Though the signing was announced last week, “Shady 2.0” make their official debut on XXL’s next issue, which lands in stores February 8. Em speaks on the union…
While it was no surprise to rap fans that Marshall Mathers was interested in signing the super lyrical crew of his former rap partner, Royce, Em’s deal with up-and-coming Southern rapper, Yela, came as a surprise to the hip-hop nation. But, similar to Slaughterhouse, Em started out as a fan of quick-tongued Alabama MC. “I saw the video to ‘Pop the Trunk,’ and I was like, ‘Yo, this is fuckin’ dope,’ Em says. “I took the CD home that I had already had and started listening to the shit, and I was like, ‘Fuck, he can spit.’”
With the new Shady in tow, Eminem may be ushering in a return to wordplay in hip-hop, something that hip-hop heads have been missing from the genre for quite some time. “It just feels good to put lyricism in the forefront again, in my eyes,” Joell Ortiz says in the article. “Some of my heroes, when I came up rhymin’, were Biggie Smalls, Big L—rest in peace to all these—Big Pun. Dudes who were passionate about the way they put words together, the message they sent when they rhymed, and just bein’ ill with the pen. And I feel like this group, and Yelawolf and Em, are dudes who stand for that. And it’s good to see the pure form gettin’ shine again.”
Funny thing is, I made a mention about the possible return of lyricism to the mainstream consciousness in my last XXL post and how I hope that this new union works (with the majority of the c-section actually agreeing with me for a change), yet for some reason one of the Slaughterhouse members thought I just called them a tax write-off. Good grief. I actually cosign Marshall taking some kind of steps to try to bring a much more lyrical sound back to rap, which is something even the young brats who visit this site can agree on. However, in this day and age I have no idea if it’s going to work or not sales-wise, especially in an era where today’s rapidly dwindling contingent of hip hop purchasers would rather spend more time thinking they’re Big Meech than actually thinking. But what do I know, I’m just a guy who’s grown up with hip hop long enough to know not to put rims on a Maybach.