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Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘Music To Be Murdered By’ by ‘Eminem’

Released: 2020

Label: Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records

Featuring: Young M.A, Royce Da 5\9″, White Gold, Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, Skylar Grey, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Denaun, Anderson .Paak, Don Toliver, KXNG Crooked, Joell Ortiz

Marshall Bruce Mathers III, aka Eminem, ain’t no stranger to dropping surprise albums that blow up the hip-hop scene. Still, when he stealth dropped “Music To Be Murdered By” in early 2020, it created a new level of buzz. With its array of heavy-hitting guest features and incisive lyrical content, Em came through with equal parts fire and ice, putting the whole genre on notice.

Using the macabre theme inspired by Alfred Hitchcock, Em’s eleventh studio outing saw him pulling no punches; be it concerning societal commentary, personal reflections or straight-up lyrical acrobatics. From “Unaccommodating,” where he rides the beat with Brooklyn’s own Young M.A, to “Godzilla,” where he matches flows with the tragically passed Juice WRLD, Em proved why he’s considered a titan of the rap game.

With tracks like “Those Kinda Nights” and “Leaving Heaven,” featuring Ed Sheeran and Skylar Grey respectively, he demonstrated his uncanny ability to make radio-friendly hits without losing that quintessential Shady vibe. Simultaneously, tracks like “Yah Yah” and “I Will” served as a reminder of Em’s roots in pure, unadulterated rap, with verses that could make any wordsmith sweat.

So let’s get into it. From “Premonition” to “Alfred – Outro,” here are the lyrics from “Music To Be Murdered By,” broken down and dissected. Hip-hop heads, hold on to your hats, ’cause Shady’s here to give ya a lyrical masterclass.

1 Premonition – Intro

He taps into his classic contentious energy, going after critics who said he’s lost his edge or wasn’t relevant anymore after his ‘Revival’ album. Full of fiery rhymes, Em exhibits the lyrical gymnastics he’s known for, and pulls no punches when it comes to the media and the industry’s hypocrisy. A standout line? “Bitch, if I was as half as good as I was, I’m still twice as good as you’ll ever be.” This response to critics is classic Slim Shady, asserting his continuing relevance in an industry that too often celebrates the new and discards the old. Eminem is far from done, and “Premonition – Intro” is his warning shot.

2 Unaccommodating

Features: Young M.A

flexing their rap prowess with a hard-hitting mix of braggadocio lyrics and clever wordplay. Young M.A’s verse, riddled with swagger and classic hip-hop boasts, sets the tone, but the Motor City MC takes center stage with his intricate rhymes and confrontational bars. The track is filled with references to cultural figures, from Drake to Kanye West, as well as harking back to his beef with Machine Gun Kelly. This song’s lyrical depth underlines Em’s expertise in connecting with fans on different levels – be it as Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers, or Em. An attention-grabbing line from Eminem’s verse, “But when they ask me is the war finished with MGK? Of course it is. I cleansed him of his mortal sins, I’m God,” displays his lyrical dexterity and confident swagger, solidifying his spot in the hip-hop pantheon.

3 You Gon’ Learn

Features: Royce Da 5\9″, White Gold

Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″ slay their verses, unspooling gritty narratives that move from poverty-stricken upbringings to their current stature. Backed by White Gold’s haunting hook, they paint a vivid picture of the pitfalls of fame and the cost of survival. Eminem’s bitter observations punch hard, like his line, “Y’all call this fame, I call this shit alcoholistic infamy.” He unflinchingly addresses the toxicity of fame while highlighting racial inequality. “You Gon’ Learn” encapsulates their journey, transforming life’s painful lessons into potent rhyme-drenched narratives. It’s a testimony to their lyrical mastery and an exposition of the grit needed to endure and rise in the ruthless world of hip-hop.

