Even Eminem himself hated on Relapse when he rapped, "Let's be honest, that last Relapse CD was eh" on "I'm Not Afraid." It was a playful jab at his own work, but it was funny because to a lot of people, it was true. But a lot of people were being a little hard on the maturing rapper. By this point in his life, Marshall had been through a lot, including a drug overdose that acted as a wake-up call, and by the time this project was released in 2009, he was sober. Em may have been clean, but he had one last thing to get out of his system, and that thing was Relapse.
The album is dark and over-the-top in an almost cartoonish way, but on it, the 36-year-old confronted his demons without holding anything back. The result wasn't what most people wanted to hear from his comeback album, but without the purging that took place here, he may have never been able to really move forward with his career and his recovery. If nothing else, the album was proof that Eminem's sharp delivery and command over the language was as strong as ever. Listen to "Stay Wide Awake" and "Underground" again if you don't believe us.