Hell: The Sequel – Rolling Stone
×
Home Music Album Reviews

Hell: The Sequel

How nice that Eminem is following up a rec­ord called Recovery with a record about making amends. Bad Meets Evil is his collaboration with once-estranged Detroit homey Royce da 5’9″. The duo released a handful of singles in the late Nineties and shared a track on The Slim Shady LP, but standard intra-rap squabbles tore them asunder until shared grief over the death of D12 rapper and local hero MC Proof got them talking again. Their belated coming-out party gets over on an emotion you don’t often see in hip-hop: equanimity. “Two different entities with a propensity to put these ­n-u-t-s up inside of your fuckin’ mouth,” they rap. Not exactly Simon and Garfunkel in Central Park but radiating its own fucked-up sweetness nonetheless.

Getting in touch with his Shady-era roots has Eminem rockin’ it like a young buck: “By now you just wish I’d fucking die, but I electrify/Get electrocuted, executed by an executioner of my flow too quick for the human eye to detect zooming by,” he spits on “Loud Noises.” What emerges is a psycho-rap cutting session over elastic, no-nonsense beats (mainly from D12 producer Mr. Porter). Royce isn’t just there for window dressing, either; on “Fast Lane,” he raps about pulling a cop out of his uniform and hanging him by the balls off the horn of a unicorn.

All the evil meeting badness can get pretty ugly – ­counting the number of females who get mistreated on Hell: The Sequel is like counting foreclosure signs along 8 Mile. But there’s genuine humanity, too: On “Lighters,” Royce notes that he’s getting his career back in line in order to help his postal-worker dad retire early, as Bruno Mars brings the soul-ballad hook. “I went from having my city locked up/To getting treated like Kwame Kilpatrick/And now I’m fantastic,” he raps. Shady, you’ve done a small good thing.

 Listen to “Fast Lane”:

Related: Photos: Jay-Z and Eminem’s Home & Home Tour Plays Detroit

Newswire

Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.