4 Alfred – Interlude

Borrowing the voice and persona of the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, Em takes your hand and guides you into his ominous playground. It’s more than just a title drop; it’s an eerie invitation to a lyrical slaughterhouse. Hitchcock’s manifested voice sets a chilling tone–”It is mood music in a jugular vein, so why don’t you relax?”–reflecting the dark, raw, and unapologetic nature of Eminem’s lyricism in this record. Here, the Detroit rapper prepares you for the relentless barrage of words to come, and it feels like a confession. This snippet might not have Em’s bars, but it’s the chilling setup that signals the bloody vignettes to follow.

5 Those Kinda Nights

Features: Ed Sheeran

Slim Shady merges the club-banger style of his early career with his more modern, introspective lyricism. Ed Sheeran’s chorus provides the track with a sweet melodic contrast, reinforcing the nostalgic, throwback vibe. Marshall Mathers spits quintessentially provocative bars throughout, drenched in his signature self-deprecating humor. A standout line, “This beat keeps takin’ me back like my ex does / Only ’cause how good the sex was,” showcases Eminem’s knack for intertwining humor with reminiscence, making you laugh while taking you deep into his past. The song cleverly fuses this nostalgia with present realities, further emphasizing Eminem’s growth as an artist over the years.

6 In Too Deep

The lyrics unfold a chillingly honest tale of implicit deceit and the turmoil of infidelity, showing Em’s knack for storytelling hasn’t waned. He masterfully paints the picture of being torn between two lovers and the pain inflicted on all parties involved. “Can’t tell if I’m cheating on her with you or cheating on you with her” – this line hits hard, capturing the complexity of his situation. Em lays bare the raw emotion and confusion that such situations breed, reminding listeners that even the Rap God himself isn’t immune to emotional turmoil. Through this track, Slim Shady explores the darker sides of love and lust, highlighting the dangerous depths one can fall into when you’re ‘In Too Deep’.

7 Godzilla

Features: Juice WRLD

Marshall’s syntax-crunching, speed-of-light flow is the star here, proving once again why his technical prowess is revered in hip-hop circles. He passionately fires off metaphors and wordplay, mastering a verse with such breakneck speed it’s almost a challenge to keep up. One standout line, “I’m just a product of Slick Rick at Onyx, told ’em lick the bricks,” draws a lineage from his lyrical forefathers while asserting his space in the rap kingdom. Juice WRLD’s hook anchors the song, evoking a sense of poignancy knowing his untimely passing. It’s a lyrical marathon, not just a sprint, that tests the very limits of Em’s flow, while Juice WRLD’s melodic input balances Eminem’s rugged raps with a refreshing twist.

8 Darkness

Here, Em’s mastery of storytelling is evident as he skillfully weaves a narrative of mental health struggles, amplified by the trials of being in the public eye. Simultaneously, the song serves as a potent commentary on gun violence and its devastating consequences, tying into wider societal issues. The echoing refrain, “I don’t wanna be alone in the darkness”, reveals the emotional vulnerability masked by the explosive verbiage. One particularly impactful line, “I don’t hear no sound/I should get ready for the show now/Wait, is this the whole crowd?/I thought this was sold out”, reflects the profound isolation and disillusion Em feels in the midst of a bustling crowd, masterfully translating internal struggles into an external, relatable context.

9 Leaving Heaven

Features: Skylar Grey

Drawing upon his own experiences, Em channels tact into his rhymes, giving us a raw look at his troubled upbringing and how it shaped him. The standout line, “Don’t tell me ’bout struggle, bitch, I lived it,” embodies Eminem’s grit. Em paints his father as a phantom of neglect, his memory more of a gaping void than cherished moments. The Detroit rhymespitter’s cathartic release is complemented by Skylar Grey’s haunting hooks that add depth to the narrative, resonating with any listener grappling with abandonment and struggle. Recognizing the hardship in his journey, Em pushes his lyrical prowess to its limits, turning adversity into art. This track stands as a testament to his resilience, perfection in crafting rhymes out of raw reality and undying tenacity, true hallmarks of a hip-hop titan.

