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Slaughterhouse, Eminem & Yelawolf

"2.0 Boys"

[Shady Records; 2011]

By ; March 18, 2011 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

With all the hype surrounding Slaughterhouse signing to Shady – a Recovery bonus spot months prior to inking the deal, Em and Royce hooking Bad and Evil back up, the XXL cover story – in a short time, Eminem seems to have done more for his “2.0” posse than he ever managed to for “1.0” (The Re-Up included). The Yelawolf addition came out of nowhere, but only added to the buzz: the white rapper backing a white rapper?

So “2.0 Boys” coming out of nowhere is a bit of a surprise. It makes sense, of course: none of Em’s new cohorts have much of a presence in the mainstream yet, and with message boards absorbing the voice of the purported streets, marketing them through an online community that already loves them is the best move available. Beyond that, Eminem is a pop star: his appearance on a track is sure to dwarf just about anyone as hype builds.

Hence, dropping this out of nowhere frees it of all expectations, and allows it to do just what was intended: to sell the hell out of the new clique. Sure, Em comes in and kills his verse, but this is a song surrounding the new guys, not the leader. Slim’s resting on his laurels, raking in the Recovery money and looking forward to Detox royalties. These guys are hungry, chew the track to pieces, exceed all expectations, and assuming people aren’t put off by Yela’s drawl in contrast to the crisp flows of the others, they should all make quite the impression. A song like this is the type built for debate: who topped whom? Wrong way to look at it, they’re teammates. (Who are we kidding? Joell and Yela kill it.)

Say what you will about the clique’s chances for success, but it would take greater MCs than Mack Maine, Tyga, and Gudda Gudda to keep up with them. This track alone eats up We Are Young Money. For some time now, we’ve been made to get excited for up-and-coming classes not all that excitement-worthy to begin with: this is the closest a clique has come to a truly threatening lyrical body in some time. Their perspective on the others is clear, just listen to Eminem: “y’all lowered the bar like limbo, you know who you are.” It’s not about buzz, not about hype, not about image – it’s about skill. Hype can do Drake’s numbers, but it can’t achieve Jay-Z’s longevity. Marshall Mathers seems set on the latter; just listen to him and Yela: “Game over.” It’s too early to be so bold, but this is some promising stuff.


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