Sunday, September 6, 2009

Do You Reminember When Eminem Was Scary?

Was Eminem scary because he was scary or was he scary because I was like 12 when he was popular and even Christina Aguilera was scary? I mean, in a vacuum, singing about kidnapping and killing your wife while you hate gay people is scary. But that all came from the same person who sang this song and this song. As much as he was this angry guy who had an incredibly hard life, it's hard to take people seriously when they're toeing the line between pop act and furious guy who hates pop acts.

Like, scary movies are far less scary when you think about how when Rob Zombie yells "cut," the lady with the blood coming out of her mouth and the knife in her back and the arm chopped off can pull her arm out of her shirt where it was hiding and join Mr. Zombie at the craft services table and laugh at refereneces to Hollywood hotspots (and notspots) while they nibble on little cheese cubes on tooth picks. It is hard to be scared by Eminem when you realize he has the backing of a huge record company and that he was on Crank Yankers.

On the other hand, you see Eminem's friend and D12 band mate Proof was shot and killed and that Eminem got addicted to pills and arrested on gun charges and you think: wait this IS scary! But this is not Rap, Sports, and People Magazine, so enough talk about his personal life. Here's my ruling on Eminem's scariness: gray area! Case dismissed.

And now we can talk about what I wanted to talk about before you asked me how scary Eminem was. He killed it on this new Drake track. I mean, Drake continues to show promise, Kanye kind of sleeps through it but at least it's not autotuned, and Weezy calls himself a Martian which is just the best. So if the track ended there, we'd have something really good. But then Eminem comes in from nowhere, like some kind of crazy situation where he entered a basketball arena and no one noticed and then he suited up and no one noticed and then he was subbed into the game and no one on or off the court noticed, and then after a missed free throw he ran in from the three point line for a put-back jam and only with that dunk did anyone in the entire arena realize he was there. And now that they've realized, they are flipping out. A DJ in the crowd screeches the record that he's playing. Guys are wiping their eyes with their fists and going, "huh? HUH?" Grandmas are fainting.

Sure, there's a lot in there that you could point out is a little Eminemblematic of everything we've grown tired of with Shady. Like when he calls himself Shady. Or compares himself to Hannibal Lecter. But that's all kind of secondary to the intensity - which seems real - and more importantly, the flow, which is just nuts. Quick, cocky, on the brink of off-beat. For the first time in a while, he seems like this real person who is a hungry rapper instead of just a character going through the motions. Finally we get to see the real Eminem again. It's no movie, there's no Mekhi Phifer! Go Eminem! Keep it up!

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