Blistering and clever, Bad Meets Evil supercedes the faults of other major summer rap releases like Tha Carter IV
and Watch The Throne
with no gimmicks, no promises, and no apologies. Eminem and Royce da 5'9" are old buddies, and Bad Meets Evil is an old project that spent a few years collecting dust, but you'd never know it. Revamped for the Hell: The Sequel EP
, the group is largely missing from discussion of the summer's most notable rap albums, and retrospectively, that seems a bit erroneous.
Eminem isn't messing around anymore, with a spirited spit that's even harder than it was on 2010's Recovery
. Together with Royce, the two waste no time piecing together lines that inspire the laughs and shocks usually reserved for Wayne and Ye. The lines are inventive, introspective, and filled with Eminem's classic dark humor. The back and forth on "Kiss" is so chewy, it's almost not even worth trying to follow. The best lines are pretty pronounced and get built up ("Tell Lady/Gaga she can quit her job at the post-office", "there's five things you are in charge of", etc).
Yeah the majority of the "poetry" is chauvinist, vulgar and profane, but at least it's something. The venom of their delivery makes for an emotional listen, whether positive or negative. At this point in music (and creativity in general), none of these things should be grounds for outright dismissal of art. Rap is rap, and whether the subject matter is pleasant, or something maniacal, it's about the inventiveness of the syntax and the sound of the delivery. Bonus points in spades for both here.
The beats aren't anything terribly unique, but Eminem and Royce demonstrate they don't need anything to prop up the near lightspeed delivery of their verses. Their material morphs the stock-sounding background noises into more memorable moments. The combination of Eminem and Royce seems slightly more volatile than the two individually, like a chemical reaction. The risk of explosion is worth it.
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MP3: "Fast Line"