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Eminem's lyrics as a school subject?

“I think Eminem has a perfect right to say whatever he wants.

No democracy should censor art or pop, however shocking or disgusting it may be. Eminem is the enema for the stale, saccharine platitudes and pieties that kids are force-fed these days by their PC teachers and counselors. It’s clear from his huge popularity that Eminem has tapped into a rising tide of rebellion among middle-class white kids who are sick and tired of the canned, humanitarian schmaltz of their antiseptic, namby-pamby, culture-starved schools.”

Camille Paglia, Professor of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia

It is always encouraging to see that teachers support Eminem’s freedom of speech. Being myself a teacher, I think that we should introduce more tolerance into school subjects. Kids are sick and tired of being lied to. Many educators hide reality for so called ethical reasons.
Of course, I’m not sure Eminem would be perfect for 10 years old kids, but I think teachers could use his lyrics at a higher level, because I’m deeply convinced his texts are poetry. Eminem is a poet of modern times, his words are related to reality and I’m sure pupils would focus a real interest on their English lesson if it had to do with a contemporary artist instead of real boring topics.
Unfortunately schools are overcrowded by old fashioned teachers who would be shocked by such lyrics.
If pupils could also have the possiblility to sing along with Eminem, that would probably help them to improve their fluency as well as their level of English. I myself have learnt a lot from Eminem’s texts and certainly improved my level of English skills thanks to them. I have also learnt from him how to do freestyles for my own pleasure. Playing with words has become a real pleasure for me and I owe it to Marshall Mathers.
Arguments that usually stop teachers are : too vulgar, too many references to drugs, sex and violence. Maybe. But we all know that clean versions of Eminem’s albums do exist.
I think that we should not try to overprotect kids. Sooner or later, they will use cusswords anyway, they certainly also will know about sex and drugs. Eminem jokes about it in his song « The Real Slim Shady » :

« And that’s the message that we deliver to little kids
And expect them not to know what a woman’s clitoris is
Of course they gonna know what intercourse is
By the time they hit fourth grade
They got the Discovery Channel don’t they? »

He is so right about it : it’s obvious .

Another argument in favor of teaching Eminem’s lyrics as a school subject would be to avoid the usual stereotypes and misunderstandings. A better understanding of the use of his words would certainly help some kids not to misinterpret Eminem and avoid some foolish behavior outside. A clear interpretation of Eminem’s song would certainly have avoided lots of problems to Manchester school. There is a related story of pupils who slashed their wrists to « imitate » Eminem. :

In fact, their behavior shows a clear misinterpretation of the verses of song « Stan »
« Sometimes I cut myself to see how much it bleeds/
it’s like adrenaline, my pain is such a sudden rush for me… »

The head teacher said : « It has all been investigated by this idiot Eminem. »
In fact, he is the real dummy in the whole affair. First of all, Eminem didn’t investigate the whole affair. He never told the kids to slash their wrists. On the contrary, « Stan » was written to warn the fans against a crazy behaviors. The words of the lyrics are very clear on the subject.
If this dumb teacher would have taken time to examine Stan’s video deeper instead of calling Eminem an idiot, it would have been helpful for everybody. Stan’s character is a bad example not to follow, but this teacher would be suprised how much he could learn from Eminem.

8 thoughts on “Eminem's lyrics as a school subject?”

  1. Everyone is invited to be a part of Slim Shady history forever!
    Want the opportunity to thank Em for his music?

    All Eminem fans who want to thank Em and tell him how they feel.

    In a book which intends to challenge Em’s critics and the media, written by Tani Graham Shaffer, M.A. (Tani is a child psychologist and is heading up this endeavor while pursuing a PhD).

    To analyze Eminem’s positive influence on our generation.

    To showcase the fans’ perspective, in our own words.

    To have your name (and possibly your quote) etched in history via a collective “Thank You, Em” from his fans.

    Send us your name (as it should appear), age, city/state/country.
    To have a quote considered: Write a few sentences telling Em how he has influenced or inspired you, and why you want to thank him.
    ALL names will be printed.the best quotes will be chosen.

    Email: (Stephanie)
    Or: (Lorianna)
    Or: (Tani – author)

  2. I think Eminem is a good rap artists and i am very happy that some adults have taken his music the wright. In fact i am going to show my parents this article. Thnx Em u rock keep doing what u r doing i support u 100%.

  3. I am doing a research about Censorship and my topic is Eminem because Ia m his fan number one and I really am in disaccord with all the censorship in his lyrics and why he generates so much controversy in the society just because he wants to express freely his fellings and what he thinks.

  4. To Yanosh: I’m happy to belong to the adults who get Eminem’s music and proud to be a huge fan of his. Marshall has changed my life in a very positive way and he deserves all my gratitude.
    Thank you for showing my article to your parents.
    To Monika: I agree with you. Eminem has the right to say what he wants to say.


    Attn: Fellow Eminem Fan(s):

    This is your chance to be part of Slim Shady history forever! Will you capture it, or just let it slip? If you want the opportunity to thank Em for his music and tell him how you feel, check out our homepage (below).

    You may have already heard about a book being written about Em’s positive influence on his fans, titled “Explicit Content.” It is also a “Thank You” letter TO Em, FROM his fans, from the fans’ perspective. We will be printing ALL fan names (and selected quotes) in the book.

    We need 200,000 fan’s names to help this become published, so we need EVERY fan to help spread the word about this book project to all other Eminem fans you know! Thanks so much for your support.

    For complete details, go to AOL homepage:

    Then email me with any questions at:

    -Lori T.

  6. i think this a brillant idea i am doing shakespeare at the moment in school and it is so boring i hate it more than anything however if we did the concept of Eminem in our work i would be more awake and alive because his music is full of deciet and lies and how he feels about things. Just like Shakespeare but in the 21st century concept of life without the thees and thys i can actually understand what is being said by him
    I love you Eminem

  7. yo’ em is my fucking idol i support you 110% the hole way dude.
    keep doing this shit cuz ur fucking amazing at it,
    fucking g-shit haha

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