When I’m Gone/ Eminem/ song review

Rating: 3.75 stars

I discovered Eminem’s most recent song thanks to a fellow fan from my French Eminem forum. In fact, this is a radio edit of Marshall’s exclusive song.

You all know how much I am into Eminem and I’d like to share my feelings and impressions with my readers straight away.

While listening to the lyrics of the song, sadness overwhelmed my soul and I kept asking myself: « What is wrong with you, Marshall Mathers? Is it so hard for you to say good bye to your fans or is there something else you want to tell us all? »

The song is gently introduced by light bell sounds and followed by numerous violins which make the listener feel how much the pain is deep and how much Marshall speaks from his heart.

Marshall’s mind is troubled right now and his most recent song made me feel sad and uncomfortable. Yes, he let his emotions out of his chest. Moreover, he made his public feel there was something wrong with him.

For the first time, Eminem has a broken voice on a track which reflects his broken heart. What is happening to Marshall right now? I think I have an answer for my readers.

Marshall feels like it is time the curtain of his public show closed for good. Not that he doesn’t love his fans, but Marshall re-questions his choices and priorities.

Eminem recalls all the good times and the drama that happened in his love life.

As the good family man he is, Marshall is very conscious that he sometimes makes his daughter suffer through his absence. His lack of time and Kim’s whereabouts sometimes make Hailie’s life a real nightmare. When the little girl is looking for her parents, she is unable to find any of them. People who have followed Kim’s story know that she went AWOL, spent some time in rehab and in jail because of her cocaine addiction problems. Hailie was left with no answer during her absence. Her loving dad, her emotional support was always on the move, whether he was touring or promoting his album.

The refrain is like tears falling from Eminem’s heart. Marshall is conscious of his daughter’s pain and it literally breaks his heart:

« …And when I’m gone, just carry on… don’t mourn.
Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice,
Just know that I’m looking down on you smiling,
And I ain’t gon’ feel a thing, So baby don’t feel no pain.
Just smile back…
…And when I’m gone, just carry on… don’t mourn.
Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice,
Just know that I’m looking down on you smiling,
And I ain’t gon’ feel a thing, So baby don’t feel no pain.
Just smile back… »

His fans ought to know that deep inside of him, Marshall lives a real drama. He is heartbroken, inconsolable, helpless.

His daughter, the sunlight in his life, doesn’t want him to go on touring. Eminem’s insecurities and feelings of guiltiness follow him into his dreams and turn into a nightmare:

« I keep having this dream, I’m pushing Hailie on the swings
She keeps screaming, she don’t want me to sing.
You’re making mommy cry. Why ? Why is mommy crying,
Baby, daddy ain’t leaving no more – daddy you’re lying.
You always say that, You always say this is the last time,
But you ain’t leaving no more, Daddy you are mine.
She’s piling boxes in front of the door trying to block it
Daddy please, daddy don’t leave, daddy, no stop it. »

Back to reality, the inside drama goes on. Hailie pulls a little picture for her dad out of her pocket. While being on stage, the pain increases with intensity. Marshall can hear the voice of his conscience telling him:

“You have got one more chance to do right, and it’s tonight
Now go out there and show that you love them before it’s too late.”
And just as I go to walk out my bedroom door
It’s turns to a stage, they’re gone and this spotlight is on
And I’m singing… »

On stage, the crowd acclaims Marshall in a very loud scream.

While the fans are throwing roses at his feet, Marshall can hear the voice of his daughter telling him:

“Daddy it’s me, help mommy her wrists are bleeding!”
But baby we’re in Sweden, how did you get to Sweden ?
I followed you daddy, you told me that you weren’t leaving.
You lied to me dad, and now you make mommy sad
And I bought you this coin, it says “Number One Dad”.

Eminem makes some reference to the drama that happened in 2001. Kim made a suicide attempt, trying to slit her wrists. Maybe the fear of another drama is still present. The past backfires hard into Marshall’s head and pumps loud like heartbeats.

Hailie’s voice is there, once again, in form of reproaches:

– It’s too late dad, you made the choice
Now go up there and show them that you love them more than us.
That’s what they want, they want you Marshall, they keep screaming your name
It’s no wonder you can’t go to sleep… Just take another pill…
Yea, I bet you you will. You rap about it… Yea, Word, Keep it real. »

Hailie feels like his dad loves his fans more than his own family. Marshall feels like his mind is split between his love for his family, his passion for the music and the feeling of owing his shows to his fans. He also makes some clear references to his sleep medication addiction.

Eminem is a brilliant performer who is loved for what he does. I will never forget when I first saw him on stage in 2003 at the Paris Bercy show and I’d like him to know that this unforgettable event is one of the most beautiful moments he offered me through his music and great performance. I will keep the magic of his show in my heart as long as I live.

I am asking myself if Eminem is feeling guilty of being absent so often or if he also puts a burden of guilt on his fans shoulders. Eminem ought to know that true fans will always be very understanding towards his situation and the way he feels.

It seems very clear that Eminem’s heart is bleeding right now. The fans need to understand that Marshall is tired, that he has some issues to solve and that he really needs to take a break.

