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Music Reviews

MPAA Rating
Album
Hell: The Sequel
Genre
Rap/Hip-Hop, Pop
Performance
Peaked at No. 5.
Record Label
Shady, Interscope
RELEASED
June 14, 2011
Reviewer
Adam R. Holz
Bad Meets Evil

Bad Meets Evil

"Lighters"

Bruno Mars wants us to chase our dreams. And Bad Meets Evil rap duo Eminem and Royce da 5'9" (who first collaborated more than a decade ago) are more than willing to tell us how they chased theirs.

The difference? These two Detroit rappers use a lot more nasty words to get the job done than guest contributor Mars does on this Top 20 hit from Bad Meets Evil's chart-topping album, Hell: The Sequel.

Bruno kicks things off with his otherworldly tenor, singing, "This one's for you and me, living out our dreams/We're all right where we should be/Lift my arms out wide, I open my eyes/And now all I wanna see is a sky full of lighters."

In other words, life is like a big, feel-good power ballad at an arena concert, with thousands upon thousands of the faithful lifting their lighters skyward in emotional solidarity. (Never mind that smoking is banned in most venues these days, and that cellphones have replaced those once-ubiqitous flickering Bics.)

Eminem then takes over, marching through a ranting, profanity-strewn litany of his legendary rise through the rap ranks. "Had a dream I was king, I woke up, still the king/This rap game's nipple is mine for the milking/Till nobody else even f‑‑‑ing feels me, till it kills me/I swear to god I'll be the f‑‑‑ing illest in this music." More f-words, s-words and multiple crass references to the male anatomy populate the remainder of his raging reflection on finding fame and fortune in the rap world.

Next up: Royce da 5'9". Though most of us have likely never heard of Em's partner in "Evil," Royce wastes little time in his quest to convince us of his rap bona fides. There are the obligatory references to owning an Audi and an Aston Martin (which makes you wonder if he knows about Maybachs and Bugattis), a shout-out to Eminem's greatness ("Tell Shady I love him the same way that he did Dr. Dre") and a scatological warning to all the haters who've dismissed him for his entire career ("You s‑‑‑‑ed on me on your way up/It's 'bout to be a scary drop").

Toss in nods to toking marijuana and two allusions to oral sex, and you've got a pretty good picture of what Royce's vision of "living out our dreams" looks like in action.

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