Bootlegs of leaked tracks from Eminem come out every day that ends in y, but the Straight from the Lab collection is thought out so well that rumors were everywhere that the rapper put it out himself. Boots of freestyles have shown that he's taken dissing and battle raps to a new level before, but never has there been such a dark and driven collection. "Bully" is the high-profile track where Benzino and The Source magazine get their skewering, and it stands up to anything the rapper has done before. There's a therapy session worth of insight as Eminem lyrically lays out the situation, makes threats, jabs at Benzino's alleged ecstasy habit, looks at himself, and thinks he should be above it all -- and then gets even meaner. Truly magnificent, "Bully" would make the boot necessary for fans on its own, but it's matched by the cartoonish and evil dis of Canibus on "Can-I-Bitch." The beef and the track are both old news, but it's a hilarious number and interesting because of someone doing placeholder vocals that await the voice of Dr. Dre. The fact that leaked copies of "We Are Americans" attracted the attention of the Secret Service is even more hilarious since the accusations that it was a threat to kill the president are totally without merit. As an observation that power can easily be taken away from citizens, it's a surprising bit of political commentary from the normally self-centered rapper. The chugging "Monkey See Monkey Do" and the twisted love story of "I Love You More" just add to the release, and if there's anything bad to be said, it's that the last two tracks are only very good. Interscope Records said they had nothing to do with the boot, but considering how vicious the boot is, it's doubtful they could have figured out what to do with it. Whether or not Eminem himself is behind it, Straight from the Lab is excellent.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries