Eminem has actually changed Anndrea’s life. Let Anddrea introduce herself to the world and tell you how:
Â« My name is Anndrea, and this is how Marshall Bruce Mathers changed my life. Â»
2000: The Birth Of my Musical Obsession
Like me, Anddrea (16) discovered Eminem through his brilliant Marshall Mathers LP:
Â« The very first time Eminem ever pumped threw my speakers was in the fall of 2000. My babysitter came to watch us and told me her friend was coming over with a new CD. When she finally came she had something in her hand that would forever change the way I listen to music. “Hey you guys” she said, “I got the new Marshall Mathers LP today.” I had no idea what she was talking about because I was 10. Hip-hop had never had the chance to grace me with its presence before. My babysitter and her friend unwrapped the very unedited CD and placed it into my CD player. I stood in the doorway as the music pumped threw my speakers. My mind started to unravel as the words went into my ears. Â»
What impressed Anndrea most was Eminem’s lyrical ability, the delicious way he managed to play with words:
Â« I didn’t care what this guys name was or what he looked like, let alone that he was white, all I cared about was that this guy was a lyrical genius. It was like someone dangled a chocolate dipped strawberry in my mouth-I wanted more. The songs played over and over and soon the melody to “The Real Slim Shady” stayed in my head for days. Little did I know that right then she opened the door to my future musical obsession, (and savior) Marshall Bruce Mathers III. Â»
In fact, Anndrea â€˜s baby sitter, who was actually a fan of Marshall Mathers, introduced the young girl into the talented rapper’s music.
She used to enjoy the music and to learn some of Eminem’s songs by heart:
Â« For the next month or 2, Amber my babysitter brought over her friends CD (or maybe bought her own, IDK) and we would jam out to it in my room. I really loved what I heard. I did not know who this person was but I loved the music. I started to know the words by heart and I would sing them to my self. She opened my eyes to rap, even though it was the only CD of its kind to ever been near me. I was in love with something I knew nothing about but I did not care because when I referred to him as â€œthat guy with the kick ass rhymes, everyone knew who I referred too. I guess I wasn’t really a fan at this point, well a die-hard fan like today, anyways because It was just something I was growing up with, Well you know what I mean. Â»
However, a fourth grade teacher- whose knowledge of hip hop culture was rather limited- would influence Anndrea in a rather negative way and turn her into a big Eminem opponent.
This conceited teacher obviously totally misinterpreted Eminem’s evil Slim Shady persona and was the kind of person not to allow white rappers to enter into the rap game. At this time, Anndrea wasn’t enough into Eminem’s music to make up her mind and she just accepted her teacher’s opinion as representative of the truth:
Â« Earlier the next week, my 4th grade class started D.A.R.E and the newest lesson was on how rappers spend all their money on drugs and on guns that kill your mothers (I swear to God that’s what this guy was teaching the class!) Dep. Marsh had it out for Eminem. He went into his bag and pulled out a small magazine poster of Eminem and hung it on the board. One kid shouted “Hey, That’s Eminem! My brother loves him! He’s really cool!” Dep. Marsh turned around and glared at the kid. “Eminem (saying it in a messed up tone) is not cool and for those who don’t know who he is, Thank God. This is Eminem. He is a white ‘rapper’ that goes by the name Slim Shady. Slim Shady is his EVIL alter ego that hates women and kills policemen. He is white so that he can recruit white kids into his group of no good dirty mother killers. I remembered the name “Eminem” but “Slim Shady” was a little knew to me, I heard it on the songs but I never knew that was his evil alter ego. The face was unknown to me. Is that really thee Eminem? I was new to the whole white music/black music thing so it made no sense. During my contemplating of whom this Eminem guy was Dep. Marsh pulled out a sheet of paper and read of a few lyrics of Eminem’s from “Kill You” and said “Is this the guy your mom wants you to listen to? NO!” I remembered a few of the lyrics and I even remembered whispering to my friend there’s more to that and he goes I’m just playing ladies you know I love you but my friend goes, That’s not the same song, Eminem is bad for music and bad