Eminem has matured his look and his lyrics. Photo credit to sfcredit.com.
Most people probably wouldn't think of Nate Ruess and Eminem(a.ka. Marshall Mathers) as likely collaborators. In fact, the lead singer of the indie band 'Fun.' is someone that the Marshall Mathers LP-era Eminem might have mocked.
But thirteen years later, on the Marshall Mathers LP 2, Ruess and Eminem are collaborating on a song with a subject even more surprising than the collaboration itself.
"Headlights" is the famous rapper's apology to his mother, whom he has attacked in numerous past songs, such as "Cleaning out My Closet" (The Eminem Show, 2002).
Eminem's new album was released on November 5th. Ruess isn't the only collaborator on the album however. Artists such as Rihanna, Skylar Grey, and Kendrick Lamar also feature on songs.
Known for his rhyme-dense technical style acquired in his pre-fame battle days, Eminem lives up to his reputation with such songs as "Rap God", which is full of characteristic puns and unlikely rhymes.
The first Marshall Mathers LP is arguably considered to be one of Eminem's best albums, so when he announced the upcoming release of his second self-titled work, fans' expectations were high.
Unsurprisingly, Mathers includes references to the original LP, such as the song "Bad Guy", which is the sequel to his 2000 song "Stan" and depicts Stan's younger brother taking his revenge on the rapper for the events that occurred in the original song.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 hasn't received a purely positive review, however. Critics have objected to homophobic lyrics in "Rap God." Some have complained that the rapper comes off as a cranky old man.
Jon Dolan, writing for the Rolling Stone, writes "Em's former obsession - his own media image - has been replaced with a 41-year-old's cranky concerns."
Eminem also uses an old trick of lampooning other celebrities, garnering mixed reactions. Whereas in the first LP Mathers mocked N'Sync and Britney Spears, in the second, he pokes fun at the Kardashians and LMFAO.
Marshall Mathers has been a controversial figure in hip-hop since his debut, and that doesn't seem likely to change any time soon. However, new songs such as "Headlights" seem to indicate that the 40 year old rapper is approaching life and music from a more mature perspective.
By Alexandra Crum