I get that Em’s lyrics are offensive, derogatory, and sometimes just plain twisted, but they are also brilliant. The way he constructs his rhymes, stretching syllables and words to create verse after incredible verse is nothing short of amazing. I have such respect for his skill. Although I love most of his songs, there are lyrics of his that I will never forget: “Picket signs for my wicked rhymes.” Who honestly thinks to rhyme “picket signs” with “wicked rhymes?” Eminem does.
There is a 60 Minutes interview of him with Anderson Cooper, and he tells Anderson, “People say that the word orange doesn’t rhyme with anything, and that kinda pisses me off, because I can think of a lot of things that rhyme with orange.” He goes on to explain that if you enunciate the word differently, stretching it into two syllables, you can get it to rhyme with other things. “Door hinge” was my favorite example his. It’s absolutely unbelievable if you ask me.
Another thing that made me love Eminem beyond his music is the movie 8 Mile. Although it is not directly a biography, it explains his life through the character Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith, an aspiring rapper in Detroit like Eminem once was. The best part of the movie is undoubtedly the final rap battle between Jimmy and his rival Papa Doc. If you haven’t seen the movie and you don’t want me to give away the ending…stop reading now. Jimmy knows he’s white and that he lives at home with his mom (among many other things often used against him in rap battles), and he decides to rap about all of these things so that his opposition will have nothing to say about him. He also finds out a fun little secret about his not-so-gangsta opponent and uses this to cut him down. So smart, right?! It’s one of the greatest scenes in any movie I’ve seen.
Eminem has always been controversial for his lyrics or his family drama, but he is one of the most talented rappers out there. Maybe even the most talented. I really love his more serious, personal songs, but some of his crazy stuff is certainly entertaining. If I could meet Eminem, I would probably cry and then hug him (without his permission of course, because he doesn’t seem like the hugging type). And then I would die happy.
What are your favorite Eminem songs? Or musical artists in general?