The making of a little star
Dedicated to Hailie Jade Scott Mathers, for her 10th birthday
« I want her to be able to grow up and look back on this and be like , whether people agree with it or not , “My dad put me on a song. My dad wrote songs for me, my dad said my name all over the place.” I want her to be able to look back in magazines and everything and just know. I don’t ever wanna be like my father was to me. » (Eminem)
Eminem’s little daughter is one of the best known little girls in the world. Each Eminem fan has heard about her existence.
Marshall Mathers has been criticized numerous times for putting his daughter in his songs. Some people always see something wrong in everything he does.
Marshall is a full mouthed rapper with some wicked lyrics. Those who have followed him since the beginning know how much controversial he was when his Slim Shady LP was released. His lyrics contained the whole rage, creativity and murderous intentions of his evil alter ego.
Hailie’s presence in the middle of Slim Shady’s shivery words softened his Cds harsh side.
People should consider that Eminem’s intentions were honorable when putting his little princess on his records. First, Hailie means the world to the loving daddy Marshall actually is.
Second, Hailie is the main source of his motivation to become a successful rapper.
Third, Eminem grew up fatherless and he wants to be a caring presence in his daughter’s life. He shared his concern and love with his numerous fans.
Eminem honored the daughter he adores in various songs and I find it touching and wonderful.
Hailie is featured on some songs, on some other tracks, her daddy sings about her.
Hailie on ‘97 Bonnie and Clyde
Back in the days Marshall was fighting with Kim. When their relationship was off, Kim didn’t allow Marshall to see his daughter. Hailie had become a bad weapon against Marshall.
I remember watching an old video from 1998 where you saw a younger Eminem wearing some glasses telling people about the release of the Slim Shady LP. While announcing his future release he kept saying, while flipping the bird: « I will talk about my baby’s mama. This is some real shit ».
Of course, he was referring to the ‘97 Bonnie And Clyde song.
Not only was the so much misinterpreted song in which a 2 year old Hailie ended up as her dad’s accomplice in her mom’s murder a reconciliation attempt with Kim, but it was also rich of a very touching message:
« Baby, your dada loves you (hey)
And I’ma always be here for you (hey)
No matter what happens
You’re all I got in this world
I would never give you up for nothin’
Nobody in this world is ever gonna keep you from me
I love you… »
People might reproach Eminem quantity of things. However who would dare to say that he is not a devoted and caring father?
The ‘97 Bonnie And Clyde song introduces Hailie to the world. Little Hailie chatters in the background and has become a hip hop heroine, a gangsta character.
Despite its scary background, the Bonnie And Clyde song is a beautiful treasure of fatherly love and devotion.
Eminem’s first ode to Hailie: Hailie’s Song
Several years later, after releasing his controversial Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem was back with a brand new and explosive CD: The Eminem Show. A CD that offered a critical view and some insight about American society and politics. A Cd that was mixed up with some funny and dramatic elements. In the middle of all those typical Eminem songs, Hailie’s Song, a touching ode from a daddy to his daughter.
When I bought The Eminem Show in 2002, Hailie’s Song was the song that I discovered just after White America.
Some critics accused Eminem of « turning pop » because of this beautiful song of his, but I think I understood his intentions quite immediately. Eminem merely wanted to show his audience that he was also capable of singing songs besides his rapping abilities. Hailie’s song is deep and touching. The song is a sweet combination of soft violin notes and real feelings put on paper.
Hailie’s song shows a daddy’s gratitude towards his daughter’s presence in his life.
Hailie in My Dad’s Gone Crazy
The last song of The Eminem Show is written like a comedy, a funny daddy-daughter dialogue in which Eminem acts crazy and Hailie comes to rescue her dad.
The listener should take attention at Eminem’s words:
« My songs can make you cry, take you by surprise
And at the same time, make you dry your eyes with the same rhyme »
While playing the fool with Hailie, Eminem talks about serious subjects and pours his heart out about the drama of September the 11th and his beloved uncle Ronnie’s death.
Hailie fires back in Doe Rae Me
“My daughter is the closest thing to my heart. You say something about my daughter, then there’s no boundaries, everything is open, and Hailie might come on the record and diss you, too. So don’t fuck with me when it comes to my daughter. (Eminem, Rolling Stone Interview, June 2004)
Four rappers have dissed Hailie in her songs: Everlast, Esham, Ja Rule and Benzino. If « personals » are part of the rap game, I do consider that they should be aimed at the rapper himself, not at their kid.
If you talk bad about one of my sons, I might kill you. A parent is driven mad when you attack his or her kid. It is a mean and cowardly way of rapping, as far as I am concerned.
Eminem is cleverer than most of his opponents. Ja Rule and Benzino put Hailie on a song, dissing her badly. Ok, guys, you put Eminem’s daughter on a record? Guess what, Hailie is gonna respond to your attacks and make you look ridiculous!
That’s exactly what Hailie did!
Eminem, Obie Trice and D12 might have assisted the little girl, but the last dialogue is killing Ja Rule through Hailie’s mouth:
[Hailie] Daddy is Ja Rule taller than me?
[Eminem] No honey you guys are the same size
If you want to mess with Eminem, don’t touch his daughter or you might regret it. Marshall doesn’t play with his feelings for his daughter. Hailie is the closest person to his heart.
Mockingbird: second ode to Hailie
Maybe the greatest gift Eminem has ever offered to his fans is his Mockingbird video. In that wonderful and touching video, Eminem went that far to invite us into his living room. He didn’t choose actors to play Hailie, Alaina or Kim. No, he took a real former video featuring his beloved ones.
This video is an open dialogue with Hailie during which Marshall is trying to explain his own failures and Kim’s whereabouts.
The video allows people to picture every day life scenes at Eminem’s home. Touching, deep and refreshing scenes of little Hailie’s life will allow people to understand the daddy- daughter relationship better.
When I’m Gone: Hailie reuniting her parents
Eminem’s most recent song and video are full of pain and When I’m Gone sounds like an apology to Hailie.
Very sincere and conscious of his addiction problems, Eminem pictures scenes of conflict with his daughter. Hailie suffers from his absence and sometimes wouldn’t let her father go.
Following her daddy like an angel in her thoughts and prayers, Hailie makes her dad realize that his place is at home with his family.
Since the beginning of his career, Hailie has played different roles in his music. Accomplice in crime, weapon between her parents’ struggles, Ja Rule’s opponent, daddy’s little angel, a little girl in pain.
Eminem has been criticized for putting his daughter in his songs. I find it wonderful that a full mouthed and offensive battle rapper with some incisive and wicked lyrics showed his soft side to his public. He managed to transform this love and dedication towards his daughter into beautiful music notes that please many fans’ ears.
Hailie, I think you have all reasons in the world to be proud of your daddy. Thank you for the beautiful songs you inspired him.
Copyright© by Isabelle Esling
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