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In Conversation with the Music of the Real Slim Shady

We’ve all heard that Eminem is a witty wordsmith who can spit rhymes (or at least assonances) impressively fast but has anyone ever really listened to him, to try and understand what the hell he’s actually on about?  Well i have.  And here is what i found.

In the song ‘Forgot About Dre’ (released May 2000) Eminem voices his concerns:

‘Nowadays everybody talks like they’ve got something to say’

People have always talked like they’ve got something to say. This isn’t a phenomenon of ‘nowadays’,mate. Perhaps you’ve only just started noticing it.

It’s worth noting, though, that talking and having something to say are often seen to be synonymous. Personally I find it more of a problem when people talk when they have nothing to say, but this isn’t about me. Keep going Marshall.

‘But nothing comes out when they move their lips’

Well you’ve just said they talk (like they’ve got something to say), so surely something must come out when they move their lips? Perhaps you’re using rhetoric to express that nothing of importance to you personally comes out of their lips, not nothing per se. But if it really was nothing, or at least nothing of importance, then you wouldn’t write a hook for a hip pop tune about it. This is a bit misleading but I think I see what you’re doing here…

‘Just a bunch of gibberish’

If it is just a bunch of gibberish I have a couple of questions. Are you sure they are talking like they’ve got something to say, or are these people in your mind simply rambling madmen? And also if it’s gibberish how do you know that it has anything to do with your friend, the good Doctor?

‘The muthafuckas act like they forgot about Dre’

What has this got to do with your previous statements? I don’t think you need to swear but I’m definitely sensing animosity towards these people. Is this just a separate observation? I may not be as astute at picking up perceived slights as you are, but I don’t think everybody talking, instantly means that they have forgotten about Dre. If what you seem to be implying is that people are talking about Dre like they’ve got something to say (ie dissing him), then they’ve done the exact opposite of forgetting about him. Duh.

Talking about him like they’ve got something to say (especially to the point where they are just jabbering nonsense, as you might be suggesting) does give the impression Dre is very much present in their minds. In fact there is no action I can think of that would demonstrate it clearer. Indeed what could someone do, other than talking about him, to give a better impression that he hadn’t been forgotten? How would you feel if someone told you after hearing your lovely chorus that you were acting like you’d forgotten about Dre, huh?

I suppose something implicit in all this is that we should keep Dr Dre in mind at all times. Now, he has been known to make a banging beat from time to time, he has a record label, his own headphones and a sort of movie career but I think that might be a tad unreasonable. Do we, as human beings, not have more important things to direct our thoughts towards? What about our jobs, our families, and more importantly 50 ‘fiddy’ Cent?

One suggestion is that the mushroom overdose described in your first album (along with all the other narcotics you’ve told us you’ve taken), coupled with the pressure of your fame have made you a little bit paranoid and that you now think that every time anybody anywhere talks they are somehow badmouthing your friend, whilst simultaneously damning him into the oblivion of being forgotten.

Collaborating with the Doctor again, this time for his solo record ‘The Real Slim Shady’ (also released May 2000), Mr Mathers attempts to avert an identity crisis and tell us who he really is.

‘I’m Slim Shady’

Got it.

‘Yes I’m the Slim Shady’

Got it. I assume the definite article is just a poetic device and doesn’t imply these two are separate. I feel like this may come into play later.

‘All you other Slim Shadies are just imitating’

Aha. I didn’t know there were any others but I’ll look out for them. You calling them Slim Shadies might prove confusing along the line though. Also the only evidence you’ve given us of actually being the original Slim Shady yourself is that you said it twice. What happens if they can provide a better case? Are you still Eminem and Marshall Mathers? Keep us up to date on any imitators of those names please. I assume there’ll be another song to clear those up too.

‘So won’t the real Slim Shady please stand up’

A bit lost now, sorry. Are you politely telling yourself to stand up or is there something cleverer at work here? I have heard you are a bit of a wordsmith. Are we to disregard the previous statements, or does this support them meaning that what you are saying is really ironic and you are not the real Slim Shady? The earlier repetition did make me wonder if there was something tricky going on here…

‘Please stand up’

I take it that if it was you, then you would obey your command to support your earlier point but you don’t seem to have stood up.

‘Please stand up’

I don’t think he can hear you. You’re sounding a bit desperate now. Are you worried that perhaps they aren’t real? It’s OK, we’re here to help you.


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