Rap is by far one of my least favorite forms of music.
And I use the term music very loosely here. I understand that rapping is art, a poetry of sorts, and that it takes immense skill and nuance to master. There’s a reason why only a handful of rappers become household names.
I just prefer music with actual instruments. With a more diverse sound. And people singing.
But I’m trying not to be ignorant here, because, it’s not that I seldom listen to rap — I never listen to rap. Pretty much every musician in the world would have to die on the same day for me to say, “OK, let’s give a rap shot.” And even then, I’d still consider Skrillex or Deadmau5 first.
On a side note, electronic music may be the only thing worse than rap. It’s neck and neck.
That being said, there are some rappers out there who do I respect. And I know, earning my respect means absolutely nothing, but you’re reading my blog, so it’s relevant. Anyway, as I was saying, there are some rap artists I can hear on the radio that I could not only tolerate, but enjoy. That I could bob my head to. Maybe even give a little fist pump.
One of those dudes is Eminem.
When I think about Eminem, it brings back fond memories. “My Name Is” was released in 1999 — when I was 12 — right in the middle of the Total Request Live era. Those were good times.
Everybody enjoyed (and still enjoys) his next hit that followed, “Guilty Conscience,” his first collaboration with Dr. Dre. And then, he released the Marshall Mathers LP.
Thirteen years later, this album is pretty much considered the pinnacle of rap for Generation Y. It spawned hit after hit, including “The Real Slim Shady,” “Stan,” and “The Way I Am.” I remember my eighth grade art teacher allowing us to listen to it in class while we worked (which in hindsight … probably wasn’t the best idea), and I recall my brother playing it day-after-day-after-day in his room, to the point where I almost still memorize the words to most of the songs.
Again, in a weird way, this album actually played a big part of my childhood. At the 2001 Grammy Awards, it became the first “hardcore rap” album nominated for Album of the Year, and Eminem’s collaboration with Elton John during the show has become one of the most memorable awards performances of all time.
Shit, the dude even made a successful biopic about his own life that received critical acclaim, and won a freaking Oscar for a song that was in it.
Not that he’s left us for an extended period of time, but, for the first time in a couple of years, he’s back. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 hits shelves on Tuesday, and as of yesterday, the album had already leaked. I’ve listened to a couple of tracks, including ones that feature Rihanna and Nate Reuss of Fun., respectively. And it sounds pretty good. I think it’s going to be big. I’d post links to some, but it’s not worth it because YouTube is likely on a prowl right now removing all of them. So find them yourself.
Eminem will probably be the talk of the town for a while, so whether you like him or not, you might as well just embrace it. I, for one, have no problem with it. If anything, I admire the man and his abilities.
And no, Macklemore is not this generation’s Eminem. Both men are white — the similarities stop there.
What I’m wondering is … did Eminem conveniently plan for his album to leak on Halloween — the same exact time when the popular candy M&Ms would be distributed all around neighborhoods to eager trick-or-treaters?
We may never know.