For me, I still feel I’m an underground artist regardless of how many units I sell. The subject matter and the topics I rap about are still underground, they’re still raw. I don’t try to polish up my shit for anybody. I tell it like it is. And when you buy a Slim Shady album, you’re gonna get Slim Shady. You’re not gonna get birds and bees and flowers and trees. You’re gonna get ‘Fuck you, suck my dick, cock-sucking muthafucker’, that’s what you’re gonna get, because that’s what I’m about, and I don’t feel like I have to compromise my style for anybody.
We listeners of Eminem know it very well : even if Eminem is a multimillionaire today, he never forgot his roots. When he goes to his studio and works on his tracks, he is still underground. He still got love for the streets and his language is ghetto.
From the Slim Shady LP to the Eminem Show, he never compromised his style in that way. Of course, the Slim Shady LP sounds very different from the Eminem Show : Eminem has become more mature, and he shares his new gained maturity and introspection with his audience. But basically, Eminem’s language and subject matter is still about ghetto issues. His fight against the American government is similar to Public Enemy’s. The symbol of the assassination of Dick Cheney in the Without Me video talks to people’s consciences.
Some people like the Detroit rapper Backstab the Kingpin may disagree with me. In fact, Backstab who knew Eminem in 1996, prefers Eminem’s former album Infinite and his Slim Shady EP. He is deeply convinced Eminem only had this street attitude in the beginning and that he changed for the worst. I strongly disagree with him on that point. Why ? Because if Eminem really transformed himself into a commercial rapper, he wouldn’t express his political and personal opinions any more, what he does.
Eminem never raps to please you. He says what he has to say,whether you like it or not.
Eminem does not ‘ give a fuck about money ‘, as he states it in ‘ We as Americans ‘ :
“Fuck money. I do not rap for dead presidents. I would rather see the president dead. It is never been said, but I set precedents and the standards and they can not stand it… We as Americans. Us as a citizen. We’ve got to protect ourselves…”
Despite the fact Eminem is wealthy, ( and he has earned this money thanks to his hard work, so please don’t reproach him to be rich now, he perfectly know how it is to be poor. I’ll bring you back to the period when he couldn’t afford diapers for Hailie…) Eminem keeps simple in the way he dresses and also in his words. This man has always kept being authentic and he deserves respect for that.
Of course, his subject matters are not the same in his different albums. But he drops offensive language on all of them. Those albums are not aimed at an audience with weak stomachs. The subject matter differ, for sure, but you are brought back to ghetto life and reality in its roughness. In the beginning, Eminem was talking much more about drugs, his personal frustrations and harsh life conditions. He knew that he could not talk about the same subjects on each album and joked about in the track ‘Kill You’ from the Marshall Mathers LP:
‘They said I can’t rap about bein broke no more
They ain’t say I can’t rap about coke no more…’
Marshall Mathers is an intelligent man. He understood that the rise of his fame wouldn’t allow him to talk about the same subject matter. People would have been tired of him in no time. And they could have ‘justifiedly- reproached him that it was useless for him to talk about his own poverty now that he had some money. Eminem is also very creative and imaginative. He didn’t want to put the same content in the Marshall Mathers LP…but from his first success album to his last album, he knows how to stay controversial…which is indeed a major force! If you’re controversial, people won’t stop talking about you – which increases of course your fame.
The Marshall Mathers LP’s objective was also Eminem’s fight for recognition as a rap artist, he was really tired of being confused with pop artists just because his hair is bleached blonde. This explains his hard attacks against them like those from the Real Slim Shady.
Marshall is also a rebel against some superficial behaviors in the music industry. He doesn’t ‘give a fuck about a Grammy’ and he lets you know about it. His music has never been there to please you, Eminem has the honesty of his own opinions.
The Eminem Show gets more personal, it is much more introspective, but raises so many serious debates about social (mishandled youth for instance) and political issues.
Oh yeah, Eminem is still underground in his language and in his attitude. His wealth hasn’t changed anything. His attitude honors Eminem, because we know that he will always stay true to his roots.
His voice sounds like the voice of an underground prophet. Eminem is engaged and follows in the footsteps of the former political rap movance.
Listen to the sound
The voice of the prophet
From the Underground
Spreads all around
Talking about ghetto people’s deep wound
Just listen to the sound
With the goal to unite
Black and White
Against the government’s supremacy
For the Bush administration
And the whole nation
To acknowledge the existence of white trash
For Bush those news are worse than a plane crash.