(Disclaimer: This blog post has some foul language.)
“I am, whatever you say I am. If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?” Eminem seems to have a polar response – either you love or you hate him. When I was a kid, his raps were like cookies in a jar – outlawed and just out of reach. Transparent real and raw, that’s Eminem for you all. Screaming, yelling, shouting – authentic about his feelings. Completely disregarding “social conventions” to get his message across. “You don’t have the guts to say what’s on your mind like the way that I do.” We feel the wrath, anger, and sadness, and we don’t feel comfortable.
Eminem turns the argument of detaching from thoughts and emotions on its head. His raps show us that anger may not make us weak and vulnerable. The upside of anger is that it brings us to action. Being transparent about what we think and letting other people know how we feel gets a lot done. In our anger, we say what we have been meaning to say. Any good art is challenging and makes people mad. Eminem’s raps do just that. They bring personal and societal problems that we would normally ignore.
Every time I write a rhyme people think it’s a crime to tell em what on’s my mind
Eminem reminds us that it is important to express our true selves and be authentic. Some people are unhappy with us. But what road to success is lined with roses? Sometimes there are sharp thorns along the path. Hell, sometimes there are sharp thorns IN the path that we have to step on to make it through.
Terrified of normal!
A rock, sinking down to the bottom of the pond. This pit in your stomach makes you want to quit. You do crazy things, pushing boundaries every day. The sheep eat rotten grass. Eat the green grass on the untrodden path. People are unsure about this road less traveled filled with personal expression because they don’t know if it will work. They don’t know if they would be able to travel down that path and not give up. People who support me don’t say, “Will this be too hard? What if you can’t do it? I don’t believe in this!” Protection from failure never got people ANYWHERE! It is impossible to live a fulfilling life without failing a lot of the time. Some people won’t believe in you, but that shouldn’t stop you from going to the top. Eminem did. People sneered at a white rapper whose music veered sharply from the norm, which was only talking about girls, cars, and money.
The rich and/or famous tell you to do it your own way! Don’t let society dictate how you do things. How do you think the rich and famous they got to be that rich? By being “normal” like everybody else? NO! In his song Remember Me, Eminem talks about these naysayers in his rap. “I’ve been told no but it was more like NO NO NO!!”
The only person I trust is me!
Eminem has a strong belief in himself, and doesn’t trust others. In Bitch Please II he makes this clear with the rap “You don’t really wanna fuck with me. The only nigger that I trust is me.” Eminem challenges that you don’t have the guts to say what’s on your mind like he does. He disregards social and rapping conventions. Think about it! Young, white rapper, who has raps that are stories, with added sound effects, foul lyrics, and explorations of society and media. Does that sound normal to you?
“Slim shady does not give a fuck what you think. If you don’t like it, you can suck his fucking cock” – Eminem