It would be pretty unconventional to compare Shady XV to the Bible, but since I’m an unconventional writer, I take pride in saying that Shady XV has a parallel with the Bible. Now, I don’t mean to say that Shady Records’ 15th album prophesies the Messiah or the end of days, but the form of both works is similar.

Composed by multiple authors/rappers over a lengthy period of time, Shady XV has two CDs: the first is a group of original songs made specifically for the album, and the second features the greatest hits of the artists on the album. Fans of Eminem will listen to the officially released “Lose Yourself”, made popular by his film 8 Mile, while fans of 50 Cent can enjoy the infamous “In Da Club”. The album features appearances by Kid Rock, Obie Trice, and the other half of Bad Meets Evil, Royce da 5’9”.

It’s nearly impossible to pick out one song that stands superior to the others. You’ve got “Psychopath Killer”, “Bane”, “Detroit vs. Everybody”, and “Cry Now”, not to mention the demo version of “Lose Yourself”, which has very different lyrics from the legendary song fans have come to love today.

Eminem shines in his second appearance in an album this year, following The Marshall Mathers LP2, which became known one of his best albums to date. The rest of the artists bring their A-game to the original songs featured on the first disc and the second disc gives listeners a nostalgic look back into the past decade and a half of popular rap.

This is essentially a perfect album for the 21st century, featuring the best artists and great songs that range from classic rap to R&B. Although this is not an “Eminem album”, we see Slim Shady appearing in a majority of the songs. Songs featuring the founder of the label echo his most recent album, which echoes Eminem’s earlier albums. Essentially, this album pays homage to nearly two decades of American hip-hop.

In all truthfulness, there’s no way to do this album justice in the space of a review, but my conclusion boils down to: “This is an incredible album.” You have heard it said that you become speechless when something amazes you; I tell you, I was speechless after listening to this album. Any fan of rap and poetry will have their new favourite album of the year. MMMMM

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