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He swears, he fights, he "hates" his wife. So So what is the secret behind Eminem’s success?
Eminem in general
Member Name: elliemears
Eminem in general
Date: 14/12/01, updated on 14/12/01 (93 review reads)
Advantages: Hard-hitting lyrics, eloquence of language, Rhythmic with upbeat melodies
Disadvantages: lyrics can be offensive, serious issues are turned into a marketing ploy
Not everyone is taking this success as good news however. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance, The Sun, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and half the parents and politicians in America to name but a few. Of his "Marshall Mathers" album, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance said it contained "the most blatantly offensive, homophobic lyrics we have ever heard”.
Members of the music industry itself have criticised the rapper, most noticeably the editor of "Billboard" who accused the rapper of "glamorising violence against women”, and urged his readers not to buy the album.
Only heavily edited versions of his song are played on the radio. Yet "Stan" which tells of an obsessive fan who murders his girlfriend and kills himself
when Eminem does not respond to his letters, but contains fewer expletives than his other songs, has many of the lyrics dubbed, or simply cut out of the song.
Even his wife Kim has had her reservations. When Eminem "saw” her kissing another man in the car park, he revenged her by stabbing a blow up doll called "Kim" on stage. The real Kim proceeded to slash her wrists. The song "Kim" wasn’t one's average dedication to a loved one either, ending in the lyrics "Bleed, Bitch, Bleed”.
His mum was similarly treated with the lyrics "When I was little I used to get so hungry I would throw fits/ How you gonna breastfeed me Mom when you ain’t got no tits?”. But she sued him over $10 million for claiming that "I just found out my Mom does more drugs than I do”.
It is no wonder then that certain parents are becoming concerned. As the man himself said "Hi Kids! Wanna copy me and do exactly like I did? Try acid and get fed up worse than my life is?”
On the other side of the coin, his collection of fans forms a very diverse bunch: members include Sir Elton John who described him as "a genius”, Charlotte Church, Dr Dre, Missy Elliot, David Beckham and the other 25 million who’ve bought his music. His video for the single "Stan" has become one of the most frequently requested items on the music video channel The Box.
And whatever the morals (or lack of them) behind his music, it cannot be denied that Eminem has an extraordinary gift: The ability to articulate the feelings of a depressed drug addict from a broken home with little schooling who has finally been given the chance to speak out. His cynical self-analysis is enthralling:
"There’s a million people just like me,
Who dress like me,
Who just don’t give a f**k like me,
Walk, talk and act like me,
And might be the ne
xt thing but not quite me.”
The real brilliance of Eminem is that he speaks for everyone – on one level for the underrepresented, the poor, the uneducated from a broken home; on another for humans in general who are depressed but can’t get their feelings across. It is this autobiographical lyrical eloquence however which is much of the controversy surrounding Eminem: We have always been able to accept decadent imagery as purely fictional entertainment, but come reality the mothers and the teachers and the media come rushing out the protect our children’s ears from such a dark vision.
Nevertheless, as Eminem himself says:
"Since birth I’ve been blessed with this curse just to curse,
And just blurt this berserk and bizarre s**t that works,
and it sells.”