Perfect Combination of Em and Slim: Conscious Madness. Eminem’s MTBMB review from one of Eminem.Pro editors

Here is the third list of this kind in a week and this time editorial picks seem to be more in touch with reality.

Stuff writers offered their personal favourites in no particular order and Mitch Findlay provided his reflections on the latest Marshall’s work:

Eminem has been fielding criticism since first arriving to the game. On formative albums like The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP, and D12’s Devil’s Night, he initially seemed to covet hostility, deliberately provoking those of a delicate sensibility. The self-proclaimed “king of controversy.” Fast forward to the present day, give or take a few years. Eminem was on the verge of dropping Revival, an album under heavy scrutiny the moment the tracklist surfaced.

Fans had turned to haters, openly lambasting the legendary emcee, and it took a toll. The once confident rapper opened his album with one of his most vulnerable confessions in “Walk On Water,” only to have it belittled. “If you bitches are trying to strip me of my confidence, mission accomplished,” he rapped, a rare moment of weakness for the self-declared “Rap God.” It’s surreal to examine that particular period following the release of Music To Be Murdered By. Throughout his eleventh studio album, Em moves with a renewed sense of swagger, one likely fueled by a long-overdue reunion with Dr. Dre. His flows are sharp, his beat selection on point. Not since The Marshall Mathers LP has one of his solo albums boasted so many emcees on deck. And most importantly, it sounds like he’s having fun again.

Production-wise, Em has once again veered into the darker territory of the Relapse-era, particularly on the four Dre productions — all of which happen to be standout tracks. The onslaught of “Marsh,” “Never Love Again,” “Little Engine,” and “Lock It Up” should stoke the nostalgic whims of longtime fans, particularly those who appreciate Relapse. “Godzilla” not only pays homage to the late Juice WRLD, but serves as the most dazzling technical display Em’s delivered since “Rap God.” “Premonition” finds him channeling Kamikaze’s themes with a subtle dose of Encore’s aesthetic, an organic coalescence of Em’s many artistic eras. And perhaps most impactfully, Em allows himself to stand alongside some of the game’s elite lyricists; on tracks like “I Will” and “Yah Yah,” Slim trades bars with Black Thought, Q-Tip, Royce Da 5’9”, KXNG Crooked, and Joell Ortiz.

For so many fans who have remained loyal, Music To Be Murdered By felt like validation for the legendary emcee. A victory lap of sorts, proof that Em could not only adapt to the current hip-hop landscape, but thrive.

Eminem is not alone on this list, some of his friends, colleagues and collaborators are featured with their own albums. Royce da 5’9”, “The Allegory”, Westside Gunn, “Pray for Paris” and Freddie Gibbs & Alchemist, “Alfredo” got a shout out from HotNewHipHop. See the full list on the website.

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