listen before I can decide if it’s good, better than or amazing.

    Stop hating and get your finger out your ass.

  • avenger xl

    I felt the same way when all of the EM stans were dick riding him due to the track with him and wayne. As I said in the past EM is waaay better than this album and relapse but he is being driven by the fuct the F up machine that ruins many of our favorite artists by forcing them to do simple tricks over and over again rather than challenging them to create anything worth a replay outside the standom /novice/ causual listener realm.

    I feel the same way about this album as drakes. All of the so called heart felt shit doesn’t realy hit home especially with the glossay pop covering. I feel like the production betrayed EM yet again and he is forced to carry the whole album by himself, which he does because of his high lyrical skill level.

    Folks don’t be little bitches and idiots. It is not hate to critic how something sounds to you right or wrong. It would be hate if I knew nothing of eminems previous work or didn’t own all of his works including his self released title as I do. As a fan not a stan of what he does, I can say the marshall matthers lp was my favorite album of his. After that the formula interscope,ivine and dre had him on got redundant. Probably even taking its toal on him and thus the substance abuse issues because this dude came from a battle rap purist stand point and now he is asked to be a one trick pony like wayne,drake and the lot.

    so in closing I think EM could make any album sound better with his skill set but if he got with someone who really wanted to bring out the emotion of a album it would be insane rather than just “simply not sucking”

    p.s. To prove his production is meh how many em beats appear constatnly on mixtapes lately? not many because they are mostly window dressing for a ill rapper rather than a team to bring out a all ready incredibly rapper.

  • yoprince

    album is cool. but it’s about 4 tracks too long. but hey, i liked relapse so what do i know?

  • Cal

    Finally gave it a listen and I have to say that it def. lives up to the hype of a full Recovery. What caught me off guard is just how far away from what I envisioned it was. I thought it would be gloomy dark beats but its really upbeat, and I’m surprised Em actually held his own on beats I would never picture him spitting on. The album feels like a mash up of MMLP and Relapse. My only pet peeve is too much singing but that barely made a dent in my feelings toward this album.

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  • Esco

    R.I.P. Eminem’s career

  • JC

    WORST production of his career…Em deserves MUCH better…where’s the FUNK? where’s the little melodies, hidden samples, scratches, DOPE drums, cutting edge sound effects, and little finishing touches under STRONG bass driven rhythms? part of the fun of an Em album is throwing on some headphones and discovering all the little layers of sound…

    Recovery sounds generic, for the most part…not saying it has to be sonically PERFECT like MMLP (that’s just asking TOO much), but come on…i’m sorry, whatever Em or his salty fans have to say about Encore or Relapse, those joints had BOSS production courtesy of Dre…tailored made songs for Em…that’s what someone of his lyrical level DESERVES…

  • U.K.1982

    Why you all hatin this album, the guy spits 200 words in under a minute on No love, he knows relapse and encore was shit he says it, and why put a dis track out when u can callab and kill em, like he does to lil wayne on no love and drake, kanye, lil wayne again on forever, @THE TRUTH; But Eminem was never that great to begin with… WTF YOU ON, give him the respect he deserves,

  • james

    EM is a rappers, rapper. If any of you actual rapped or knew hip hop you would be in aww of him and what he does and is doing.

    Rakim said it best when he said “imagine is Eminem was black! He would be the greatest rapper of all time!”

    Try and repeat any of his flows. You can’t! and neither can your favorite rapper. That’s why their on his dick.

    For reals

  • http://www.eminembase.com Nick

    You’re a fucking retard.

    You stopped listening after a few tracks and went into it with prejudgements which you didn’t bother to ever ignore before giving it a chance and you think your review is worth anything lmfao.

    Reviewing something you haven’t even heard properly. What a waste of skin you are.

    Tell you what – Go take a massive shit, come back to your PC, print your review out and wipe your fucking ass with it. Then ball it up and flush the shit away.

    Fucking moron.

  • Kings

    Whoever wrote dis review is either a racist or a plain dumb hater…

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    shady!!