You may have recently heard that the Eminem-Mariah Carey catfight has been heating up. Well, Eminem just set the thermostat to Nuclear with his new track, “The Warning.” You gotta hear it to believe it; the details between their one physical encounter–according to Eminem, at least–is well, icky. Still, Eminem sounds completely focused, like a rapper on a mission, which is good to hear, considering that his Relapse CD just sounded been-there-done-that tired. Of course, he’s dissed Mariah before, but at least this time, he’s delivering new scoop, icky as it may be.
At this point, we’re so used to Eminem trying to shock us that it’s hard to remember the time when he actually did just that. Still, there’s no denying it. He really had the goods for quite some time a few years back, delivering chills and thrills pretty much at his will (hey, I can rhyme, too!). Of course, he sure released a lot of juvenile crap, but his very best work, which includes “Kim,” “Superman,” “Without Me,” “Stan,” and “Lose Yourself”, was simply untouchable at the time.
My personal favorite Eminem song, the one that got me to see him as more than a hemorrhoid mouth (i.e. talking out of his ass), remains “The Way I Am.” It’s the one where he basically spews venom at everyone, including–no, especially his fans for taking away his privacy and turning his life upside down. Hmm. Of course, from a logical point of view, his arguments seems to hold little water, seeing that 1) he obviously WANTED to be a star rapper (otherwise, why not go into something else, say accounting?) and 2) Eminem really wasn’t that big of a superstar when he wrote the song (his only hit before the second album was that annoying and innocuous “Slim Shady” song). But none of it matters. Eminem’s in overdrive and overhate, and his pure fury slays all counterarguments before him, just as he clearly wishes to slay pretty much everyone in his path. His logic may not be real, but his anger, as well as his own belief that it is real, undoubtedly is, and in the end, the song transformed Eminem from a juvenile potty mouth to someone who could and did jolt the world’s senses.