Eminem: “We Made You”

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So, for those of you who tend to drift towards the underbellies of rocks or just haven’t gotten into the whole internet thing, Eminem dropped a new song and music video, “We Made You.” This is the first official single for his once-hotly-anticipated upcoming fifth album Relapse, which will be his first album in four and a half years and three days.

Read Zach’s review of the new single after the jump…

eminem-we-made-you

Eminem is one of my favorite artists and my favorite rapper, and I’m pretty sure it’s not because he’s white. Eminem’s fame is due to something more than his skin color (although Eminem would be the first to admit that the formula doesn’t work without it), but he hasn’t capitalized on a white audience like no other rapper for that reason only. Eminem is more than a rap star – he’s a rock star. It’s not what Eminem does, rapping, which he does pretty phenomenally. It’s who Eminem is – his personality, his lyrics, his role in the media, his role in our culture. He is pure rock and roll. And that’s what his popularity comes from. That’s why I’m unafraid to call Eminem my favorite rapper. I acknowledge that there have been better rappers. But at the end of the day, I’m white, and I like Neil Young, Woody Allen, and Wayne Brady, so I’m more drawn to Eminem than I’ll ever be to Biggie Smalls or Chuck D (even if I have spent a week watching the “Fight the Power” music video over and over again).

So that’s just me justifying why Eminem is the most successful living rapper as something more than his race. (And frankly, I may have slighted his incredible amount of talent.) Because I know some of you may disregard all that and just blame his fame on his race if you happen to not like his music. Not liking his music is fine, but blame his success on something else.

I also said all that to establish my love for Eminem, so any fans of his couldn’t shrug off the rest of this review as just typical Eminem-bashing. But honestly, this new song sucks.

The first preview he gave us of his new album, the one-and-a-half-minute supposed-freestyle “I’m Having a Relapse,” was pretty damn good. The rapping was impressive and the content classic Slim Shady excessiveness. The follow-up was the officially-released-though-somehow-not-a-single “Crack a Bottle” with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent, which many have disregarded with a simple “it sucks.” I two-thirds agree, but count me as loving the Dre verse. (Although I guess if you factor in the obnoxiously catchy chorus, it’s more of a three-fourths hate thing.) And now he releases “We Made You,” which is easily his worst single yet and just as easily one of his worst songs period.

“We Made You” is a collection of useless and unoriginal potshots at celebrities people have been tired of hearing about for a very long time. Lyrics about wanting to have sex with Sarah Palin? The election happened SIX MONTHS AGO. Kim Kardashian has a big behind? Is this 2007? Perhaps worst of all is the Jessica Simpson-as-fat joke. Overall, there is no humor here, no originality, and no point. “My Name Is,” “The Real Slim Shady,” and “Without Me” were all more than just pointless celeb bashing. They had bite to them, there was a reason Eminem was baiting celebrities. It was part of who Eminem was, vicious lyrics that ridiculed pop culture icons (“Shit, Christina Aguilera, better switch me chairs/So I can sit next to Carson Daly and Fred Durst/And hear them argue over who she gave head to first”) without failing to acknowledge that Eminem was one (“I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley /To do black music so selfishly /And use it to get myself wealthy”). Because celeb-bashing wasn’t the reason those songs existed. If you look at the lyrics, there aren’t many of them that actually mention other celebrities. They were about Eminem, as his best songs always are. Okay, the chorus indicates “We Made You” is supposed to be about how he’s a rock star (hey, I said that earlier), but the verses don’t exactly follow through on this conceit, do they? Eminem mentions himself once or twice and then he decides his rhyming skills are better put to use imploring Britney to forget about K-Fed (um, she did, over two years ago). I’ll give him the Amy Winehouse dissing, because frankly she’s incredibly overrated, but mostly this song is just plain-terrible.

And yet, I maintain a shred of hope for the rest of Relapse. Yeah, so we already know that two of the songs on it are awful, but “I’m Having a Relapse” is good (even better standing next to those two). And most Eminem albums have a couple single-like tracks then the rest is of a different vein, and I’m hoping “I’m Having a…” is that vein.

But then he sings “You think that’s bad, you should hear the rest of my album,” and suddenly May 19th just isn’t far enough away.

e-2-raheems

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