people don’t say that and I believed her. The entire hour session was on how Eminem is bad for kids and I started to believe it. The entire class, me included was being brainwashed into thinking as he does-Eminem was a WHITE rapper getting money from WHITE kids who are now prone to listening to BLACK music which is only for BLACK kids and bad people and ALL MONEY THAT EMINEM GETS FROM THESE WHITE KIDS GO TWARDS KILLERS WHO KILL YOUR MOTHERS. (What a loser huh? Now writing this 6 years later is making me really uneasy.) I became the biggest anti Eminem-Eminem fan the world has ever seen. I hated him. From the bottom of my heart, I hated him. Dep. Marsh was very hung up on the fact that a white man was doing black music. (What is BLACK music anyway, just stereotypes) He is racist because one session was how all black music is bad for WHITE people and how dare a white person cross the color line. This went on for a whole month and during this month. Â»
Anndrea’s teacher’s hateful speech against Eminem actually influenced her to preach against Eminem:
Â« I went home and jammed out and supported the very thing that I was being told to hate. I never EVER put 2 and 2 together that Eminem, who I had been listening, too was THEE Eminem that was bad for me. The thought never crossed my mind for one reason. What I have been listening too was great! I thought everyone loved it as much as I did, and I thought that everyone hated the guy that was bad for music so no one would have his CD. Whenever I heard his CD, my stomach had butterflies. I loved every aspect of this CD. I thought everyone felt the way I did. I though everyone thought Eminem was special and not like other artists. Oh the days of innocence. Well one day our homework was to go home and to inform the people about the dangers that lurk in Eminem CDs. Â»
However, Anndrea was keen on getting more info about Marshall Mathers and his songs since she was struggling with quite contradictory feelings between her secret likes of his music and how she had been told to behave towards him at school:
Â« I did just that, and to just the right person-my babysitter.
“Amber,” I said, walking into my bedroom where Eminem blasted threw my CD player. “Who’s Eminem?” She laughed. Looking back on it now, I can’t believe I was such a big hypocrite. Hating the one thing I loved? A regular Romeo and Juliet, but Eminems music saved me in the end. She pointed to my CD player. “Dep. Marsh said that Eminem is bad for music, I hate Eminem! I walked over to the CD player about to push the stop button. I felt horrible. I never wanted to turn it off, but I felt as if Dep. Marsh was standing over me, watching my every move. I never should have let that guy ruin what I already loved, but I did. â€œDid you know that he does this and he said that”? I went down the line of almost everything that he had taught me. For the entire month I hated Eminem. I thought he was shit and disgusting. But at home, I thought he was THE SHIT. How dare he want to rape my mom! How dare he roll with the gang members! All his money goes to gangs who shoot moms and dads! My friend and me even drew on his face that was in a magazine that I had found. (My stomach hurts at that cause On Ebay, that posters worth sum $$! Rolling Stone baby, ah!) Man o man was I stupid. Â»
Amber, Anndrea’ s babysitter, a person who fully understand Eminem’s sense for a second degree and his warped sense of humor, helped Anndrea to understand the real meaning behind Eminem’s lyrics:
Â« “Anndrea”, said Amber “Dep. Marsh is a washed up loser who preys on the disappointment of children. UGH, why is he even still a COP! I’m gonna have a talk with him about that.” She goes “tell me, do you like this song?” She walks to the CD player, turns it on again and turns it up. It was Criminal. “Yeah that’s one of my favorites” “How about this?” she turned it to â€œI’m backâ€. “Yeah I love that song. Then to â€œDrug balladâ€ “OK well this is Eminem. Right then, I swear, it was like a huge rush that went over me. All the bad things that I was taught about Eminem was fake, an exaggeration of the minimal truth. For the most part I was confused, Like mommy trying to tell me that daddy inset going to be home for a while when hes going to war. (My dads still here unfortunately) Eminem didn’t even bare arms at this point so how could he kill people and still walk the streets? My mind became UN biest and the truth flooded in like someone broke the dam. Â»
mind was now clear about her teacher’s manipulations and Eminem’s intentions as an artist.
