I don’t know every Eminem song line for line and lyric for lyric—but when he raps I do listen. I know he will say the things that people really want to say but never ever will. But he won’t just say it, he will shout it and pierce every word into your consciousness. Just as he did on the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards cypher—everyone was quiet and fully engaged as he finessed us A Capella. Eminem is raw and has always been raw. I’m thinking Generation Z has already breezed through his old material and open to hearing what he has to say next.
He is socially conscious but let us not forget he’s calculated and intelligent. He gave us 4 minutes and 34 seconds of Anti-Trump and this was the first time in a long time we’ve heard from him. Then brilliantly, he has now released his first single, “Walk on Water” featuring Beyonce.
That boy is good!
Then in his new single, he humanizes himself that much more. He gives us some inspiration and showcases some of his insecurities.
Beyoncé sings on the chorus:
‘Cause I’m only human, just like you
I’ve been making my mistakes, oh if you only knew
I don’t think you should believe in me the way that you do
‘Cause I’m terrified to let you down, oh
If I walked on water, I would drown
Eminem reminds us that celebrities are just humans who just happen to be famous. He has far exceeded what people first expected of him, but he still has the fear of disappointing his core audience.
And it always feels like I’m hittin’ the mark
’Til I go sit in the car, listen and pick it apart
Like, “This shit is garbage!”
God’s given me all this, still I feel no different regardless
He has been recognized as a talented lyricist, but he still second guesses himself. In fact, he’s pretty hard on himself. He feels blessed, but his music success doesn’t completely fulfill him.
There was a time I had the world by the balls, eatin’ out my palm
Every album song I was spazzin’ the fuck out on
And now I’m gettin’ clowned and frowned on
Let’s be clear Slim Shady could do no wrong. He said whatever he wanted no matter how offensive or vulgar. But everyone charged it off as his alter ego and he wasn’t held accountable for any of it. We loved it, because we all can relate to having an alter ego who doesn’t live by the boundaries set by society. The critics who did rally against Slim Shady was few and far between and looked at as being pre-historic dinosaurs. Eminem though is actually held accountable for every lyric.
But the only one who’s looking down on
Me that matters now’s DeShaun
Am I lucky to be around this long?
DeShaun Dupree Holton (Proof) was a rapper and Eminem’s long-time childhood friend who passed on. It’s clear that Eminem has a deep love and respect for his friend who was like a brother. He clearly holds him dear in his heart and saying he is now the only one looking down that matters, just further emphasizes Eminem’s connect with his good friend and disconnect with his natural family. We know others in his life have passed on, but Deshaun is the only one that’s passed on that he is truly connected to.
He also emphasized the word, now, which seems to mean that before he really cared about what people thought. But once you lose the people who you love the most, you care less about the opinions of others.
Then, he seems that as he is pondering about Deshaun, he wonders if he is lucky to be around this long. I think this has a double meaning. He is wondering if passing on from this life is actually better than being here. Also, he is questioning if he is simply too hard on himself with his career-longevity expectations. He ultimately contemplates if she should just be happy and content about the mark he has already made.
Well, I think the song will of course be a mainstream success. I also think that Eminem is an ageless classic. If he continues to come with bold rhetoric, Generation Z will hop on his train. I’m looking forward to just a few more rants, a dash of Slim Shady, and a little bit more than a dash of Slim Shady.
We love conscious and inspirational Eminem but we also love the free spirit of Slim Shady. I think a little bit of both along with playing with some different beats, he could be back to leading the current pack.
But whatever he brings, he is forever legend.