Eminem had an unwelcome visitor earlier this month, and no, it wasn’t Kim or his mom. Eminem confronted a home intruder in the living room of his Detroit mansion.
The man reportedly evaded security guards by smashing a window in the back of Em’s house and climbing through. The alarm went off, and the guards subdued the man.
Now that we know he’s safe, it’s time that Eminem confronted some other, more painful things, like the state of his career. Slim Shady, who’s long prided himself on his lyrical prowess, has become just a shade of his former self.
Do you remember when Eminem would say some of the most ridiculous lines ever uttered in hip-hop? The first half of his career was filled with lyrics that could make you laugh, cry, or just listen in awe. Here’s a hidden gem from the song “313.”
Your ass forgot, so just in case you don’t remember me
I’ll run your brain around the block to jog your f*%$ing memory
Or, from the same song:
You couldn’t make the fans throw up their hands if they swallowed their fingers.
Or how about his verse from “Bad Meets Evil”?
I don’t speak, I float in the air wrapped in a sheet
I’m not a real person, I’m a ghost trapped in a beat
His rhyme schemes were insane, and he’s saying ridiculously cool things. But he could also convey thoughts with substance that were wrapped in intricate rhymes, like these lines from “Sing For the Moment.”
They say music can alter moods and talk to you
Well can it load a gun up for you and cock it too?
Well if it can, then the next time you assault a dude
Just tell the judge it was my fault, and I’ll get sued
See what these kids do, is hear about us totin’ pistols
And they want to get one, ‘cus they think the sh*t’s cool
Not knowin’ we’re really just protectin’ ourselves
We entertainers, of course the sh*t’s affecting ourselves
You ignoramus but music is reflection of self
We just explain it, and then we get our checks in the mail
It has to be tough to be a rapper. In the early years, you must be so hungry, so raw, with so many back-logged feelings just waiting to be expressed. But when you dropped your first album 24 years ago, like Eminem, it must be difficult to keep it going.
I have a ton of respect for Eminem. He’s one of the greatest rappers of all-time, and unlike many newer rappers, he’s at least trying to write good lyrics. Unfortunately, he’s just not very good at it anymore.
His most recent big hit, Godzilla, is a perfect example. A lot of newer fans think Eminem destroys this song, but what is he saying?
My whole squad’s in here, walking around the party
A cross between a zombie apocalypse and big Bobby “The
Brain” Heenan which is probably the
Same reason I wrestle with mania
Shady’s in this bitch, I’m posse’d up
Consider it to cross me a costly mistake
If they sleepin’ on me, the hoes better get insomnia
Pass the Courvoisi’ (ayy, ayy)
In AA with an AK, melee, finna set it like a playdate
Better vacate, retreat like a vacay, mayday (ayy)
This beat is cray-cray, Ray J, H-A-H-A-H-A
Laughing all the way to the bank, I spray flames
They cannot tame or placate the (monster)
Yes, he rhymes a bunch of stuff, but is there one standout line in this entire song? He really goes for it on his last verse. And by ‘going for it’ I mean, he just raps faster and rhymes more words.
I could go on and on with examples, but this is the crux of the issue. Eminem is a shell of his former self trying to trick new listeners with flashy, empty rhymes.
Whereas for most of his career pre-‘Recovery,’ his verses were filled with a roller coaster of rhyme schemes and incredible punchlines, Eminem has been whittled down to just making his rhymes ‘sound cool.’ The soul is gone. It feels like he’s some sort of AI rhyme robot who only excels at finding words that sound similar.
I guess that takes more effort than the mumble-rappers of today. But it still feels like staring at an empty wall where a Picasso used to hang.