12 hours ago
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Throwback Thursdays: Eminem - My Name Is (1999)
I remember the first time I heard this song. I was probably...well, in 1999, I musta been in the 7th grade. I thought the song was funny, and just assumed that the rapper was making his voice sound funny for comical reasons. Little did I know that he only sounded like that cuz he was white. I had no idea who he was, though, and someone told me his name was Eminem. Naturally, I thought they were talking about M&Ms. It sounds ridiculous now, but it wasn't that far-fetched at the time, considering that those little bastards were putting out commercials every other week.
Turns out Mr. Mathers was much more than just a goofball. Truth be told, he was probably one of the best lyricists of the past 10 years. He's most likely in the top 5 of anyone's list of rappers from the past decade. His delivery is impeccable, and the way he puts words together is pretty amazing. I think what makes him stand out is the way he seemingly pays attention to every single syllable in every single word. Sometimes, he even manages to match words that don't even rhyme.
I believe that his decision to introduce himself to hip-hop as a clown was a wise one. Let's be completely honest with ourselves; had he come out with some real records, he would have been ridiculed simply because he's white. No one would have ever taken him seriously, and we'd all be comparing him to this guy. By making fun of himself before we got a chance to do it, he entered a "safe" zone within the hip-hop community. That allowed him to make more serious records in the future.
Now, I could post link after link after link of gems from Eminem, but the one song of his that stands out the most to me is this one. In my humble opinion, it's his best song. I think what sets it apart is not only the usual lyricism, but the fact that he was willing to just say how he felt without sugarcoating it. He exposed himself, and allowed the fans to take a glimpse into his mind. It was something that you didn't see very often at the time, and you barely see it that much today, either.
After putting out a movie that was based loosely on his life, Eminem dropped "Encore" in 2004, which was easily his worst album to date. That weed plate was a complete bust, and people began to question whether or not he lost his skill. He then released a plethora of songs about his daughter Hailie before supposedly disappearing off the face of the earth. Since '04, he's been chillin' at home, taking care of his kids and getting fat. Then, out of nowhere, rumors started to swirl around that he would be releasing an album called "Relapse" either late this year or early in 2009. He even dropped a freestyle to prove that he still got it. Hopefully this album actually comes out, unlike "Detox", which was supposed to have come out each of the last six years. We'd love to see you come back, Marshall.