Evil Deeds

Evil Deeds is a major track of Encore. It is well written and meaningful. Marshall shares very personal memories and all day sorrows with his audience. No wonder this very emotional song managed to move me deep inside. ‘ Evil Deeds ‘ also looks like the prayer of a tormented soul that is longing for some peace, as the introduction clearly reveals it:
‘ Lord please forgive me for what I do’ For I know not what I’ve done’ ‘
Marshall is asking God for forgiveness about his sins. Marshall sometimes wishes he could erase some episodes of his past, but he can’t. Old memories about Debbie always come to his mind and Marshall recalls his painful past with his shady mom. Maybe Eminem also addresses to Marshall Mathers II at the same time he talks to God, because Debbie wouldn’t let him the chance to meet his dad:
‘ Father please forgive me for I know not what I do.
I just never had the chance to ever meet you.
Therefore I did not know that I would grow to be
my mother’s evil seed and do these evil deeds.
I said father please forgive me for I know not what I do.
I just never had the chance to ever meet you.
Therefore I did not know that I would grow to be
my mother’s evil seed and do these evil deeds. (*Echo*) ‘

As I have stated it in a preceding article, Marshall didn’t really spend his early childhood years with his mom. The person who really witnessed Marshall’s early years and who raised him as a little baby is great aunt Edna Swartz from Missouri.
(At the time I wrote my article about Eminem’s hidden childhood, I didn’t know that aunt Edna had passed away 6 months ago.)
Edna Swartz and her husband Edmond Charles (who died around 1992) offered Marshall some stability and love in their home:
‘ My Aunt Edna, which would be my great-aunt Edna, and my Uncle Charles, my great-uncle Charles. This was in Missouri. They’re from my dad’s side. They took care of me a lot. My Uncle Charles passed in ’92 or ’93, and Aunt Edna passed away just six months ago. She was, like, eighty-six. They were older, but they did things with me; they let me stay the weekends there, took me to school, bought me things, let me stay and watch TV, let me cut the grass to get five dollars, took me to the mall. Between them and my Uncle Ronnie, they were my solidity. ‘
Debbie’s character clearly appears in the song and her sick behavior towards her son is still very hurtful:
‘ In elementary the came to me and sang this song. (*Echo*)
It went a little something like this. ‘Marry had a little lamb. (*Echo*)
Debbie had a Satan spawn. (*Echo*)’
Momma, why do they keep saying this? I just don’t understand. ‘

The absence of his dad has deeply wounded Marshall:
‘ And by the way, where’s my dad? ‘
As the song goes on, other memories from the past will come to the surface. Marshall’s life across 8 Mile, the way he experienced racism from the black side. But there is certainly an important message to understand at the beginning of the second verse: Eminem feels as he has been caught in the middle of two different communities. He doesn’t want to be pictured as total part of the white nor of the black Detroit community. Why? Simply because he belongs to both:
‘ Predominantly. Predominantly. Everything’s always predominantly.
Predominantly white. Predominantly black.
But what about me? Where does that leave me?
I guess I’m in between predominantly both of ’em.
I think if I hear that fucking word again I’mma scream.
Wild projectile, vomiting. What do I look like, a comedian to you?
Do you think I’m kidding? Do I look like some kind of idi-
Wait a minute, shit, don’t answer that. Why am I so misunderstood?
Why do I go through so much bullshit, it’s such bullshit, touch this bitch. ‘

Marshall has often been misinterpreted about his intentions, particularly as a rapper. The white community hasn’t stopped asking about his ‘ whiteness ‘ as a hip hop artist, while some components of the black community considered him as a ‘ culture stealer ‘. It is a matter of fact that Eminem is often very misunderstood and it is also due to the fact people don’t bother to have an attentive look at his cultural past in the particular Detroit contest. Anybody who knows Marshall won’t doubt his will to embrace black culture and to be a contributor of it.
Today Marshall is rich. He has fulfilled his dream to become a rapper. A dream that didn’t go without pain and hard struggles. A dream that went true, but that also increased his pain.
Marshall didn’t intend to get that big. All he wanted was to allow his family a comfortable life and give his daughter the life he never had. Some people keep telling me:
‘ Now that Eminem is rich, he should just should up and quit whining about his past, his mom and his ex wife ‘
I wish the same people had walked a mile into Eminem’s shoes. I wish they had only experienced half of the dramas he went through. Honestly, if you ask me, I think that after what he experienced during his childhood, you can consider Marshall breathing and being alive as a miracle in itself.
The experiences we had in our childhood- particularly if you’re been wounded physically or psychologically can haunt you for life. That’s what Eminem is telling us: ‘ I’m still wounded’this is how I feel inside and wealth won’t change anything. ‘:
‘ There goes poor Marshall again,
whining about his millions and his fortune and
his sorrow he’s always drowning in
and the dad that he never had and how his childhood was so bad
and how mom was a dope addict and his ex how they go at it.
Man, I’d hate to have it as bad as that Mr. Mathers claims he had it.
Man, I can’t imagine it. That little rich poor white bastard needs to
take some of that cash out of the bank and take a bath in it. ‘

And you don’t know Marshall’s complete story and he sometimes wishes he had less money and would feel happier:
‘ Man, if I only had half of it’You only knew the half of it’ ‘
People have judged Eminem the wrong way because of his arguments with Debbie. But they need to realize that those arguments are due to his mom’s sickness.
In Evil Deeds, Marshall is also trying to do a public apology to Debbie. It is his way to say: ‘ I’m sorry Mama ‘:
‘ Evil deeds, while I plant these evil seeds.
Please release me from these evil demons
I never had any of this shit planned, mom, please believe.
I don’t wanna be Satan’s spawn.
Never got the chance to say I’m sorry.
Now look at all the pain I caused.
Santa Clause, why you not comin this year again?
What did I do that was so bad to deserve this?
Everything coulda been so perfect, like life in a fairy tail
I’m bout to be hoist up in the air. ‘

After all those years, Eminem has matured. As an artist and as an individual. His mom is gravely ill and I think he realized about the shortness of life. Those few lines are his olive branch aimed at Debbie.
The greatest pain Eminem has currently to face with is the abnormality of his life: there is no place for privacy. People surround him from everywhere. All he wants is a peaceful moment with Hailie.
His life is a never ending show. The curtain never falls, and Marshall is caught up in the middle of a never ending and infernal circle.
Evil Deeds is a very good song that people should listen to carefully. I’ve been objected that this song is so selfish and so personal many times. Think twice: Eminem talks about himself, but how many monoparental families are there in this world? How many mishandled kids? How many people wounded by a hurtful past? The more personal Marshall gets, the more universal his message becomes.