AshyReviews: Bad Meets Evil "Hell: The Sequel"

A long, long time ago, there was a time in Hip Hop when lyricism and creativity were rewarded. During this time, the underground was actually CELEBRATED...I know, it's crazy huh?

Well, right b4 Eminem first hit the major label scene, he recorded an e.p. with fellow Detroit native Royce da 5'9". The gem of that project was a song that will forever live in hip hop history infamy, "Scary Movies". After Royce's guest appearance on The Slim Shady LP and his ghost writing for Dr. Dre's 2001, everyone expected Royce to be right around the corner.

Well, after multiple beefs, dis records and 10yrs later, Em and Royce have buried the hatchet and are now releasing new music together again. Quite frankly, IT'S ABOUT FUCKING TIME.

I haven't heard Eminem this hungry since The 8 Mile soundtrack and he sounds DAMN good. Royce on the other hand pulls off what very few, if any, have EVER been able to do; steal the show from Em...scary thing is, it happens MULTIPLE times throughout the album. And this is definitely a good thing.

The record starts off with "Welcome II Hell", where they trade one long verse each and its like double and triple time rhyme HELL as these dudes spit ABSURDLY dope bars. Things continue one the right track with "Fastlane", which is my favorite track on the album.

Next we get to "The Reunion", which Em sets up as "a true story". Once you hear it you'll hear just how ridiculous a statement that is. Clearly, Em still feels some kinda way about the Relapse album, as he's now with this song made his 30,000th apology for how lackluster it was (I'm of the minority that actually enjoyed the Relapse album GREATLY).

The album has a few other high points like the personal "Take From Me" and the INSULTINGLY GOOD posse cut "Loud Noises" featuring Slaughterhouse. And without a doubt, Crooked-I and Royce coulda just kept this joint all to themselves cuz DAMN they bodied everybody else. The bonus track "Echo feat. Liz Rodriguez" is easily my 2nd favorite track on the album. It's got that rock/epic rap type feel producer Alex Da Kid has helped make really popular in hip hop right now. Again, Royce takes the track; crazy thing is, Em killed it, but Royce dismembered it, then drove about 50miles outta town and buried it somewhere in the outskirts of Detroit.

But, I gotta unfortunately report there are some pretty glaring missteps here too. The most offensive is the inevitable single, "Lighters feat. Bruno Mars". While both artists definitely exercise some demons on this introspective track, it simply feels forced and just like the other 50 formula concocted Bruno Mars songs floating around pop radio. Thank you for nothing Jimmy Iovine!! "I'm on Everythang feat. Mike Epps" is another that they prolly could've just kept to themselves. After all the fuss about how Em's gotten clean, it just seems outta place to hear him rhyme about using drugs again.

With that said, Em and Royce made this record somewhat accidentally and it's definitely a testament to how great both these emcees are; especially when they're working together. All in all, this is a great warm up to the upcoming Slaughterhouse album and even more proof that while Em may not be the beast that he used to be, he's certainly still an ill tempered elephant in the room not to be taken lightly. Seems as thought Royce was the one that put the battery in Em's back, not the other way around.

3.5/5 Bottles