Eminem is from the Rakim school of thinking (if you do not know who Rakim is, do a Google search on him right now...well, not right right now, but after you read this article). He stays out of the spotlight as much as possible, until he needs to be in it. That makes his presence that much more noteworthy. This rarer-than-a-golden-unicorn selfie has sparked chatter about a surprise album in the near future.
In what would be his ninth solo album, here are nine things that would be a welcoming sight on his next project.
1. More Political Commentary
Hip-Hop has a largely liberal following. It originated as a means for the oppressed to have a voice. Eminem’s core fan base is no different. As explained in an earlier article posted on this site, it would be beneficial for Em to continue voicing his displeasure for today’s prominent figures in politics. In recent years, more Hip-Hop artists have been catering their music towards niche groups of fans. Em’s fans tend to be much more left-leaning than most and he should market his music around that.
2. Some Religious Overtones
Eminem has grown more religious over the years. While he never says what God he prays to (and probably never will), many perceive him to be Christian, which would be another affiliation to target. According to 2014 Spotify statistics, some of the states that listen to his music the most are Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota and of course, Michigan. The Christian affiliation in those states is 90%, 75%, 86% and 79% respectively. Overdoing this would be extremely detrimental, but some slight religious overtones that are tastefully executed could add another level of depth and interpretation to his project.
3. Be More Contemporary
Listening to MMLP2, you could not tell if it was made in 2013 or 2003. Some of the pop culture references were so out of date. Mentioning a beef between Fabolous and Ray J in the otherwise spectacular “Rap God” was pointless. A few more current guest features would be a welcoming addition as well. Pusha T, Jarren Benton, MGK, Zendaya, Jasmine V or Logic would provide some fresh faces on an Eminem project without taking the spotlight away from him.
4. No More Rihanna...For Now
Em and RiRi make great music together. The first two installments of “Love The Way You Lie” were both fantastic. “The Monster” was brilliant and “Numb” was a pretty decent collabo for what it was. While there is major crossover appeal, you do not want to overexpose a good thing. Going to the well one too many times could costs the duo a major collaboration in the future.
5. ...But A Little More Alchemy
The Alchemist’s production seems to be tailor made for an artist like Eminem. The two have a great relationship with one another and are rumored to have been working together recently. Al is a great, well-rounded producer who meshes well with lyrical emcees.
6. An Ode To Battle Rap
Marshall has a great appreciation for battle rap. In fact, he owes some of his success to the underground phenomenon. A cypher-like track with various underground battle rappers would be a great tribute to an underexposed facet of Hip-Hop.
7. No More Sequels
Very rarely do sequels live up to the original. Godfather II or III was not as good as The Godfather, Blueprint 3 fell short of The Blueprint, and the same went for MMLP2. It was nowhere near as prolific as the original from 2000. New title, new imagery, new concepts.
8. Keep The Nostalgia To A Minimum
It would be very inviting to consider having Dr. Dre on the boards, or a 50 Cent guest feature, or having Ice Cube or someone else from the yesteryear of Hip-Hop contribute. Progress is only achieved by pushing the envelope forward. Continuing to embrace Hip-Hop’s past is important (especially as Em’s career presumably winds down), just keep it to the merest level possible.
9. Be As un-PC As Humanly Possible
Eminem has made a career on pissing people off and going against the herd. Being politically correct does not fit into his formula for success. So if Em feels the need to attack gay marriage, or PETA, or Trump, or feminism, or people who use their speakerphone in public, then have at it. Fans do not want to admit it, but they love strong opinions. Always have, always will. Eminem certainly has plenty of them to go around.