10 Yah Yah

Features: Royce Da 5\9″, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Denaun

Trading bars about their legacy and the game, they put on a lyrical masterclass in a beat that samples Busta Rhymes’ iconic “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check.” Em plays off his controversial image with lines like, “I am the Santa Fe, Mandalay and Orlando and Colorado and Columbine, all combine into one, I don’t walk a line, bitch, I run.” He’s drawing parallels between his explosive lyrics and violent incidents that shook America. But he also takes a trip down memory lane, giving props to the OGs of hip-hop, proving once more he’s an astute scholar of the game. “Yah Yah” embodies the raw essence of rap, bringing back that gritty, basement cypher vibe. It’s nostalgic, it’s assertive, and unmistakably hip-hop.

11 Stepdad – Intro

The brief dialogue seethes with domestic tension, capturing an ominous snapshot of Em’s tainted childhood marred by an abusive stepparent. The undercurrents of hostility and resentment evoke chills, resonating with listeners familiar with the harsh realities of familial discord. Eminem’s distinct narrative prowess transforms an unassuming intro into a raw and gripping exposé of the horrors hidden behind closed doors. Standout lines like “What’d I fuckin’ tell you about turnin’ off the lights?” drenched in searing anger hint at the darkness looming ahead, setting the tone for the subsequent track. Anchored in authenticity, this intro turns up the heat on the turbulent theme of Eminem’s often volatile relationship with figureheads, cranking the anticipation for the full track.

12 Stepdad

Em vividly details his experiences living with a violent stepfather, painting a grim picture of his childhood home. His lyrics run the gamut of the raw and personal to the outwardly confrontational, echoing his signature style. The standout lyrical moment, “Last night, he said I left the kitchen light on/But he walked in there this morning and purposely flipped it, I saw him,” captures the essence of living in fear, tip-toeing around the unpredictable moods of an abusive figure. Eminem’s vented anger and frustration are a testament to the strength and resilience of those emerging from harrowing circumstances. It’s a sobering narrative, departing from the often bravado-laden ethos of hip-hop, instead channeling pain into catharsis, offering a space for conversations about the impact of domestic instability.

13 Marsh

Using clever wordplay, he weaves an intricate, rhyming tale of his struggles with substance abuse, his tumultuous relationships, and his defiant stance against critics. He uses self-deprecating humor and raw honesty to address his personal issues and combat his detractors. A standout line, “I should just live in a nut house / Right now, I live in an igloo / And I’m not chillin’ the fuck out,” showcases Em’s knack for oscillating between searing self-analysis and tongue-in-cheek humor. His lyrical dexterity is on full display, as he seamlessly transitions between diverse topics, while the recurring chorus of “My name is Marsh and this world, I’m out of it” reinforces the track’s central theme of him feeling like an outsider in the world. Eminem’s lyrical prowess coupled with his raw emotional honesty makes “Marsh” a striking track on ‘Music To Be Murdered By’.

14 Never Love Again

The track has him spilling raw emotions over a sonically haunting beat, painting a stark picture of harmful dependencies – be it on substances or on toxic relationships. The song cleverly conflates the two, making it a lyrical maze for listeners to navigate. One of Em’s most potent lines goes, “Some days it feels like you’re all that I have/That’s why I’m tryna hold onto you for as long as I can”. Here, Eminem’s confessing the terrifying grip of addiction, the love-hate relationship with the very thing he knows is hurting him. This blend of self-awareness and struggle forms the crux of “Never Love Again”, giving us a raw and unfiltered Eminem we’ve seldom seen.

