I used to tease bleach blond neighborhood boys with heckling 'will the real Slim Shady Please Stand Up!' as they passed my apartment balcony. Since then, something has happened. This summer I bought both his CDs, downloaded his old underground
stuff with Scam, learned most of his lyrics and have a mosaic of his pictures on my desktop. I am even going to his concert in Montreal tomorrow (Oct 27 - 2000).
I am the ridicule of all of my friends for this, but I Don't Give a Fuck. I am in my early 20s and a female Business student. I have hardwood floors, blonde hair and great literature on my book shelves. I like Starbucks and shopping. Everyone thinks I am cracking up. They just don't get it. I see Eminem as an individualist who isn't afraid to say what he wants. Here is why:
As in Freudian psychology, he has three personas - Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers and Eminem.
Slim Shady is the id all of his desires and fantasies set free and expressed explosively. Yes, it is crass and chilling at times, but it is expressing truly what he wishes. Slim Shady kills his wife and rapes his mom like in Kill You
"Just bend over and take it like a bitch, okay ma?"
It also shows his elemental emotions like in the song Kim when he says.
"I hate you,
I swear to god, I hate you,
oh my god, I love you".
Or when he is asserting his individuality in Criminal
"Preacher Preacher 5th Grade teacher
you can't reach me, my mom can't neither...
...you ain't able to stop these thoughts
you can't stop me from topping these charts"
Marshall Mathers is Eminem's real name, it represents the superego. It is thoughtful and introspective. It slips into the songs like Stan where he tells an obsessed fan that he should get some counseling and treat his girlfriend better. It also shows when he criticizes the media attention on Columbine High when lower-class urban violence often goes unnoticed. In The Way I Am
"Look where it's at,
now it's a tragedy,
now it's so sad to see,
mid-upper class city""
Finally, there is Eminem who is the mc in charge of everything. This is the ego, most effected by the outside world and most in control; the stage presence who weaves the rhymes.
Slim Shady was born soon after Eminem's daughter Haley. He knew that positive rhymes about transcending the street-life were not selling for him, and he knew that he had to try something different. He had a family to support and a minimum wage was not going to cut it. He said of results from his clean style "I wasn't making records, I was making pizzas"(www.salon.com) Slim Shady exploded onto the scene -he went to the rap olympics, was discovered by Dr. Dre and the rest is history.
Do I like him as a person? Do I want to meet him? Is he a good role model for kids? No, no and no. However, I do respect him as an artist. Artists are rule breakers, they are supposed to hold a mirror to the world. Their job is not to teach kids how to behave.
Eminem expresses intuitively what many of us have to learn in University classrooms. My friend saw him in an interview and told me "That guy is so uneducated!" which to my friend, means stupid.
This is just elitist university student thinking, trying to justify a four-year investment. "Of course everyone else is inferior," says the university student, "they haven't been to the four-year intelligence factory."
However, if you listen to some of his music, even though he might not have the vocabulary of someone who the world respects as intelligent, he still expresses ideas in a new and open way.
Here is a final quote to sum it up:
"You mother fucking chickens ain't brave enough
to say what I say so just tape it shut
Half the shit I say I just make it up
to make you mad so kiss my white naked ass"