When Eminem decided to title his latest album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, he knew that it must bear some deep lyrical connections to his original 2000 album, and he explained to MTV News the opening track “Bad Guy,” was intended to immediately show those ties.
On the ominous opener, Shady connects the dots to his infamous “Stan,” where a crazed fan commits suicide after being denied a chance to connect with his idol. Thirteen years later, “Bad Guy” finds Stan’s brother Matthew Mitchell seeking his revenge on the “Rap God” for his sibling’s demise.
“Making the ‘Bad Guy’ record, I [wanted to] sure I made something that ties in with The Marshall Mathers LP,” Em told MTV News in an interview in which he also addressed the controversy surrounding anti-gay lyrics in tracks like “Rap God.” “I wanted to make it make sense that if I’m gonna go down this road, [I have to be] ready for what’s about to happen.”
“The way I was thinking when I wrote the song was…What if this nightmare just happened? I decided to do this album and then everything started coming back on me — Matthew came back, Stan’s little brother and he came back to kill me, just all this sh– started happening.”
On “Bad Guy,” delivered from the perspective of Matthew, Stan’s younger brother carefully and ruthlessly plots Eminem’s murder, throwing in plenty of old references back in his face to make it too real. For example, the line, “And here’s your Bronco hat; you can have that sh– back cause they suck,” is response to Eminem’s line in “Stan” where he rapped, “And here’s an autograph for your brother, I wrote it on a Starter cap.”
Creepy? Yes. But also brilliant.
“‘Bad Guy’ to me is more like an introduction to the album,” Eminem added. “Like, OK, this is what’s about to happen, here it is. And then it picks up from the “Criminal” skit where The Marshall Mathers LP left off. I don’t know if anyone caught that, but that’s kind of where the continuation starts, because ‘Criminal’ left off with that.”
Did you make the connection? The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is in stores now.