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A Little Late - But a Decent Album
Hell: The Sequel - Bad Meets Evil
Member Name: EdgySurveys
Hell: The Sequel - Bad Meets Evil
Date: 09/08/12, updated on 09/08/12 (11 review reads)
Advantages: Amazing rhymes and flows, and bombastic beats
Disadvantages: One track that is so out of place, it almost ruins the experience.
Being a long-time Eminem fan, I've been aware of Bad Meets Evil since they made their first legendary tracks together, one of which ("Bad Meets Evil") appeared on Em's debut 'The Slim Shady LP'.
Anybody who is familiar with their original material knows that when together, they create magic. There's a certain chemistry and standard of rhymes and ideas that Royce Da 5'9" and Eminem bring out of each other that is often better than when they rhyme alone.
This chemistry and standard is no-doubt because both of these guys are very competitive (as is the nature of hip-hop itself) and are constantly trying to top each other's lines, in the spirit of friendly one-upmanship and lyrical excellence. All of the competitive and collaborative spirit these two form when as one, combined with the tremendous expectation following such a long-time since they've rhymed together results in a very solid release - a collection of explosive tracks packed with exhilarating rhymes and flows.
When I say 'exhilarating', I really do mean that. There are times on this record when the back-and-forth nature of Royce and Em continuing each other's ideas and lines and trying to out-do each other in skill leads to dazzling displays of rapping, look to "Fast Lane" for proof of that.
My only real grind with this as a cohesive album is the track "Lighters", and I think many fans feel the same. Both of the verses and even the intent of the song aren't even that contemptible but the inclusion of Bruno Mars' voice on a BAD MEETS EVIL album, sounds bizarre. Every other track is menacing or dark in some way, and so the hook sung by Mars just sounds insanely out of place, and ruins the flow.
That to me, is the only true blunder track and blunder of this album.
Some could complain that their subject-matter gets a little repetitive or doesn't mean much, but to me, this is just what I wanted. I've got enough tracks from the pair of them about life and strife to satisfy me - I don't want introspection when I'm listening to Bad Meets Evil: I want to be blown away with skill and lines, I want hardcore hip-hop, and this is what I got.
If you're a production fiend then I'm sure you'll get some satisfaction from the beats on this record too. They certainly serve the purpose and match the sinister and cynical undertones of the BME mindset.
My favourite tracks from this album would be "Welcome 2 Hell", "Fast Lane" and "Above the Law", but there are many other outstanding high-points to enjoy.
If you LOVE rhymes, flows and just pure rapping for the sake of rapping; for the focus on obsessive technique and being a smart-ass, this album is for you. Overall I think they pretty much delivered on giving us something to hold on to and some music of a caliber to last a little while. But I do think they can do better, in terms of concepts.
I'll sum up by saying this release hits the mark in most spots, and it's really just one track that sticks out so badly that it spoils the flow and shows a pure, pointless compromise. We know why they did it; they wanted to put more shine on Royce, and it may have done that... but it wasn't worth ruining the album's cohesiveness in my books. For Eminem, this is more shot practice, for Royce - this is a step-up.
I'd give the CD 8/10
Summary: Great, but not a classic album. It does however house some incredible tracks.