THE BEST WHITE RAPPER
Getting in Touch with Your Inner Slim Shady
by Erin Franzman
EMINEM IS THE BEST white rapper there is, because he doesn’t try to sound black. Lil’ Kim can rhyme “of course” with “Christian Lacroix” (“of cawz” and “la-crawz”) by dragging her vowels until they’re flat as pancakes–without sounding like a fool–but when the Beastie Boys roll out their suspiciously deep Noo Yawk accents (even though they’ve lived in SoCal for about 10 years), it can get a little embarrassing.
But Eminem rhymes like a white boy… who can rhyme. He’s the first one to do that. And the contrast between Dr. Dre’s full, round, lazy bass beats and Em’s buzzy, frenetic mosquito delivery makes radio hits like nobody’s business. The Marshall Mathers LP would be full of radio hits if only it wasn’t so motherfucking full of words you can’t say on the radio.
The songs about himself, like “The Way I Am,” “The Real Slim Shady,” “Remember Me?” “I’m Back,” and “Marshall Mathers,” are where he excels. It’s Eminem’s saving grace that he can’t see past the end of his own nose; he may not be worldly, but he’s utterly without pretense. He’s effortlessly controversial because his rhymes are pure, unadulterated id, and in our culture of over-explanation no one seems to notice that his songs are fantasies. “Kim,” a disturbingly specific song about killing a cheating girlfriend, is really sick, especially when you realize that Kim is a real person, the mother of Em’s child and now also his wife. One can imagine him playing the track for her and the two of them having a good laugh… a nervous laugh. As sick as his shit may be, it’s still, somehow, universal.
And when it gets too sick, remember: You can’t take him seriously, because he’ll say anything for a rhyme, including dissing the hand that feeds him: “And Dr. Dre said? Nothing, you idiots! Dr. Dre’s dead! He’s locked in my basement!”
Nor is Eminem one to smile and make nice, to put it mildly. He’s a brilliant satirist when he chooses deserving targets, especially the way he calls out his TRL peers: slutty Christina Aguilera, goody-goody Britney, the (admit it) homoerotic undertones of the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync.
We all think it; Eminem says it.
I particularly agree on several points:
-Eminem’s great ability to rhyme
-Eminem doesn’t try to sound black:he has always been conscious to be white in a black musical genre
-some rhymes are, of course, not to be taken seriously
-Eminem has the courage of his opinions and he expresses them loudly. If he is “mad enough to think it, then he’s mad enough to say it”(quoting the Real Slim Shady)
2 thoughts on “Eminem viewed by Erin Franzman”
Fashion and music have always gone hand in hand. Both are infamous for often being loud and outrageous in parallel ways, making a strong connection in pop culture. Fashion even dominates the airwaves, as artists like Jay-Z and Lil’ Kim rap about Burberry swimsuits, Timberland boots and Filth Mart jeans.It is a general rule that anything goes when you are a rockstar, a theory that has been tested over and over through artists’ fashion choices. But when it comes to celebrity fashion, have we really seen it all? We’ve been exposed to Lil’ Kim’s breast, Marilyn Manson’s tush, Toni Braxton’s décolletage and Beyonce’s booty.
With celebrities wearing everything from Gucci to Beverly Hills Pimps and Hos we never know whats next.Celebrity fashion has increasingly surrendered to the ruling of celebrity stylists, who have learned that an outrageous fashion moment is guaranteed to catch attention on the red carpet. And artists themselves have become more fashion-savvy, hip to the fact that a trend-setting star gets plenty of press. But is there anything left to shock us?
Goody-Goody Britney. Man, those were the days 🙂
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