Since Eminem is the talk of rap when it comes to upcoming releases, I figured let’s go back and look at his worst release and try to make it better. So, let’s see if we can redo Encore and help strengthen Eminem’s discography. However,we all know this just isn’t an easy task. At all. Thanks Em.
But first here’s some things about me. First off, props to the boy Malbin for giving me a spot to talk that talk. As far as me, I’m Ghost. A cocky, conceited kid who grew up on rap when rap was nice. I’ll be in and out here with this column series known as Deconstructed: and possibly two other columns. Look forward to getting killed in the comments on a regular basis.
Now to the task at hand. Encore stepped up to the plate as a 20 track offering. 16 tracks with 4 skits. It was led by a typical first single catchy, poppy, diss-filled track (that had a hilarious video to match) known as “Just Lose It.” It also had the singles “Mosh,” “Ass Like That,” “Mockingbird,” and Like Toy Soldiers. Two were great. Two were expected and the other (“Mockingbird”) was heartfelt. Meh
The first block of the album we had: the intro, “Evil Deeds,” ”Never Enough,” ” Yellow Brick Road,” ”Like Toy Soldiers,” and “Mosh.” The intro is the intro; Nothing more, nothing less. “Never Enough” and “Yellow Brick Road” are looks back into Em’s early life and his mind. Both nicely done and executed. “Toy Soldiers”= pure perfection. Sums up the whole Ja/Benzino beef and touches on Suge (fuck Suge). In retrospect, that video is eerie and prophetic. Up next is ‘Mosh,” the fuck Bush politically charged track. Here, we have Em speaking his mind on things. Again, a good track. He also took up for Lloyd Banks (men taking up for other grown men is sus, but whatever).
So we’re thru the first block. Nothing is wrong with the album. Great album. Looking like a strong 4-star album and a nice follow-up to The Eminem Show. However, tracks 7-14 is where this shit falls apart in epic fashion and just doesn’t ever recover. Like the album becomes Pookie from New Jack City before he got clean. And that’s being nice.
Well, here we go 7-9. “puke”, “my 1st single”, and “Paul (skit)”. “Puke” is actually not that bad. It’s a perfect tone changer from the serious as hell “Toy Soldiers” and “Mosh” that preceded it. It’s the perfect shot at Kim in a playful, yet “I’m dead serious about this shit” manner. Plus, I’m sure plenty of people feel the hook and have that one person.
“My 1st Single” …. whoever was in the studio when this shit was made should get slapped (I’m looking at you, Dr. Dre). The Christopher Reeves shit is old by this point. It’s just childish Em. Pretty sure he was high as fuck off of pills when this was made. The hook gets a few cheap laughs actually… fuck that, nope. Na. No. This is the first cut from the album. “Paul (skit)”… nothing major or special kinda feels misplaced. We’ll save it to see if we can fit it.
Next chunk from this Lindsay Lohan train wreck is “Rain Man”, “Big Weenie”, and “Em calls Paul”.
“Rain Man” more Christopher Reeves shots. More pointless childish shit. Pretty decent simplistic beat tho. 5 minutes of gay jokes and other shit with a horrible accent (most of Relapse was like this, but I digress). Again, whoever let this fly needs to be forced to listen Shyne post prison read the constitution.
Next, we have “Big Weenie” and “Em Calls Paul”. “Big Weenie” is more of the previous. Em making childish jokes with a childish hook, over another wasted beat, while attacking his critics also. What’s funny is Marshall used to viciously attack critics and other artists who questioned him; See the skits on MMLP about ICP. Here, he just makes childish jokes and shit. Toss this off the album. “Em Calls Paul(skit) is hilarious. It’s Em using voice effects, making jokes to Paul about Michael Jackson using Michael Jackson song titles (kinda weird in retrospect, since MJ died a few years later. RIP). This is the Em that attacks others that’s funny. It also sets up the album ending. It is misplaced thou.
The last two of this shit stretch are “Just Lose It” and “Ass Like That”. Both singles the former being the lead and being first single Eminem with him making fun of Peewee Herman, MJ, and himself. It’s tolerable. “Ass Like That” had so much potential with that title. It’s Em rapping as Triumph the Insult Dog about the Olsen twins, Jessica Simpson, and Hilary Duff’s ass. The video didn’t help with it being a puppet based video in the style of crank yankers. This is a tough decision, but na. Can’t keep it as a regular track
Final stretch: “Spend Some Time”, “Mockingbird”, “Crazy In Love”, “One Shot 2 Shot, “Final Thought (skit), “Encore/Curtains Down”.
Let me handle this out-of-order. “One Shot” is a classic not to be taken serious D-12 cut (i.e. Most of their catalog). It’s just the story of night gone wrong and how they shot the club up and escaped. It’s a keeper. “Crazy In Love” is a track about Em’s love with Kim. It’s actually a nice track to have. “Final Thought” sets up the closer “Encore” which is Em, Dre, and 50 having fun and made a great “party song” which was meant to be Em’s farewell. The skit at the end is fitting. “Mockingbird” is Em talking to Haley and apologizing for how things are. Very heartfelt. “Spend Some Time” is easily the highlight. Em, 50, Obie, and Stat tell tales of various women they’ve met and how the women wanted more than a one night stand.
So to wrap this up and to create the best Encore album possible it would be like this
Yellow Brick Road
Like Toy Soldiers
We As Americans
Just Lose It
Em Calls Paul (skit)
Crazy In Love
One Shot 2 Shot
Spend Some Time
It’s now the second worst album in his discography (Recovery I’m looking dead at you), but at least it isn’t completely abysmal.
Thoughts? opinions? Threats? Admissions of Standom and all that can be left in the comment section. Thanks guys.
The thoughts of this article resonates the authors thoughts, not a general consensus of the website.