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On a scale of 1 to 10: How sick is Eminem's 'Relapse'?

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Say it with me, Eminem fans: FINALLY! Reports have been flying for months that Em is recording a long-awaited comeback album. And last night at his book release party (Margeaux was there!), the pieces all came together. Em told the revelers that there is indeed an album coming soon… it’s called Relapse… and today a two-minute lyrical clinic called “I’m Having a Relapse,” apparently the first taste of that album, is all over the Web.

You can check it out below, but be warned, it’s super-NSFW. And that’s part of what makes this song so awesome for those who, like me, have been waiting years for the real Slim Shady to return. Em’s flow, at one time the industry’s wickedest, is right back on point — a huge relief for anyone who’s been left underwhelmed by some of his half-asleep-sounding latter-day performances. What’s more, he’s using that delivery to spew the kind of perverse, hyper-aggressive wordplay that made fans out of Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and billions of suburban teenagers back in 1999-2000. (Man, was it really that long ago that I saw Carson Daly introduce “My Name Is” for the first time?) Nah Right‘s Eskay has it right: “Drugs, violence, wacky voices and flows upon flows. Yep, he’s back.”

In other words, if you never really liked Eminem, I bet you’ll be giving this somewhere in the vicinity of a 1. But if you’re like me and you think pop culture has been sorely missing his subversive influence — if you’ve been longing for the only artist who can cross this many lines and offend this many listeners in a way that’s actually clever, not just crass — you’ll be leaning towards a 7 or higher. So how would you score it? And meanwhile, get ready for a lot more insight into Em’s mind when the new issue of EW hits stands tomorrow with an exclusive excerpt from his upcoming autobiography, The Way I Am

More on Eminem:
“Em is excited” about his return to the studio, Bishop Lamont tells EW.com
EW reviews Eminem’s last album, 2004’s Encore
Em talks about making 8 Mile in EW’s Nov. 8, 2002 cover story
The inside story on Em’s 2000 “Stan” video

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