Although we’re yet to receive an official announcement, it would appear a new Eminem album is imminent. The internet has slated November 17th as the release date for the hip-hop legend’s latest offering which looks set to be titled ‘Revival.’ The name derives from a fake drug product Shady Records have created, first spotted in an Instagram post from Eminem’s long-term business partner Paul Rosenberg.
A website for ‘Revival’ is full of references to Eminem including a voicemail with a piano melody similar to Shady’s Dr. Dre and Skylar Grey collaboration ‘I Need A Doctor’ played in the background. This weekend at ComplexCon, it has been reported there was a stand for ‘Revival’ in which the single employee manning the stand made reference to Dr. Dre.
Its interesting that if this forthcoming opus is to be titled ‘Revival’, then Eminem fans are suggesting it’ll be a continuation of the ‘Relapse’ / ‘Recovery’ series. Its arguably not quite a trilogy though with others marking the ‘Re-Up’ compilation and ‘Refill’ as additional instalments to Eminem’s album titles beginning with ‘Re.’
Most of the ‘Re’ albums aren’t held to the same standard as the ‘Marshall Mathers LP’ Eminem released a sequel to in 2013. Whereas Shady’s first three Interscope released albums are considered classics, anything after ‘The Eminem Show’ has been received with ‘I prefer the old Eminem’ remarks.
The ‘Re’ series of albums haven’t been all bad though. Some may argue they’re underrated. Here is a list of TheRootMusic’s top 15 tracks from Eminem’s ‘Re’ albums:
15. Talking 2 Myself
Oh man, emo-me loved this one. Who am I kidding? Emo-me loves this one. ‘Talking 2 Myself’ is one of my go-to Eminem tracks when coming out of the better side of a depressive stint. The “allow me to re-introduce myself for those of you who don’t know” series of bars is almost perfect. Almost. Made problematic for ending on “the show ain’t over homo.” I’m not one to be concerned with seemingly homophobic language in the Slim Shady records, but for an introspective track? It feels very unnecessary. The sentiment still makes it worthy of this list though.
14. Going Through Changes
As someone who has been overweight way before this track ever existed, the opening bars hit home. “I look fat, what do I care, I give a fuck” would have been a regularly used Instagram caption for me if Insta was poppin’ back in 2010. I know it’s one of Em’s soppier, emo-er tunes, but if you hadn’t noticed yet – emo Em is exactly what I love to hear.
I always remember ‘Elevator’ as a better song than it is. In truth the verses are pretty fucking horrific, up (down?) there with Eminem’s worst. There’s something about the humble-brag hook though that I can’t help but love. It’s a little cringe worthy, but that doesn’t stop it being catchy AF, and sometimes a catchy hook can make all the difference.
12. Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna
Was this the start of Eminem recruiting popstars for lead single hooks? I hated it at first. Even as the years pass, I don’t particularly like it subjectively. Objectively though it’s a decent enough hip-pop single to use to promote an album with. I prefer the Rihanna lead sequel, but as a pop song this original ‘Love The Way You Lie’ deserves recognition here.
11. Old Times Sake ft. Dr. Dre
Look, there’s some really ignorant shit said in this Dre assisted cut. Unlike ‘Talkin 2 Myself’ though, this is the exact track to do that on. ‘Old Times Sake’ is one of my favourite Em x Dre collaborations, sitting somewhere between ‘Encore’ and ‘Guilty Conscience.’
10. Space Bound
Eminem has some horrific songs revolving around love. Every now and again though, comes an absolute gem. I’m pretty sure ‘Space Bound’ is of the latter ilk. I’ll never forget the amount of people who’d quote the “Love is Evol, spell it backwards I’ll show ya” back in high school. I’m not overly fond of the chorus, but the bridge and rhyme schemes in the verses? Fire emoji x3.
I know way too many people who don’t rate ‘Beautiful.’ It’s not aged overly well for me, but during its initial release it was in constant rotation on my green iPod Nano. Its one of Eminem’s deepest ventures into introspection and one of the few tracks of his in which he nails the transition from verse-to-chorus. All too often Em’s transitions are clunky, so if not for anything else ‘Beautiful’ at least breaks that trend.
8. Hell Breaks Loose ft. Dr. Dre
I really, really, really love the chorus for ‘Hell Breaks Loose.’ Verse-for-verse ‘Hell Breaks Loose’ isn’t a better Em x Dre collaboration than ‘Old Times Sake’ but the hook really sets it apart, not to mention Em’s first verse flow. I typically find the emphasised pronunciation of letters lazy, but Em’s flow on the first verse shows hip-hop how it should be done.
7. Forever ft. Drake, Kanye West & Lil Wayne
My hip-hop journalism idol Yoh wrote a piece for DJBooth about posse cuts and had some unsavoury things to say about ‘Forever.’ I love it. I don’t care that ‘first name greatest, last name ever’ is corny – it made for a fire BBM messenger tagline and it was my first introduction to Drake too. I love Ye’s verse, I always seem to love Wayne features alongside Eminem and lets not act like Shady didn’t tear this a new one. Em’s verse is exactly what I love about posse cuts – when one rappers just doesn’t want to play nicely with the others and kills off any debate about ‘who killed it.’
6. No Apologies
“Nah fuckers, I’m not sorry” is rapped with such aggressive venom you know somebody really pissed Eminem off for ‘No Apologies.’ Beyond the chorus, each verse brings something different to the table. The first verse is up there with Eminem’s best, and the other two aren’t too far off either.
5. Not Afraid
‘Not Afraid’ is a the most marmite of Eminem’s songs. You either love it or you hate it. There’s no inbetween. I’ve had a bit of a rollercoaster of a relationship with the track. First, I loved it – mostly for the bridge. Then I hated it – mostly for the hype. Then having seen Em perform the track live at Wembley and his introduction for it completely won me back over.
4. Session One ft. Royce Da 5’9”, Joell Ortiz & Crooked I
Back in 2010, I was still buying CD’s. This meant I missed out on the iTunes exclusives from ‘Recovery’ deluxe edition. It wasn’t until a few years later through a YouTube search I discovered ‘Session One’ featuring three quarters of Slaughterhouse. Its typically missing my favourite quarter in the now retired Joe Budden, but the energy levels on this track cemented my love for House Gang.
3. No Love ft. Lil Wayne
When talking about ‘Forever’ I mentioned loving Wayne’s features alongside Eminem. This might be my favourite of them. I used to play this, and ‘Drop The World’ back-to-back on a continuous loop. Wayne’s streak prior to 2010 was unbelievable and his showing on ‘No Love’ is incredible – but still not enough to prevent Em mopping him up.
2. You Don’t Know ft. 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks & Cashis
As far as posse cuts go, ‘You Don’t Know’ is one of my all-time favourites. It’s not quite as competitive as A$AP Rocky and co.’s ‘1 Train’ or as superstar studded as ‘Forever’ but its just simply a great song from four rappers who at the time were on top of hip-hop’s power rankings.
1. 25 To Life
Conceptually one of Eminem’s greatest masterpieces. ‘25 To Life’ as a love-letter to hip-hop is perfect. Superior to all those that have come before it, providing proof to Drake’s “It’s not about who did it first it’s about who did it right.” Eminem on top form is truly the greatest of all time. If this Eminem shows up on ‘Revival’, we’re in for a treat.