Since that day, Anndrea allowed herself to get deeper into Eminem’s music:
Â« Since that day, my whole musical life morphed into Eminem. It was like I tried to make up for lost time. When news about the release The Eminem Show was surfaced I couldn’t wait to buy it. (When the release day came, I skipped school and went and I was the first person in my town to buy it!) My Eminem collection was expanding and so was my love for hip-hop. Yes cheesy and yes gimmicky but I really felt connected to Marshall’s music. Suddenly I found my self knowing more about his life then I did about my own! I related to him on a personal level even though I have a dad, I was never broke that bad and I never knew what it was like to couch hop and to have to steal to survive-I never experienced anything like that, but I still felt connected to him. Before that CD hit stores, (Or even before I got my own copy of Marshall Mathers LP but back when I loved and Hated Eminem at the same time) I was this girl who became an empty shell. I felt like I had let my self down, that I was living a lie I mean how stupid is that? I felt weird; all I wanted to do was to listen to Eminem after that. To cope with all the family drama and friend drama in my life. And the fact that I had been brain washed wasn’t even the cause. I still don’t know why I was empty, Well the MAIN reason, I know of a lot of contributors. The only thing that would take the edge off was an Eminem song. Words can’t explain it. Â»
More and more, Anndrea was thinking about the real meaning behind Eminem’s lyrics. She then discovered Marshall’s moving Rock Bottom song. She was listening to Eminem over and over again. So much that she even made a fan of her mom and that he dad forbid her to listen to it for a while:
Â« One day when I was listening to it while laying on my bed the song “Rock Bottom” came on. I knew the words but this time when I heard it was different, it was like I had written it, Deja vu or whatever. I listed intensely to the words; I clinged to every sentence of that song. That’s how I feel right now I kept thinking. OMG. After that I listened to THAT song whenever I felt that I had hit rock bottom. It helped me deal and when the song was over, I would play it again and again until my pain was gone. But before I had found my musical release I was a wreck and I remember I was even banned from listening to Eminem for a while by my dad cuz “that’s all I did” When I was forced to hand over ALL my Eminem cds, and take down my posters and throw em away (I put them in a box and under my bed) I felt like I missed a dose of my medication every single day I was alive. I find the whole “ban” thing funny cuz my mom is now as big of Eminem fan as me and she never even put a stop to it. She listened to my cds cuz I could hear the bass pump threw my paper-thin walls. It wasn’t the same but anyways, I felt weird. My only connection to the world was ripped away from me it felt like. . Lemmy tell you, Eminem is better then any Depression Medication, pill, or therapist you can shove at me, he was the glue that holds my pieces together. He never shoved me away and he was always there. I was seriously addicted-to his music. Â»
After her little Â« ban Â» from Slim Shady’s music, Anndrea started enjoying in a more realistic dimension. Eminem’s music also helped her to cope with her own pain:
Â« After I was allowed to listen to Eminem again, I started to enjoy his music on a more human level. My head wasn’t in the clouds anymore and I finally realized that he was a human being and that his main objective is self-_expression, no matter how lewd the subject. That is a direct quote he said. Believe me, my life was horrid. So bad that I turned to Eminem to dull my pain. My family is like a pack a rats living in a cage and all we do is swipe and try to bite each other. My dad is the worst. 237 pounds of steel and a mouth full of venom. His eyes gloss over and there’s nothing anyone can do to get in his way when he’s about to pound you. (He never has though, verbally yes!) Is it rained it was either my fault of my moms. (He wasn’t all bad but during this time, yeah) I was at my lowest, I felt like a character straight out of “Sing for the moment” or “Rock Bottom”.Â»
(As im listening to “Our House” by Eminem It reminds me of that but I was never kicked out but the feeling was the same “Can I have my coat? I’m not kidding its COLD! ‘Here take your coat and leave!’â€ Fine Ill leave but DAD you cut off the sleeves!”)
Anndrea often felt left on her own in her every day life and Eminem’s music was an outlet for the pain she felt inside.
