One of the most exciting moments of Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards wasn't actually part of the show, but a commercial for Dr. Dre's Beats headphones. Or at least that's what it was supposed to be.
However, it was actually a clever promo for Eminem's new album, MMLP2, which is set to drop on Nov. 5. We don't know for sure, but we're taking an educated guess that's an abbreviation for Marshall Mather's LP 2, making it a sequel of sorts to 2000's The Marshall Mathers LP. That album topped the Billboard 200 and spawned such monster hits as "Stan," "The Real Slim Shady," and "The Way I Am"; and it remains his biggest success.
Of course, Em has released several albums since then — including his last effort, 2010's Recovery — but hasn't managed to capture his former glory. That might change with the release of MMLP2. Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin serve as executive producers of the set.
For those who don't know, Rubin was responsible for producing the Beastie Boys' landmark Licensed to Ill. "Berzerk," the album's first single that hit the web today in its entirety, has a distinctly Beasties-esque influence. In fact, it samples the Beasties along with Billy Squire's 1981 mega hit "The Stroke." (Warning: the song includes some explicit language.)
In the video, an old-school boombox takes up most of the frame as a tattooed arm is seen loading a cassette in the deck before we hear a blast of static, hard guitar and Em roaring out of the gate sounding like the long-lost, fourth Beastie Boy. The Beasties' connection is sealed with a sample of the Boys' themselves rapping "kick it," from Licensed to Ill's "The New Style" and the ripping power chords from "The Stroke." It's nice to see Eminem publicly tip his cap to the Beasties — no longer a working entity following the 2012 death of Adam Yauch from cancer — since they undoubtedly paved the way for him.
Lyrically, Eminem is in the moment, name-dropping the "ugly Kardashian, Lamar" and "K-Fed." The track has already received play on Los Angeles' influential alternative rock station KROQ. I'd say Shady's back. What do you think?