Eminem - "Relapse" This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

June 25, 2009
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“I guess it's time for you to hate me again,” Eminem states in the chorus of “Medicine Ball.”

It happens at least once in every artist's career: they go on a hiatus and then burst back on the scene with their best album yet. Green Day did it with “American Idiot,” and the Red Hot Chili Peppers had “Stadium Arcadium.” Now, it's Eminem's turn with “Relapse.”

What has he been doing for the past five years? For the most part, unfortunately, dealing with drug addiction and depression. And that's the focus of this album.

Most of the time, when he isn't referencing his addictions, the rapper is simply venting his frustrations from the past five years. This was a common theme in past albums. But here, instead of simply being furious, Eminem seeks a resolution through his music and himself.

Songs like “My Mom” (in which he blames his mother for getting him hooked on Valium) and “Beautiful” (challenging listeners to take a walk in his shoes and experience his pain first-hand) are utterly heart-breaking and reinforce how hard this guy's life has been.

The album as a whole is pretty good, as long as you remember these are just songs. I wish I could say that there's some subliminal message or hidden symbolism, some sort of mind trick he's using to control kids, but I can't. He's just trying to make you mad, and it works every time. And I can't figure out why we get so angry at him. He's not the first rapper to use violent or controversial lyrics. That said, I wouldn't let anyone under 16 listen to this disc. It is all about Eminem finding an outlet for his anger, pain, and frustration. He's clearly found it; it's really his outlook on life that needs work.

Where this album shines, ultimately, is in the delivery. Rapping is, for the most part, an acquired talent, but it takes skill to do what Slim Shady does. Eminem has always been a hate-him-or-love-him kind of artist. Either way, he continues to find success, and I sometimes think even he wonders why.

“Relapse” is, without a doubt, one of his most grueling, offensive, obscene, vulgar, gratuitous, graphic, and, yes, one of his best albums ever. Oh, and it was executive produced by Dr. Dre, as if you needed another reason to buy it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

srvntowisetheoriginalyouplagiarizingjerk said...
Mar. 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm
I agree with your opinion of Relapse, except where you say that no one under sixteen should hear it.                                                     I heard it for the first time when I was fourteen, when I was dealing with anxiety and ... (more »)
jdw13 said...
Sept. 29, 2010 at 9:41 am
i love this album !
wej206 said...
Sept. 29, 2010 at 9:30 am
This is one of his best albums and definetely the most grueling and offensive album that eminem has made. Although it is one of the best albums.
minky54333 said...
Jan. 25, 2010 at 3:41 pm
I love Eminem, but yes, people really do need to remember that he's letting his feelings out, which is the purpose of music in the first place. One of his songs, however, "Insane", most definitely should not be listened to by young children.
Roxxane said...
Nov. 7, 2009 at 9:25 pm
its ok to me not the greatest but never worst ever
buggaboo said...
Nov. 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm
eminem is ok. that all i have too say
falling4him said...
Nov. 3, 2009 at 7:47 pm
why shouldn't people under 16 listen to this album? If they want to listen to it, then it's there decision. Personally, I think this album can help a lot of teens if they get the main message of most of the songs.
KDtheGhostwriter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 3, 2009 at 9:10 pm
Good point & i agree. I said I wouldn't let them listen, because even though I'm a fan & I really like the album, it's got a lot of content I wouldn't feel comfortable letting my little brother or sister listening to. But yes, I believe the child & parent should both be actively involved in the music they listen to & make their own decisions.
Also, Eminem's songs are very good for therapy. When I would get angry, I would always put his songs on. Wha... (more »)
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