Eminem Invites Listeners into the ‘Darkness’ with ‘Music to be Murdered By’


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Like his previous album, “Kamikaze,” Eminem released his eleventh studio album “Music to be Murdered By” on a Thursday night without any prior announcement. The album marked his 24th year in the industry.

Jenny Won, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

Rap legend Eminem surprised and delighted fans everywhere on Jan. 17 with the unannounced drop of his eleventh studio album, “Music to be Murdered By.” It immediately debuted number one on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, making Eminem one of only six artists with ten number one albums in the United States, alongside The Beatles, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley. Eminem is now also the first-ever artist to release ten consecutive number one albums.

With an impressive tracklist of twenty songs, “Music to be Murdered By” captures some of Eminem’s best content and techniques that demonstrate why he has remained on top of the charts since 1999. It also features several collaborating artists, from rappers Royce da 5’9’’ and the late Juice WRLD to singer-songwriters Skylar Grey and Ed Sheeran.

“Premonition (Intro)” starts off the album with ten seconds of the voice of a woman being murdered, in Eminem’s distinctly morbid style, immediately followed by a tense, dramatic chorus that sets the tone for the rest of the album: dark, heavy, sensational.

“Godzilla,” featuring the Juice WRLD, is a classic hype song with a rapid beat. In its lyrics, Eminem and Juice WRLD compare themselves to monsters in the rap industry. True to this meaning, the entire third verse is rapped at an incredible speed of 7.23 words, or 10.65 syllables, per second, according to Genius. This beats the record from his 2013 song “Rap God” of 9.6 syllables per second.

One particular track, “Darkness,” took fans and critics alike by surprise: its controversial lyrics are written from the perspective of the shooter in the Las Vegas concert mass shooting of October 2017. “For rapid fire spittin’ for all the concert-goers, scopes for sniper vision, surprise from out of nowhere as I slide the clip in,” he raps. This is followed by subtle political commentary: “Finger on the trigger, but I’m a licensed owner with no prior convictions, so law says sky’s the limit.”

Such sensationalism attracts both fans who love his brutal honesty and new listeners who are reeled in from morbid curiosity. Though his use of shock factor as a hook is questionable, both capability and controversy are what constitute Eminem’s unique identity as an artist. “Music to be Murdered By” has cemented Eminem’s timelessness as an artist and demonstrated once again his lyrical and technical ability, earning him a much-deserved place among the top music artists in history.