Album review: Various Artists – Shady XV

The album is a useful stop-gap until the boss (Eminem) deigns to drop his next solo LP.

Shady XV by Enimem album cover. 2014
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Shady XV Various


Three stars

When not offending parents the world over during his multimillion-selling solo career, Eminem has busied himself promoting other artists via his label, Shady.

In a move guaranteed to make you feel old, this two-disc compilation celebrates 15 years of the imprint, with new material on disc one and greatest hits on disc two. The umpteenth re-up of Slim Shady himself is the main event: Eminem contributes to all but three of the fresh cuts, whether as the feature artist, guest or producer.

As usual, his expletive-splattered verbals are rarely suitable for a family publication – suffice to say he's still angry, aiming lyrical crosshairs at everybody from Santa to Rihanna, and continues to out-rap most MCs, particularly on Right for Me, a semi-freestyle of dizzying rhyming acrobatics.

Disc two, meanwhile, veers from ubiquitous hits (50 Cent's In Da Club, the 8 Mile anthem Lose Yourself) to handily collecting obscurer tracks (You Don't Know is a proper posse cut, co-starring 50 Cent, Ca$his and Lloyd Banks). If nothing else, Shady XV is a useful stopgap until the boss deigns to drop his next solo LP.