Song of the Day #1,532: ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ – Eminem

Eminem is perhaps the oddest of all the oddball artists in my musical genome discussion. He is very much a genre artist, but it’s a genre that’s almost entirely off my radar.

The easy claim is that I love Eminem’s music despite not liking rap music at all, but I don’t know if that’s true. I have owned maybe half a dozen rap albums (other than Eminem’s) over the past 20+ years and I don’t listen to any of them very often. But how many great ones have I never heard?

The rap artists I have enjoyed to some degree are Snoop Dogg, Public Enemy, Outkast, Childish Gambino and Kanye West. Of those, only Kanye and Gambino have earned repeated listens.

Kanye West is an OK rapper, but he has taken the musical side of hip-hop to exciting new places. Childish Gambino is a terrific lyricist and and rapper and his subject matter transcends the stereotypical “bling and bitches” cliché (he also gets points for portraying Troy on Community). Gambino is similar to Eminem, perhaps suggesting that I have a separate rap music genome worth exploring.

So the question is… who are the other Eminem-like rappers? Rappers who probe their own psyches, turn their inner lives into powerful art. Artists who spin street poetry about topics beyond the thug life.

No doubt there are dozens of them. A quick Google search suggests scores of names I’ve never heard of (as well as several I have, such as Mos Def and Nas). Would they be in heavy rotation if only I gave them a chance?

For now, though, Eminem stands alone in my CD collection and my musical genome.

Where’s my snare, I have no snare in my headphones
There you go

[Verse 1]
Have you ever been hated or discriminated against
I have; I’ve been protested and demonstrated against
Picket signs for my wicked rhymes, look at the times
Sick as the mind of the motherfuckin’ kid that’s behind
All this commotion emotions run deep as ocean’s explodin’
Tempers flarin’ from parents just blow ’em off and keep goin’
Not takin’ nothin’ from no one give ’em hell long as I’m breathin’
Keep kickin’ ass in the mornin’ and takin’ names in the evenin’
Leave ’em with a taste as sour as vinegar in they mouth
See they can trigger me, but they’ll never figure me out
Look at me now; I bet ya probably sick of me now ain’t you momma?
I’ma make you look so ridiculous now

[Hook: Eminem]
I’m sorry momma
I never meant to hurt you
I never meant to make you cry; but tonight
I’m cleanin’ out my closet (one more time)
I said I’m sorry momma
I never meant to hurt you
I never meant to make you cry; but tonight
I’m cleanin’ out my closet

[Verse 2]
I got some skeletons in my closet
And I don’t know if no one knows it
So before they thrown me inside my coffin and close it
I’mma expose it; I’ll take you back to ’73
Before I ever had a multi-platinum sellin’ CD
I was a baby, maybe I was just a couple of months
My faggot father must have had his panties up in a bunch
Cause he split, I wonder if he even kissed me goodbye
No I don’t, on second thought I just fuckin’ wished he would die
I look at Hailie, and I couldn’t picture leavin’ her side
Even if I hated Kim, I’d grit my teeth and I’d try
To make it work with her at least for Hailie’s sake
I maybe made some mistakes
But I’m only human, but I’m man enough to face them today
What I did was stupid, no doubt it was dumb
But the smartest shit I did was take the bullets outta that gun
Cause I’da killed him; shit I woulda shot Kim and him both
It’s my life, I’d like to welcome y’all to “The Eminem Show”


[Verse 3]
Now I would never dis my own momma just to get recognition
Take a second to listen for who you think this record is dissin’
But put yourself in my position; just try to envision
Witnessin’ your momma poppin’ prescription pills in the kitchen
Bitchin’ that someone’s always goin’ through her purse and shit’s missin’
Goin’ through public housing systems, victim of Munchausen’s Syndrome
My whole life I was made to believe I was sick when I wasn’t
’til I grew up, now I blew up, it makes you sick to ya stomach
Doesn’t it? Wasn’t it the reason you made that CD for me Ma
So you could try to justify the way you treated me Ma
But guess what? You’re gettin’ older now and it’s cold when you’re lonely
And Nathan’s growin’ up so quick he’s gonna know that you’re phony
And Hailie’s gettin’ so big now; you should see her, she’s beautiful
But you’ll never see her – she won’t even be at your funeral
See what hurts me the most is you won’t admit you was wrong
Bitch do your song – keep tellin’ yourself that you was a mom
But how dare you try to take what you didn’t help me to get
You selfish bitch; I hope you fuckin’ burn in hell for this shit
Remember when Ronnie died and you said you wished it was me
Well guess what, I am dead – dead to you as can be!


One thought on “Song of the Day #1,532: ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ – Eminem

  1. Dana says:

    As I said earlier, I think Eminem is a prime example of a great artist/songwriter trumping a genre I otherwise don’t care for. Meanwhile, Amy felt compelled to play this song for Daniel this morning. Lord, help us!

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