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Eminem Joins 8 Mile High Club
Eminem in general
Member Name: Sugar Matty O
Eminem in general
Date: 01/11/02, updated on 01/11/02 (199 review reads)
Advantages: Stellar line up speaks for itself, Eminem showing good track-to-film attention to detail, Useful bonus disc beefs up matters
Disadvantages: Particularly below par performance from Nas, Will irk those who like their OST's to relate more to the film
VARIOUS ARTISTS – ‘8 Mile – Music from and inspired by the Motion Picture’ – Shady 2002
A case of forgetting how effective the flick is for now and just looking at the line-up on the soundtrack to Eminem’s big screen debut. Jay-Z, Xzibit, Rakim, Nas, Gang Starr…it’s approaching something exceptional already. Mathers has already been receiving acclaim for his performance in front of the camera – now it’s a test to see whether he can headline just as well on his more natural home turf.
Naturally this OST will divide those who, when it comes to scoring films, either like the musical accompaniment to bear relevance to the screenplay it’s meant to be part of, or will just marvel at the gathering of those involved and take it as an album of its own right. Slim does the plot justice through the eyes of the aspiring rhymer, and in contrast there’s hardly a poor performance on offer from the cast extras just doing their own thing. It also makes no bones about providing Shady signings Obie Trice and 50 Cent to get amongst matters – so as a film, label and guest exhibition, it does the job successfully on all counts.
Eminem’s pivotal contribution spans across three individual outings, plus hooking up with Obie Trice and 50 Cent on Love Me and dissecting the Rap Game while back amongst the ranks of D12. Though conceptualising his rhyming is nothing new to Mathers, the character perspective he spins on Lose Yourself, 8 Mile and Rabbit Run must have been one of the easier plots he’s had to work with. The unrelenting pace to the lead single seeps into the subconscious in no time, an Eye of the Tiger adrenaline leading into the title track - essentially a connecting add-on - and Rabbit Run depicting the frustrations of a combustible rhymer with writer’s block, screwed up notepad paper soon flooding the floor.
The creeping Love Me offers a spiky selec
tion of 50 Cent-speared shot-calls aimed at various stars from Lauryn Hill (‘used to listen to Lauryn Hill and tap my feet/then the bitch put out a CD that didn’t have no beat’) to D’Angelo and Charli Baltimore. D12’s Rap Game rolls through with Eminem on fine samurai sword-drawing form, minimal scare tactics employed through a covert crawling below the surface still capable of producing the odd throwaway rhyme to release the pressure. Witness ‘I’m too fucking retarded/I don’t give a fuck about my dick, that’s why I’m dating Lorena Bobbit’ as proof.
The assembled cast aiming to turn cameos into show-stoppers has Guru and Premo flexing over a routine Gang Starr production – head-jolting drums and blazes of swift brass - notable for twisting pieces of QB’s Finest and Audio 2 upon going into Battle. It doesn’t matter what the sonics are, Guru will continue to admit he’ll either ‘advise ya or I might pulverise ya’ and confirming ‘I ain’t talking romance but you’ll get swept off your feet’. Nimbly manoeuvring waves of acidic oscillations, Rakim continues in the role of renaissance man by spelling out what’s what, and Jigga toasts the return of the renegades (‘Where were you before I blew this up? I didn’t see you in the courtroom when everybody was suing us’) with Freeway (‘the rap gingerbread man’) in tow in going 8 Miles and Runnin’.
Rounding up the bonus disc, Trice’s Rap Name – the intro that gets the needle pulled across it before Eminem’s Without Me takes centre stage – gets a full airing this time round, aiming to ‘bang all you European Pamela Lee’s’ while he’s at it. A couple of surprising but pleasing r&b numbers with a saucy skip in their stride hold their head up, Brooklyn’s The Weekend and the sassy California by Shaunt
a. Both show a positive deviation initially brought about by Boomkat’s Wasting my Time, an altogether gentler moment upstaging Macy Gray’s Time of Your Life.
Big names on the soundtrack should equal big business on the sales front, and the depth to 8 Mile’s OST makes it one of those appendages that shouldn’t need to rely on the success or failure of its film basis to determine its own fate. Shady Records also look to be in a healthy position with Trice and 50 Cent spearheading the charge should Eminem permanently ditch busting rhymes for Broadway – good value for money as the bleached Detroit lion continues to roar…
RIP JAM MASTER JAY