Pop Culture
Sep 20, 2018, 06:29AM

It's Time to Put Eminem's Albums Away

Why do so many white journalists consider him a genius?

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I was 15 when Eminem’s debut The Slim Shady LP was released. As an unhappy, bullied, insecure teenager, I’m now embarrassed to say it blew me away. The most controversial song, “97 Bonnie and Clyde,” is a sickening nursery rhyme where Eminem raps to his baby daughter as he buries his wife Kim at sea. On his Columbine-influenced album The Marshall Mathers LP, he raps a complex but morally disgraceful prequel track where he brutally murders Kim. Kim would eventually become a heroin addict and attempt suicide multiple times. But if I give Eminem any credit at all, it’s for introducing a middle class white boy from Kent to the dangerous, complex world of hip-hop, even if I think he’s one of the most self-indulgent rappers in music history.

The story of the evolution of his psychotic alter ego Slim Shady (which was far more effective in his rage-filled 20s) is unironically described in Anthony Bozza’s 2003 biography Whatever You Say I Am. “I was taking a shit, swear to God,” Eminem says about the morning he thought up Slim Shady. “I was sitting on the toilet and boom, the name hit me.”

That Bozza doesn’t question the inception of his nom de guerre, but simply accepts its idiosyncratic “genius” is indicative of the predominantly white journalists at Rolling Stone showing adoration for the first white Gangsta rapper circa 2003, seeing as Eminem had recently won the Best Song Oscar for “Lose Yourself,” taken from the now-dated 8 Mile. Too frightened to turn up to the ceremony, hilariously the award was given out by Barbra Streisand, who seemed overjoyed that her white prodigy had won, despite not having the guts to show up and perform his track in front of Hollywood’s power players. You can find the footage of the “win” on YouTube, and it’s the perfect summation of Eminem’s Democratic politics. He’s angry, but like all bullies not that brave.

My opinion is that it’s only young men and women with serious mental illnesses and genuine family problems that still listen to Eminem. I’ve met so many damaged psychiatric patients who require his albums, since they offer an excuse for their failures, drug habits and unhappiness. With rappers like Azealia Banks, The Weeknd, Kanye West, Rihanna, Jay Z, and lesser-known but brilliant talents like Kyyngg, Pressa and RondoNumbaNine, it seems at best desperate to even pretend that Eminem is a shadow of his former self. He may hate Trump, but his Trump battle rap is so poorly-constructed, not to mention he gives off the impression of a crack-addicted, aging rent boy. I imagine he voted for Hillary Clinton, and if so, let’s recall a famous, South Park-inspired line from "Role Model" in 1997:

Eminem rapped (20 years before voting for her): “Hillary Clinton tried to slap me and call me a pervert / I ripped her fucking tonsils out and fed her sherbet / bitch.”

It seems that many of his misogynistic lyrics are related to the tortured relationship he had with his allegedly drug-addicted, alcoholic mother. Disgustingly, some of his more psychotic fans threw bottles at her in the street.

Knowing what I do about the effect of Eminem’s music on the mentally ill, it’s time to put his albums away and spend some time considering exactly why so many white journalists considered him a genius. With enemies as weak and unpleasant as these, I don’t think President Trump has much to worry about in 2020.

—Follow Andrew Moody on Twitter: @VoguishFiction

  • dude, for you to write an article trashing eminem, while there are thousands of even more controversial artistes, and rappers out there, you really should Ditch hiphop and go listen to Celine Dion. Do a little research.. Hip hop has always been filled with controversial topics: violence, misogyny, homophobia, etc.. Not saying it's really good, but it's never going to be pussified to please clueless hyocrities like you.. Why not attack Kanye, cardi b, snoop Dogg and other controversial rapstars? Simply cause Eminem's a white rapper, you choose to bash him. Homie, you do not belong in the house of hip hop, you're beyond despicably pathetic.

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  • Uh huh. Your response is pretty typical of unintelligent, angry fans of the Cult of Eminem. I personally think Eminem can't sing, and has lost any kind of shock power he had in the late 90s. I pitched an article about Eminem to my editor, he said go for it. I can appreciate Eminem allows angry people with family issues a form of catharsis, but your personal insults knowing absolutely nothing about me, imply you could require psychiatric help. Best wishes and good luck.

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  • On the contrary, it's you who is devoid of the intellectual capacity to comprehend the music genre, hip hop. If you don't like hardcore rap, you could always settle for less bothersome music genres, for pussys like you. The fact that you had to attack a major hip hop artists for his lyrical content shows that you know absolutely nothing about rap, or hip hop in general. Hip hop has always been full of controversial topics as I said earlier. Take artistes like Kanye, nicki, Migos, snoop Dogg, etc who rap about drugs, sex, nihilism, money, violence.. It's all about audience, if you dislike it, avoid it, stop being a repulsive petulant child and go play the piano.

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  • This loser had to forward his joke of an article to just about every celebrity you could think of on Twitter.. From Rihanna to Donald Trump. Good Lord, I didn't think one would be so stupid to attract attention. You need therapy, Mr moody, for real.

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  • Well, thanks for that. The reality is I thoroughly enjoyed writing the article, and think it was well paced and well argued. I was also paid for writing it. Best wishes.

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  • Best wishes to you too, thanks for the hateful excuse for an article too. Shows how disconnected you are with hip hop. Don't forget to play the piano..

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  • Okay bro. I can play Imagine, not quite hip hop, but I play it sweetly.

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  • Well, because he's a genius.

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  • I don’t agree with this article. Eminem is a lyrical genius. Ask any one into hip hop, they’ll agree with that. The topic of the content contained in his music is quite disturbing, but at the same time helped a lot of people go through struggles. It doesn’t mean they’re drug addicts or psychopaths.. To label his music as garbage is just plain ignorant of you, and FYI over the decades, his music has gotten better and there are artistes with even more controversial, disturbing content in their music.. Try Kanye, xxx tentacion, cardi b, in fact, just about every rapper. Why not try attacking hip hop as a whole? That’s where the root of the problem is, though it isn’t a problem for everyone.

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  • As a black woman who fell in love with Em as an artist in 2002 I think I’ll decide for myself when it’s time to put his albums away. The problem with you critiques is you actually think dissecting someone’s music is going to take away whatever reason they fell in love with it in the first place. Marshall has said some pretty reckless stuff about women and pretty much everyone else on his albums but I never took it seriously and realized it was just him putting a microscope on how a really large group of cisgender straight males actually think. He has 3 daughters of his own, one of them is bi, and has spoken out against Trump several times. Maybe spend time attacking someone else for being a trash person on AND off record (i.e. Kanye West who just endorsed Trump again on SNL last night).

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