Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:22:09
1) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)
2) Method Man & Redman Blackout! 2 (Def Jam)
3 Busta Rhymes Back On My B.S. (Flipmode/Universal Motown)
4) Tanya Morgan Brooklynati (Interdependent Media)
5) DOOM Born Like This (Lex Records)
Released this week, Relapse, the sixth studio album from Eminem, went straight to number one on the Amoeba Music Hip-Hop chart. And most likely this anticipated album from Slim Shady, produced by Dr Dre, willl also top most other charts this week, including Billboard's. Even though many critics have already panned the album, most saying that the once controversial Em is now attempting to stilll sound shocking and merely duplicating his old formula with a twist of Reggaton, most music fans are hungry for, or at least curious to hear what Eminem Version 2009 is all about. After all, it is the artist's first new album in five long rap years -- since he dropped Encore in 2004 -- which is a virtual eternity in the ever shapeshifting hip-hop genre. Typically, fickle rap fans move on but Eminem ain't no ordinary rapper and a lot of people want to see/hear what's new with the artist who withdrew himself from the world and became dependent on prescription drugs.
In true Eminem tradition, his personal life -- in this case his openly admitted addiction to prescription drugs and some other issues, including, of course, his mother -- is fuel (fodder?) for his art. And drugs are certainly a prominent theme on Relapse, and not just the repeated lyrical references. The album cover spelling of the name Relapse cleverly utilizes the "Rx" symbol as used in prescriptions (Dr. Dre, naturally, is the prescribing doctor), while the cover art illustration of the artirt's head (above) is made up by a mosaic of thousands of pills.