Yellow Brick Road

The Yellow Brick Road song addresses to the many people who have misunderstood and misinterpreted some precise episodes of Marshall’s past.

The introduction clearly reveal each generation’s will to make some progress in comparison to the elder generations:

‘ We all have this idea that we should move up from our parents station and each generation should do a little bit better’ ‘

First of all, people need to take Detroit’s historical past into account before talking about Eminem. As far as we can look back to Detroit’s black history, there have been a lot of tensions and racial segregations in the D town since Blacks moved from the Southern states to North.. I myself have investigated black history in the D to fully understand its context and background.

It’s a matter of fact Detroit is charged with a heavy racial past. There have always been huge tensions between black and white communities. Tensions that Dave Mays and Benzino don’t even seen to be aware of when they- unjustifiably- accused Eminem of racism.

In 1989, Marshall was the member of a rap collective called Bassmint Production that had been created by one of his high school friends, Mike Ruby.

Bassmint Production was composed of white aspiring emcees including Eminem’s former friend, Chaos Kid. Eminem and his friends actually suffered from racism from the black community which used to consider white emcees as ridiculous black wanabees and didn’t really offer them a chance to get some recognition from a black audience.

Eminem’s ‘ foolish pride ‘ rhymes were just a private retaliation on the mic’

A retaliation against a black community that considered any white rapper as a culture invader. Those rhymes did suck. Our emcees from Bassmint perfectly knew it. That’s how they baptized them ‘ suckering rhymes ‘.

Another reason why those ‘ Foolish Pride ‘ rhymes were created is a personal retaliation against a black girl Eminem went out with and he had just dumped.

Of course, those lyrics are regrettable. But people should know that they were not intented to be published. Written lyrics of those rhymes didn’t even exist.

Marshall recalls the time he was experiencing racism constantly for not having ‘ the right color ‘:

‘ Come on, let’s cut the bullshit enough
Let’s get it started, let’s start addressing this issue and open it up
Let’s take this shit back to bassmint
And we can disscuss statements thats made on this tape
And its whole origin of the music that we all know and love
The music that we all enjoy the music you all accuse me of tryna destroy
Let’s rewind it to 89 when I was a boy on the east side of Detroit
Crossin 8 Mile in the border in the hate territory
I’d like to share a story, this is my story and cant no body tell it for me
You will well inform me, I am well aware that I don’t belong here
You’ve made that perfectly clear, I get my ass kicked damn near everywhere
From Bel-Air shopping center just for stopping in there
From the black side all the way to the white side
Okay there’s a bright side a day that I might slide
You may call it a past I call it haulin my ass
Through that patch of grass over them railroad tracks
Oh them railroad tracks, them old railroad tracks
Them good old notorious oh well known tracks’ ‘

People need to realize that it hasn’t been simple for him to live across 8 Mile where he nearly lost his life twice (once because of D’Angelo Bailey and the second time as a teenager while he was threatened with a gun by black guys).

They also need to realize that Marshall has grown up within black culture and that his love for hip hop made him become the big star he is now.

The repetition of ‘ railroad tracks ‘ in the first verse shows how much Eminem was into his every day life routine. An attentive listener will enjoy the astute combination of ‘ old railroad tracks ‘ with ‘ oh well known tracks ‘ that make us travel through Eminem’s mind as if he took us for a journey. You will have the impression to travel by train and to listen to music at the same time:

‘ Through that patch of grass over them railroad tracks
Oh them railroad tracks, them old railroad tracks
Them good old notorious oh well known tracks’ ‘

The second verse will remind us of Eminem’s friendship with Proof and of his constant fight for recognition as a white emcee. Eminem’s clever word and syllable combination impressed Proof who started freestyling with his friend:

