what beats headphones are the best To hell with Mr Em
Oh, we’ve tried to give him the love, we really have. We bought 25 million copies of his last two albums and a fortune’s worth of tickets to his concerts.
We deemed him outrageous and twisted, which made him huge with the suburban kids who crave whatever parents revile. We’ve really gone the extra mile for this guy.
There’s plenty of triumphant gloating on this hour plus album, but every time he takes a bow, the self pitying Em pops up to moan about the burdens of fame or an alleged legion of “haters” ruining his life.
What will it take before Marshall Mathers, as he was christened, grasps the horrible truth: that we love everything about him, starting with the comic nastiness of his wicked verses and ending with his shove it attitude and dyed blond hair?
A hug? Do you need a hug, Em?
Well, forget it. No hugs for you. Because if you felt the love, maybe you’d stop making albums as great as The Eminem Show. The year’s most anticipated release is a ranting, raving torrent of words and fun house beats that you’ll hate yourself for loving. Just like its monster selling predecessor, The Marshall Mathers LP, the album is stuffed to bursting with misogyny, murder, profanity and family psychodrama right out of The Jerry Springer Show. It’s horrifying and lewd, inappropriate and juvenile. It ought to be banned from polite society.
But c’mon, who wants to live in polite society? Everyone needs a break, and The Eminem Show is perfect music for an intermission from all things decent and respectable. It’s a vacation in a warped universe where all the planets revolve around a deranged dude with a bad haircut and an almost disturbing dexterity with words.
Granted, Em’s outsider guise is far more of a stretch these days. He’s so reliable a moneymaker that one of the most frequently cited explanations for the record industry’s slump last year was the lack of a new Eminem album.
There aren’t a lot of chances being taken on Show. Once again Dr Dre handles the bulk of the production work, providing stripped to the bone beats and plenty of sound effects. (The chainsaw is back.) Again, there are skits, with yet another starring an imperious record executive this time Em shoots him. With the exception of a disastrous attempt at regular old singing, on Hailie’s Song, the surprises are few. Someone took the Maxwell House coffee maxim to heart: When something works, you stick with it.
“See the problem is/ I speak to suburban kids/ Who otherwise wouldn’t know these words exist,” he raps on the opening song,
White America. That’s the beauty of Eminem in a couplet: He’ll push your buttons, then announce that he just pushed your buttons, then explain why he’ll do it again.
Like Elvis, he caught on because he’s a white guy who mastered a black musical genre, and he hopes you find that fact deeply galling. “Let’s do the math,” he says in the same song, “if I were black I would have sold half.”
Maybe. But Eminem is a truly astonishing lyricist, and the joy of this album, if it can be called joy, is watching him pull off 30 straight full twisting triple flips and hit the landing almost every time. Like this taunt from Square Dance:The boogie monster of rap
Yeah, the man’s back
With a plan to ambush this Bush administration
Moosh the Senate’s face in
Push this generation
Of kids to stand and fight for the right
To say something you might not like.”
OK, as a manifesto it’s not exactly Jefferson, but this is pop, people, and it’s meant to evaporate in a few weeks. There are so many densely packed words on Show that listening to it is sort of exhausting.
Em expends a lot of energy picking fights, some with targets that seem a little too easy Lynne Cheney, Chris Kirkpatrick of ‘N Sync and others more his size: Limp Bizkit and Moby, who gets roughed up pretty good. He’s eased back on the homophobia, which generated lots of controversy and a few million in sales. Women now bear the brunt of his hyper articulate rage, especially his mother and his former wife, who are insulted and badgered in ways it’s unimaginable they deserve.
Only Hailie, his daughter, 6, emerges unscathed, and she even brings out Em’s tender side.
The album’s closing song My Dad’s Gone Crazy, is narrated by Hailie, or someone pretending to be her. At the beginning of the tune, she opens a door and discovers Dad snorting coke.