BATTLE OF THE HIP-HOP STARS
Drake VS. Eminem
The hype machine tends to work overtime in hip-hop. It was Eminem’s turn to be the Next Big Thing before 1999’s game-changing The Slim Shady LP. And Drake’s been in the wings ever since last summer’s hit “Best I Ever Had.” Now-just as Em releases his seventh studio disc, Recovery-Drake finally delivers his debut album, Thank Me Later.
Clearly, the Canadian rapper-singer knows he’s a hot commodity: “The bandwagon’s full, but you can try and run behind it.” But even surrounded by A-list guests like Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, T.I. and mentor Lil Wayne, Drake is always the real star of this party, whether he’s crooning on the emo- and electro-infused “Find Your Love” or spitting about his newfound fame (a fave topic) on “Over.”
While Drake is more mellow, Eminem is as intense as ever on the follow-up to last year’s Relapse. He still has a wicked way with a lyric: “These are shoes that you can’t fill/ S— the day that happens the world will stop spinnin’ and Michael J. Fox’ll come to a standstill,” he raps on “Cold Wind Blows.” Best, though, is the rock-edged “Won’t Back Down,” which, with an assist from Pink, proves he can still slay the competition.
Thank Me Later
His bat-biting years may be far behind him, but Ozzy Osbourne proves that, at 61, he still has some headbanging left in him on this solid if not exactly screamworthy set. The highlight is the fist-pumping first single, “Let Me Hear You Scream,” on which, against a blitzkrieg of snarling guitars, the Ozzster works up a real rebel yell.
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