‘ I roam the streets so much they call me a drifter
Sometimes I stick up a thumb just to hitch hike
Just to get picked up to get me a lift to 8 mile and van dike
And steal a god damn bike from somebody’s backyard
And drop it off at the park that was the half way mark
To meet Kim had to walk back to her mama’s them dramas after dark
To sneak me in the house when I’m kicked out my mom’s
Thats about the time I first met Proof when poof he’d carry on the set
Set eyes born in and out some flyers, he was doin some talent shows
At center line, I had told him to stop by and check this out sometime
He looked at me like I’m out my mind shook his head like white boys dont know how to rhyme
I spit out a line and rhymed birthday with first place
And we both had the same rhymes that sound alike
We was on the same shit that Big Daddy Kane shit with compound syllables sound combined
From that day we was down to ride somehow we knew we’d meet again somewhere down the line’ ‘

Proof also remembers the time he used to rhyme with Marshall:

‘ ‘when he rapped, he was dope. What made us get dope and become great friends was we both rhymed ‘first place’ and ‘birthday,’ and we’ve been tight ever since [laughs].’ (MC Big Proof)

The third verse reminds us of the many black activists in Detroit’he also tells us how he went out with a beautiful black girl who was interested in him because he was rapping:

‘ Which reminds me back in 89 me and Kim broke up for the first time
She was tryna two time me and there was this black girl
At our school who thought I was cool cuz I rapped so she was kinda eyein me
And oh the irony guess what her name was ain’t even gon’ say it plus
The same color hair as hers was and blue contacts and a pair of jugs
The bombest god damn girl in our whole school if I could pull it
Not only would I become more popular but I would be able to piss Kim off at the same time
But it backfired I was supposed to dump her but she dumped me for this black guy
And thats the last I ever seen or heard or spoke to the oh foolish pride girl
But I’ve heard people say they heard the tape and it ain’t that bad
But it was I singled out a whole race and for that apologize
I was wrong cuz no matter what color a girl is she still a [bitch?] ‘

He also dated her to piss Kim off. When he finally broke up with the black girl, Marshall was full of resentment. He made the mistake to single out a whole race because of the anger he couldn’t contain.

Marshall was a teenager, he made a mistake. Of course, he shouldn’t have recorded those words. But he apologized for them. So now let’s move on and let’s look at Eminem’s great contribution to a culture and a music that he deeply loves. Anybody calling Marshall a racist should get his facts straight. No need to debate on the fact that most of his best friends and collaborators are black.

Eminem is certainly one of the best things that happened to hip hop. His rhyming style, his originality and his rich musical compositions have given rap music a new and positive direction.

15 Responses to “Yellow Brick Road”

  1. Anonymous says:

    iam a white rapper

  2. Jono says:

    The last word in song isn’t bitch, its ho

  3. Amanda says:

    i love this song i now every word by heart

  4. Monica says:

    In the second verse, Proof said “he was board and handin out some flyers”

  5. Yo, what up dawgs?

    I know this really really cool website, it’s called http://eminemchat.net give it a holla. If you’re lucky, and tell a friend, you may actually get Eminem to chat with you.

    Check out http://marshallmathers.org too dawg, that’s interesting too! :D

  6. josh says:

    god peoples you really that stupid i already talked to him

  7. BeeKat says:

    Hey this part is separated for comments for “Yellow Brick Road” why the fuck everybody keeps saying they talked to Eminem or something?! Then proof it!
    By the way this song is one of the greatest songs in Encore, it made me cry when I first heard it.

  8. BeeKat says:

    it’s not that easy to meet him, guys.

  9. pepper says:

    marsh never went out with a black girl, its just a stupid song, and he wrote it because he he got his fancy new shoes stolen by some black kids. do some resaearch.

  10. Mrs. Mathers says:

    I was wondering what he said at the end of that song too. Either way I love him. I love his stuff. I’m gonna research & see what he says.

  11. laSt word iS ‘Soul’ not ‘bitch’
    but yh, i wouldn’t call marShall a raciSt, becauSe i underStand tht he waS angry at th time
    u kno where i cud actually download FooliSh Pride, becauSe deSpite th raciSt content, the lyricS are good…holla @ me

  12. MC Bucky says:

    Look on Limewire (if u have It) that’s where I found it. In the album section type in “Racist Tape”. U should find it.

  13. VRy interesting to read it :P