Archives for posts with tag: Eminem

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Opinion
By James Pavel

“Monster” by Eminem and Rihanna will roar hourly on every pop radio station from now until probably late April. It is a painfully generic duet featuring a half-hearted, mailed-in chorus from Rihanna, and an annoyingly redundant, bitter, and whiny Eminem.

It is one of the lower points of Eminem’s artistic career and another blindingly glaring example of why Eminem needs to finally hang it up.

The Real Slim Shady died after the release of The Eminem Show and has only appeared as a ghost of his former self over his past four albums. Slim Shady is a washed up rapper who now relies completely on pop fans and pop radio to keep him relevant.

When Eminem was in his prime, he had two verses from the track “Til’ I Collapse” that went: “Til’ I collapse I’m spilling these raps as long as you feel ‘em,”and “So while you’re in it try to get as much shit as you can, and when your run is over just admit when it’s at its end.” Why can’t he exercise some humility and heed to his own advice?

Slim is unquestionably one of the most successful artists of the past 20 years and is likely one of the top five hip-hop artists ever. His first three albums are all classic, a feat few others can declare. He has been able to relate to millions by embracing his trailer-park roots and sharing tales of his whirlwind childhood many before him never had the ability to unravel into such epic poetry.

The climax of Marshall Mathers’ career was the 8 Mile soundtrack that contained the bombastic single, “Loose Yourself.” The song was a blazing semi-truck containing all of the violent emphasis and intense momentum stemming from the carnaged venom felt throughout the first three masterpieces (Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers, The Eminem Show.) It was Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” meets Tupac’s “Hit em’ Up.” Such velocity. Such brilliance. And then came the album, Encore.

Encore showcased Slim at his most childish and silly. He had returned to his filthy drug habits. He sounded desperate for a first single to market the album. Worst of all, he had adopted a half-baked East-Indian accent on a third of the tracks, a change to the usual Eminem program that even die-hard fans had difficulty accepting. Encore was the beginning of the end. And this was in 2004.

Slim has now released three more albums, all of poor standing when compared with the original trio. His previously fluid and empathetic tirades regarding his mother and on/off wife Kim were once honest and ripe with emotion. But he now sounds like a hypocritical schizophrenic. His emotional mood swings through hist latest material has fans unsure of whether they are supposed to forgive, forget, embrace or hate Eminem’s mother and wife/ex-wife/fiancee/soon-to-be-ex-wife etc.

Eminem isn’t just past his prime. He has driven so far past his original peak that he has practically discovered a new persona dedicated strictly to mediocrity. The Real Slim Shady needs to retire before his original material becomes so concealed in dust that it becomes forgotten in place of his unmistakably weaker and weathered material.

Opinion
By Séamus Smyth

5. BEAUTIFUL

At his mentally weakest, Eminem was still able to conceive something astonishingly beautiful. The majority of his personal life was documented in his lyrics like a tabloid novel, yet his bout with depression was relatively hush-hush. His album titles were generally nothing more than references to his alter-egos, however “Relapse” was the first to comment on how Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers and Eminem were all feeling. Eminem was seriously down and it inevitably led to easily his worst album. “Relapse” proved false the correlation between drugs and creativity, yet for some reason the misery generated through “Beautiful” was still worthy of mass company.

4. TILL’ I COLLAPSE

Eminem’s lyrics do more than just blast shells into the sky and hope someone is listening. Each line of his bedazzles the ears and straps 10 lbs. of intellectual weight onto the mind of every listener bobbing their head. He delivers a dump truck of guilt on the rap world by pointing out the absurdity to not consider him the best word manipulator in the league, or at least include him in any top-ten list imaginable. He assaults the critics, humbles the  competition and does it with the help of the greatest chorus-performer hip-hop scribblers have ever documented.

3. ROCK BOTTOM

The vivid descriptions and embarrassing confessions show that no one can give better directions to Rock Bottom Avenue than Slim Shady. “Being broke as hell” is as trite as any rap simile, which is why Eminem chooses to elaborate on what exactly this hell consists of. It is one of the tracks that made Slim Shady appear in the mirror for millions of fans in America when they were looking for someone to relate to. He had a young daughter, a broken marriage, and a wild fascination with rap. The main difference was of course that he was deeply gifted with hip-hop poetry, but it didn’t stop Eminem from creating an immediate following. “My daughter’s feet ain’t got no socks on em, and those rings you’re wearing look like they got a few rocks on em,” poignantly illustrated how desperate and skewed one’s perception becomes when money is in short supply. It was a shocking revelation for the rich and a painful snapshot of everyday life for the poor, ricocheting into the perfect storm of Eminem worship.

2. STAN

With the sensational identification audiences felt with Eminem, it inevitably would lead to borderline idolatry. Lyrics penetrate the soul on an hourly basis for many, but the way Eminem was able to describe the wild seasons of life was almost too visceral for many. One man in particular, Stan (Stalker+fan), failed tragically to separate the violent fantasies and even the awful hairstyle from what were only the nightmares of Eminem’s drug-inducing alter-ego, Slim Shady. Eminem’s ability to hold a cohesive dialogue between a stalker and Slim Shady through song was a subtle way of highlighting the top shelf talent that rap could offer. It was violent, it was aphoristic and beyond the murderous/suicidal fantasies, it was a genuine masterpiece.

1. LOSE YOURSELF

It leaped past the hurdles and pylons set up around rap music and become a legendary anthem that soared beyond any particular genre. It’s the Eye of the Tiger, but only if the Tiger’s tail caught fire and he only had one chance to douse it in the nearest river. It’s the most bad-ass motivational speech kids ever heard and it would have saved elementary schools millions of dollars if they had just skipped the former addicts’ swan songs and just blared “Lose Yourself” during recess. The lifestyles of rappers catapult from poor to rich so quickly that it may seem like another lifetime for many of them. Yet the poverty and desperation never departed the soul of Slim because the fear was too real. Nobody took the lyrics of “Lose Yourself” more seriously than Eminem himself. Based on the fortune and acclaim he has come to receive, one would be a fool to not follow the example laid before us.