When I started to review Eminem’s record I immediately poo-pooed my own objectivity, given my die-hard devotion to the rapper. Then it suddenly hit me — I used to hate the guy. In fact, I remember putting on my princess crown and preaching that his raps were disrespectful, disturbing, and down-right offensive. Then I grew up, listened to every album in full, and converted to his kingdom.
For years, I and many others have pondered what Eminem would produce when he became less angry. He’s been honest about his new-found sobriety and his subsequent attitude change, and it’s a common suspicion that happiness often kills creativity. But after listening to his most moving song, ‘Headlights,’ where he makes peace with his mother, it became instantly clear that nothing kills Eminem’s creativity — and he’s fully capable of presenting every emotion in every song. Though the anger that made him famous is still prevalent on ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2,’ so is his healthy new state of mind, and that variety has created perhaps his most powerful album yet. Listen to ‘Headlights,’ below.