The Album That Made Eminem What He Is Today
In spite of the name, “Hussein Fatal outlawz” is not really an Iranian rap group. It’s more of a west African hip-hop collective consisting of young men from the Kalahari Desert region. The core of the group is Isaak Ali, also known as Immortal or Khan Al Hajar. He and his brother, Aman, both have made a name for themselves in the music industry. But they were actually born as street hustlers on the streets of Cairo.
The band made their official debut in 1997 on the underground circuit in Egypt. Their self titled album soon made an impact in the world of hip hop. Their sophomore album, “Fatal Shot”, marked a turning point in their career and solidified them as one of the more original and interesting rappers in the hip hop group scene.
Undeniably, this group has stood the test of time and continues to rise above the competition. The most recent release “Towers” contained two instrumental songs that signaled the return of Isaak Ali to his solo career. While those songs were not included on the “Hussein Fatal outlawz” album, they represented a significant stylistic departure for the rapper. Still, despite the presence of guest stars such as Dot Da Genius on “RNX Don’t Play,” the album was largely self-driven and self-referenced.
Now, “Hussein Fatal outlawz” guitarist Aman Al-Khatib has returned with his second solo album called “The Corporation.” Although “The Corporation” doesn’t quite reach the heights of predecessors “RNX Don’t Play,” it is definitely still a stellar effort by this up-and-coming artist. The rapping talent shines through on this album, as Al-Khatib gives us a taste of his street-rap style. In addition to his previously released instrumental, “Wake Up,” this album sees the return of legendary lyricist Eminem.
On this album, Eminem seems more vulnerable than he has in previous efforts. On his last full-length album, “Marshall Mathers II,” Eminem showed us that he was a man who had matured, who had been married and divorced three times, and who was no longer able to control his anger. He was also quite serious about building a mass audience for his music. But now, he seems to be back to his boyish ways, railing against the “bad elements” of America and hinting that the g-d darn “merica [isn’t working] anymore.” In contrast, on “The Corporation” Eminem relies less on profanities and more on a steady flow of excellent lyrics and instrumental tracks that portray his feelings of alienation from America’s hip-hop culture. The album is undoubtedly a strong contender for album of the year.
Undoubtedly, this hip-hop album will go down as another monumental work by the multi-talented Eminem. His lyrical content and instrumental production have become especially innovative, providing him with an extra avenue of creativity. And, perhaps more importantly, this is a very positive sign for the future of American rap music. As American hip-hop continues to mature, it is increasingly clear that Eminem has become a true rap superstar. And this is only the beginning.