15 Little Engine

He steps into the confines of his own warped mind, laying raw his struggles, triumphs, and peculiarities. Eminem often uses his lyrics to throw swinging jabs at societal constructs he perceives as flawed, and here he satirically underlines the American obsession with fame and success. One standout line has to be, “I am the top-sellin’, who cares? Stop dwelling, then stop yelling”, a sarcastic riposte to those who obsessively compare artistic achievements through commercial successes. Bouncing between dark humor and stark revelations, Eminem continues his course of brutally honest cognition wrapped in his trademark stylized venom. He’s the ‘Little Engine’ that could, but with a twist, spitting out verses like a fully loaded lyrical machine gun.

16 Lock It Up

Features: Anderson .Paak

Slim Shady addresses his rollercoaster journey, from scraping change to ‘being paid as Oprah’, he lays bare the struggles he’s triumphed over. With potent lines like ‘I just let the poker chips fall but they were supposed to fit,’ Marshall Mathers reflects on how he navigated the pitfalls of his fame with a poker-faced resilience. The lyric ‘Two pistols on hip, both are gripped / I hold them at shoulder width’ is a metaphorical representation of Em readying himself for battle, a testament to his unwavering spirit and bold assertiveness, an homage to the gritty Detroit ethos. But it’s not all about posturing and hardships; Eminem also invites us to a whimsical wordplay party. Peep the line ‘I put that on everything like ranch, I’ll never land’ – that’s Em, a lyrical maestro diving deep into his wordplay bag, reinforcing his unmatched prowess in the rap game.

17 Farewell

Shady’s mastery of wordplay and rhyme schemes hits hard as he uses biting humor to tackle the love-hate dichotomy, represented in lines like “Wanna hold you, wanna choke you, wanna love you / Wanna hate you, wanna kill you, wanna hurt you.” The track is a chaotic carousel of emotions, playing out the turbulence of a relationship that’s simultaneously intense and self-destructive. There’s an audacious honesty to lines like “But how the hell am I / Still in love with the / Motherfucking chick there’s at least a million of,” reflecting Em’s self-awareness but also his struggle to break free. “Farewell” is classic Eminem at his rawest, unfiltered, and resoundingly authentic.

18 No Regrets

Features: Don Toliver

Teaming up with Don Toliver, Eminem asserts his firm stance of having no regrets about his controversial journey. The lyrics weave a complex tapestry of raw honesty and defiance, with Em confronting the reality of being incessantly targeted for his words and actions – “They want my life in turmoil like in ’03 / They want front row seats, I give ’em nosebleeds.” The song is a testament to Slim Shady’s indomitable spirit, unapologetically reclaiming his narrative in the face of relentless criticism. Eminem’s shoutout to Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, The Creator is a rare admission of a misplaced response. It’s Em at his most reflective – unfiltered, unvarnished, and unapologetically relentless.

19 I Will

Features: KXNG Crooked, Royce Da 5\9″, Joell Ortiz

The venomous verses showcase Em’s signature wordplay, intertwining intricate rhyme structures with pointed attacks at his critics. In a powerful display of verbal dexterity and aggression, Em declares, “Now this will probably be the illest most shit that I’ve ever said / God bless the dead and let Biggie possess the pencil lead.” He even heralds hip-hop veterans like G-Rap, Rakim, and Run-DMC as untouchable pillars of the genre, dismissing any claims of other artists owning the rap game. Much more than a boast track, “I Will” is a testament to Eminem’s enduring relevance and influence in the sphere of hip-hop, a forceful reassertion that he, indeed, still wears the crown.

20 Alfred – Outro

Hitchcock’s sampled voice portends an unsettling dance of death and leaves the listener with a sense of uncanny dread. Eminem cleverly plays with the macabre tone set by the horror legend, wrapping up an album filled with visceral lyrics and gnarly narrative arcs. His line “If you haven’t been murdered, I can only say… Better luck next time” delivers a chilling touch that highlights his grim humor while underlining the theme of the album. This outro encourages listeners to question the lines between the recorded and the imagined, the lived experiences and the fabricated narratives, cementing Eminem’s masterful control over storytelling through hip-hop.

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