Marshall has visions of nightmares into his mind while the curtain closes and he says goodbye to the crowd:

« I hear applause, all this time I couldn’t see
How could it be, That the curtain is closing on me.
I turn around, find a gun on the ground
Put it to my brain and scream “Die Shady!” and PUMP IT.
[…]My life flashes, the plane what I was supposed to be on crashes and burns to ashes… »

He suddenly wakes up from his horrible nightmare when he’s back home:

« That’s when I wake up, A long hot spring and there’s birds singing
It’s brilliant, Hailie’s outside swinging, I walk up to Kim and kiss her.
Tell her I miss her, Hailie just smiles and winks at her little sister.
Almost as if to say… »

Marshall, you filled my eyes with tears with your brand new song. I feel that too many problems are unsolved and do hurt inside of your family. Take the time needed to heal your heart. We love to see you performing, but your loyal fans don’t want you to pay the highest price just to please our eyes and ears.

Eminem is telling us that he is not only physically exhausted, but also mentally. Let him close the curtain if he feels it is time to do so. A little girl has been deprived of her father for numerous years. Life is precious and Marshall needs to spend some time with his beloved ones.

Touching but very sad song that allowed us to penetrate into Marshall’s bleeding heart and gave us some insight about how he really feels right now.

19 thoughts on “When I’m Gone/ Eminem/ song review”

  1. Isa, I almost felt as if he was suicidal when I first heard this song on our radio station 95.5 here in Detroit. He must face up to what is killing him inside. Obviously, Kim is still up to her old tricks trying to use her imbalance in her life to get Marshall to do what she wants. She never has wanted to share him with the fans as was always very jealous of his fame. I think he should bow out and take care of his daughter’s emotional baggage she has to carry around, because both of her parents have failed her. She is more important than his fans. Perhaps, his rehab time made him see more than he wanted to. He has hurt some people along the way, trying to find love. He is the one hurting now and should face up to it and carry on with his life with his daughter…

  2. I agree with you Lee Harper. Hailie goes first and it is quite obvious that Marshall needs a break. I hope he will find some peace of mind.
    I know that Kim never wanted to share Marshall with the whole world, but I think this is quite understandable. It is not really easy when your husband/boyfriend is a famous performer…
    Well, even if their relationship hasn’t really been perfect, I hope that they will both be there for their daughter.
    I wish Marshall to be happy and to make Hailie happy too:)
    And yea, some other readers from other places have also noticed the “suicidal note” of the song…

    Louloutte, je crois qu’il se sent mal et qu’il a besoin de repos…
    Translation for Lee: I told my friend that Marshall doesn’t feel well and that he certainly needs a break…

  3. I think what he is trying to say is he gave up one dream for another. Now he is going to go and work on the one that means more to him then the other. His family! He worked so hard for so long on his dream of being a artist that he neglected his dream of being a wondeful father.

    Even though he did all of this for his daughter she suffered more then he expected and now he wants to make her dreams come true.

    Marshall just wants to be Marshall and not Eminem or Shady anymore. He just wants people to like him for him not his alter ego’s

    We all do.

    Brooksie

  4. i do believe that he does need a break to be with hailie and if he does decide to close the curtain i want him to know that his music has changed my life in every way possible and i would like to thank him for that. THANK YOU MARSHALL, LOTS OF LOVE!!!

  5. You overanalyze the song way too much. Yes, it was a great “tear-jerker” song. And it talks about how Hailie hated it when he “turned his back to her, and then wrote how much he loved her in a song.” That’s what he did right here. He’s still taking his problems and putting them into songs, because that’s the only way he can express himself. Some people hit walls, he rhymes… Understand? And he isnt retiring completely. He’s still rapping on the Shady Record label albums, jus not his own. Anyone under the Shady Records label will have songs with Em on em. Plain, simple, done…

  6. Brian, i never said that he was retiring, even if his need for a good break is quite obvious. None of us exactly knows what he is going to do about his career. I fully understand that his music is an outlet for his negative emotions…well, even in case he retired, he’d not retire completely, he’d keep producing…music is part of his life and will always be…thanks for commenting.

  7. First of all, to Isabelle, I would like to commend you on your site. I have popped in here from time to time over the past several months and have always been impressed by the maturity and wisdom you provide here. So very different from other “fan sites” I have gone to looking for information.

    Now about the song… Like you too, I felt incredible sadness and an emotional turbulence after listening to this song. I came straight to your site to see what your’s and other’s impressions were of it.

    It is obvious the man needs a break, and a long one at that. Like many others, I pray he is able to heal himself and his family. And, after accomplishing that, he is one day able to return to sharing his talent and passion with his fans. Even if he never performs again as “Slim Shady” or “Eminem”, I hope he finds a new voice to bring to us, to share with us. I have a hard time believing that he can walk away from it forever. He may want to at this point, but I think eventually, even if it is years from now, his passion for the music will bring him back.

