Feature

The timing of Eminem’s ‘Relapse’

Is the world looking forward to a new album by the rapper, or not?

“Say it with me, Eminem fans: FINALLY!” said Simon Vozick-Levinson in Entertainment Weekly online. On Wednesday, the rapper announced on his satellite radio station that his new album, Relapse, is coming soon. And judging from the “first taste” of the record, Slim Shady’s “flow” is “right back on point.” We almost forgot how much “pop culture has been sorely missing his subversive influence.”

Really? said the Vancouver Province online. We didn’t miss him at all. In fact, we were just “getting accustomed to a world without Crank Yankers–inspired videos and rhymes about sodomizing mannequins.”

Well, it looks like you're in the minority, said Linda Hobbs in Vibe online. Just last month, America voted Eminem the “best rapper alive” in our magazine’s “sometimes heated” poll. And let’s not forget that his last major album, 2005’s Encore, “sold 5.1 million copies.”

But it’s a different “pop-music world” now, said Brian McCollum in the Detroit Free Press online. Eminem’s reentering it at a time when “hip-hop sales are down, club music is morphing,” and “the Top 40 demographic is older.” And he’s 36 now: Isn’t that how old Moby was when Shady “mocked” him?

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