Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Shady XV" Album Review & FREE Full-Album Stream

Marshall Mathers disclosing artwork for his Shady XV compilation via Instagram

Eminem Celebrates 15 Years Of Lyrical Supremacy On 'Shady XV' (Album Review)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Eminem's Shady Records has changed a lot in 15 years.

With 50 Cent gone and Eminem performing on a limited basis, the label no longer houses the two biggest hip-hop acts in the world. But Eminem no longer cares about that.

His label now serves a talent den for some of hip-hop's most lyrically gifted emcees, something the new compilation, "Shady XV," makes a clear point of emphasizing.

The compilation features one disc of new material and one disc of greatest hits. The latter offers a Spotify-esque playlist with all the Eminem, 50 Cent and D12 tracks you can handle. There's also a nostalgic demo version of "Lose Yourself."

But it's the original material that really stands out. Slaughterhouse (Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Royce da 5'9") throws lyrical darts on the DJ Premier-produced "Y'all Ready Know," while Yelawolf brings an abundance of energy to his solo-cut "Down." The latter's haunting bonus cut, "Till It's Gone," is even better.

Both Crooked I and Royce da 5'9" go hard over the ferocious "Psychopath Killer," as Crooked professes, "I don't need heaters, I got the meat clever." But neither Slaughterhouse member or anyone else on "Shady XV" can hold a candle to Eminem and his unhinged rhymes ("Probably shouldn't have ran up in the Vatican with that mannequin, singing 'Bagpipes from Baghdad' again").

"Shady XV" album cover

Eminem offers a verbal display like no other, going in full lyrical gymnastics mode on songs like "Vegas" and the big-beat title-track: "So whether you're hip-hop, Slipknot, B.I.G., Pac, Kid Rock, Kriss Kross, Rick Ross, you'll dig this/If not then kick rocks in flip flops." On and on he goes.

Wisely, Marshall dials things back for the album's more radio-worthy cuts. On "Die Alone," singer Kobe caps off Eminem's introspective rhymes with a catchy hook. And the brilliance of "Guts Over Fear," the album's lead single, lies mostly in Sia's soaring hook.

"Shady XV" does have a few duds. D12's "Bane" serves as nothing more than filler, while Skylar Grey's "Twisted" further proves why the singer has never quite measured up to the success of her label mates.

Thankfully, Eminem is around to save the day. The label boss wraps things with "Detroit Vs. Everybody," a tremendous posse cut featuring great verses from guests Big Sean, Royce da 5'9" and Danny Brown.
'F*ck the world!'

"Detroit Vs. Everybody" not only reminds us just how far Eminem has come, but it also demonstrates how he has elevated Detroit's status as a hip-hop hotbed. Rumor has it that Los Angeles and New York emcees are plotting responses to "Vs. Everybody." Eminem is the reason they may want to think twice about it. — Troy L. Smith, Northeast Ohio Media Group | Cleveland | Grade: B+ 

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Compilation album / Greatest hits by Shady Records
Release Date:
November 24th, 2014

Stream Eminem's "Shady XV" Compilation Album

After a steady amount of promo, which included an intense all-Shady rap battle cypher, Eminem's new compilation album, Shady XV, is finally in stores and available to stream on Spotify. The project, which features one disc of all new material that you can stream below and one disc of the label's greatest hits, was originally announced earlier this year following the trailer for Denzel Washington's movie, The Equalizer, that used Em's track, "Guts Over Fear."

In total, the CD with all new material features 12 songs with appearances from Yelawolf, Big Sean, all four members of Slaughterhouse, and more, while the second CD includes some of Shady Records biggest hits, like 50 Cent's "I Get Money," and more. The compilation album is currently available for purchase on iTunes and can be streamed in full below. — Zach Frydenlund | Complex

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