Let’s be honest, Eminem is one of the best rap artists out there – he can rap circles around you. If he’s not on your list of best artists you’re just being a hater; although he can come off kind of hocky at times, he pretty much earns a pass. His latest release Shady XV is a compilation that showcases his re-energized Shady Records. It’s a good look for hip-hop, and we’ll explain why in a minute. Let’s talk about the tracks.

The album starts off with a barrage of bars from Slim himself on the self-produced title track, which sets the tone. Stand-outs from there include Vegas (by Bad Meets Evil), which features the overhyped Iggy Azalea rape jokes (ha?), Slaughterhouse’s Y’all Know Me produced by Primo and the Just Blaze/Boy 1da produced Psychopathic Killer. Em’s self-produced Right For Me and Fine Line are also good listens. In all the project features Kobe, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, Skylar Gray and anyone from the D that matters.

Now why is this album a good look for hip-hop? It’s cover to cover bars. It seems like good old fashioned skills are slowly taking the main stage again in hip-hop – and like any “corporation” it needs to start from the top down. Instead of signing gimmicky “hype” artists, Em seems to be rolling with spitters (like them or not). D12 kind of gets a pass, but everyone else here has bars.

The album closes with the Static Selektah produced Detroit vs Everyone, which (again) we predict will be a thing once other cities drop replies. Disc 2 is all old joints, we skipped that.

It’s now out everywhere – stream it here.