    While listening to this song, I developed a slightly different take on it than I am seeing expressed here. The first time the chorus played, I took it as those were his words to Hailie (and perhaps Kim, too). The second time the chorus played, it hit me out of no where that he is speaking to his fans in the chorus. He is telling us we will always have his music that is out there to help us through the ups and downs of our lives and to always provide us with the smiles it has up until now. I interpret the line “And I ain’t gon’ feel a thing, So baby don’t feel no pain.
    Just smile back…” as his way of saying he is beyond feeling any pain or guilt over walking away from his public life. He is at peace with whatever decision he has made in regards to his life.

    I have been really tied up with work for the past couple of weeks and tonight has been the first chance I have had to check the Shady Records website for news. After all the talk of secrecy regarding the new selections on CURTAIN CALL, I was shocked to see the song available for our listening pleasure on the site. It makes me wonder if there is some ulterior motive for releasing this prior to the official December 6 release date. And, If this is the song of the two they chose to release, I am really curious (and anxious) to know what the other one speaks too. Is there a more definitive “announcement” in the other song? Was this his way of preparing his fan base for something that is to come?… Perhaps a press release on or shortly after December 6? I guess, like the rest of the world, I will just have to wait and see.

  8. Tila, thanks for your compliments…i really appreciate them:) The goal of this website is to offer some in depth analysis of Eminem and other artists’ work…
    I am also anxious to know about Eminem’s decision…sorry, i cannot write more today, i have caught an allergic conjunctivitis and my eyes are itching constantly.

  9. this song made me sad but then u do fell where he is comming from because we the fans do want him and want and want and it kinda makes u fell bad but i will always RESPECT eminem no matter what he dose he is the man

  10. This song really touched my heart.He sings the song like it is real.I really do like EMINEM no matter what anyone says he’s still gonna be my best rap artist and I will still be his greatest FAN.

  11. I have tryed to fallow in Eminem’s foot steps in trying to become a famous rapper, and now because of this song I to feel that Eminem has made a good choice. Even tho he made leaving music forever but its worth it for his child. I respect Eminem more then my own father and i always will.

  12. WOW!! I love this song it gets to me ! i feel for him and hailie , i think if hailie and eminem thinks it best for him to close the curtain then i respect that , cuz when i was 11 years old my mom died in an acciedent ! it was harsh . me and my mom were sooo close i miss her so much . but before she went out that night i was crying and telling her not too go , an eleven year old (me) was freakin out like a two year old when there mom or dad leaves. thats not normall, for someone that age. unless if something wasnt right! i told her and begged her not to go !! and then she got mad and sid that she wouldnt go , but then i felt bad and didnt want her to be mad at me so i told her to go !! and then she never came back !!! it will be 13 years ago on febuary 28th. so i think he should listen to hailie . she is obviously saying that for a reason . i know that kids can see that kind stuff . i seen it but didnt know i just felt that she shouldnt go. you know ? that kinda thing has happened too me twice. i think everyone should listen too kids they are obviously saying it for a good reason . right?

  13. what’s up marshall if this even goes to you. think of the new genertion man. U now how maney million of kids are out there who will suffer from todays parting parents. U don’t want your kids to be bizare, fuck up following like Bizare. Your intelagent man, through the eyes of all your fans there is seen a waterfall with a cave behind it. through the water we all see your daughter. that cake is called the future. Your kids are leaders man. Give them the tortch man and do wright. don,t be a fag get the fuck ouch. ha ha.

  14. Yes i think that Marshall should take a break and its up to Hailie and Marshall to close the curtain. I dont really want Marshall to close the curtain becasue i really love him,their is alot of fans out there too. When i heard the song-When I’m gone, i started to cry because i dont like to see him like that…Marshall you always make me happy,even when im down. You should take a break for awhile then you decide when its time. I hope you make the right choice!!If u do close the curtain i’ll always remember you..Your #1 fan-Stevie.K….Please make the right choice:):):)

  15. First off, very good and touching post. Being a huge Eminem fan myself, this song really did break my heart. It’s sad to see him go. (Though maybe a couple of years off and a return is maybe what he needs right now. Encore was way way way below his level of skill.)

    Anyone who doubts Eminem’s skills has never listend to The Slim Shady LP or The Marshall Matehrs LP. I have tried in vain to find another rapper who can match Eminem’s lyrical genius and I’ve come up empty. Biggie comes closest, but he falls short of Eminem’s brilliant multi-syllabel rhyme schemes. His flow is untouchable, rivaled only by Jigga, and his beats (at least on his first two albums) hold up to anyone in the game.

    And the funny thing is, in my opinion his most brilliant rhymes are on his undergroung stuff. Both Infinite and The Slim Shady EP are must-owns for any Eminem fan. He is even better lyrically there then he is on The Slim Shady LP.

    Anyway, like I said I’m a huge Eminem fan and I recently decided to put my thoughts about his albums into words. I’m currently working on my review of the Slim Shdy LP, which you can find at my blog eminemreview.blogspot.com. More reviews to come.

  16. i agree with you about Eminem’s underground stuff…i found the most amazing rhymes there…the Slim Shady EP is incredibly good.
    He put some real lyrical efforts in songs like Infinite,Biterphobia, Murder Murder etc…

    Thanks for your compliments about my post:)

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