Â«I had nothing, No one. All I had was a scratched Marshall Mathers LP and a new Slim Shady LP that I already knew the words 2. I kept turning to Eminem because he was the one who never turned me away, that and my poetry. And after awhile you stop finding the words that rhyme just the way you want them to so you find them in his songs. Eminems music allowed me to escape the emotional pain that I was force fed every day. He was my alcohol, my oxygen.Â»
Eminem gave Anndrea the force not to imitate silly behaviors from her peers at her school. She got into depth with the lyrics, searching for some inspiration to put her own thoughts on paper. She learnt also from Eminem’s Just Don’t Give A Fuck attitude:
Â«More evidence to support my claim that Eminem saved me and that he wasn’t the cause in the first place is that in 2004 I lost my best friend in the entire world named Paige. Other then Amber, Paige was the one who also brought Eminem into my life but that’s a whole another story.:) Paige got into the whole “Rollin wit my homies” crap with the minni skirts, bright red lipstick and blue eye shadow up to her brows, and the mile long press on nails with the prestuck rhinestones strait from the 90s, yes a regular night crawler. She was a whore. And it would be more acceptable if I lived in say Detroit or California or NY but I live in a small redneck town in a green state. I was at my *again sigh* lowest point and I hope that I never go there again. Well, I turned to Eminem again and this time for more then just support but for advice threw his songs. I developed the infamous Fuck Off attitude once again. The last time I saw Paige during this time was when I walked into the girls bathroom and she was there at the sink cutting her arms, She was dealing with a break up I guess. Eminem was more temping then a razor and way more cuter. (The big thing was for girls at my school to show off the scars on your arms, trashy hu? Yep, Paige did that too) I literally would sit and vibe and instead of grabbing that razor. I grabbed a notebook and pen and wrote my heart out. I would write for hours and it seemed like Eminem helped settle ashes of the fire that just destroyed my day. Â»
Anndrea doesn’t find much comprehension from her dad’s side about her passion for Eminem’s music. Anndrea is a true Eminem fan.
She is not the kind of Â« fan Â» who is focused on Eminem’s looks or his wealth:
Â« My dad still hates the fact that I like Eminem, I think he’s jealous of him. He doesn’t understand, its either Eminem or I will get guys who LOOK like Eminem like Paige, know what im saying? And I would be richer but I’m not like that… Â»
No other artist had such a tremendous impact on her life. I do believe her, because I experienced wonderful things with Marshall’s music too. I know she ain’t lying about how Marshall Mathers changed her life:
Conceited people might not have an opened heart towards the young girl’s statements, but Eminem actually prevented her from taking drugs and falling into the trap of alcohol:
Â« I honestly believe and I don’t care if someone doesn’t agree but I really believe that Eminems music saved my life. I can only imagine where I would be today If I hadn’t had Eminems music to catch me as I fell. I don’t care how cheesy that sounds or how stupid I look now but I know what I got from the lyrics and I know what positive message I pulled from the so called â€œmuckâ€ Others turned to poppen prescriptions and smoking weed, I turned to Eminem. He changed, no he SAVED my life. His messages in his music made me who I am today, an upbeat funny human being. Every time I walk down the hallway of my school, I walk down like I own that place. I owe him everything. I love Eminem and if people would give him a chance, they would love him too. Maybe not in a way I do, but they should at least have respect for the impact Eminem has had on my life. My dad should know that, the whole world should know that.
My Life as you Know It.
My life today is pretty healthy Eminem wise. (My dad begs to differ, whatever) When I listen to an Eminem song, it’s like well imagine it, opening the bottle of pain and watch it fizz out and disappear. No other artist does this for me, and I do listen to other artists. Nelly, Nas, The whole Shady Family tree etc. Yeah it’s great. My room did infact explode with his posters and memorabilia, including 8mile, All the inside his life DVDs like Eminem AKA and The Anger Management Tour DVD and 3 of his books. Now I’m by no means trying to show off and I’m not trying to say that I am his biggest fan. I am in the top 5 though 🙂 But I can tell you who is. Hailie Jade.
Its funny when an Eminem song ends in my room, between the 2 second transition my CD player takes to get to the next song I hear a familiar noise blaring from the speakers in the living room, yup a another Eminem song. Â»
Eminem’s music, that is so often misunderstood because of the dark elements and second degree humor it contains, actually operates miracles for people who can relate to his songs or listen to him with an open minded spirit. Eminem changed Anndrea’s life. He changed mine too. I can testify that he did it for numerous fans of his I have been in touch with through the internet.
Eminem is real in his words and emotions: that’s why his music touches people’s lives deeply.