Eminem carved out such a powerful position in the music industry that it will never disappear. Slim Shady’s albums are consistently in high demand, and fans eagerly anticipate every new release. Eminem recently discussed his voice and flow changing on MMLP 2.
One of the critiques frequently leveled at Eminem as his career has advanced, and incidentally, as he has aged, is that his voice and his flow have altered. However, in the latter half of his career, many fans have noticed that Em’s signature pitched vocals and seemingly effortless flow have changed into something a little harder, a little more difficult to digest, and a little more aggressive. Of course, this statement is perhaps not all that surprising given that voices do change over time, especially when one uses their voice for a living.
When Eminem released MMLP 2 in 2013, his first album since 2010’s Recovery, and one that generated a lot of anticipation, this kind of criticism may have reached its height. Eminem recently discussed working with Rick Rubin to produce MMLP 2 on his latest podcast interview with manager Paul Rosenberg for Paul Pod: Curtain Call 2. He also addressed the criticism of his vocals and delivery, identifying the root of the problem for the first time.
Something you said was that ‘it wasn’t digestible’ or something like that. So I let off the gas. Some people like when I rap fast, some people don’t. So I was trying to make songs that were more digestible, but I’m also always worried that if I just do that, people are like ‘oh he fell off, he can’t rap anymore’.
Actually at that time period, I don’t know if we’ve talked about this publicly, but I know me and you have had the discussion about, there was a few years where, my tinnitus was getting really bad. The ringing in my ears was almost louder than the music so what started happening, is slowly but surely over time, I started putting extra mid-range in my voice. Because for me to get it out and be able to hear it, for whatever reason, that was the tone that was easiest for my ears to hear the inflections and sh-t like that. And as we went to LA and saw that doctor, and the tinnitus started getting better, I pulled back on the vocal a bit. But going back and listening to that sh-t now, I didn’t leave any gaps, everything was like, there was no parts to be able to breathe.
The two continue by talking about some of the rock-influenced songs on MMLP 2, such as “Berzerk.” Find out Em’s opinion on the accents used in Relapse and whether a Relapse 2 would ever be produced by watching the complete episode below.
What’s your take on Eminem’s flow and pitch change over the years? Sound it in the comments.