Song of the Day #4,936: ‘Without Me’ – Eminem

When I first started today’s post, I was going to write that Eminem had ceased to be commercially relevant for the past decade or so. But when I checked the numbers, I was surprised to see that his last five albums have combined to sell more than 15 million units. Every one of them went either Gold or Platinum.

If that seems like a letdown, it’s because the five albums preceding those sold 66 million, all multi-Platinum, two Diamond. That’s a string of success unmatched by most recording artists through history.

The peak of that career came with the one-two punch of 2000’s The Marshall Mathers LP and 2002’s The Eminem Show, his two best albums. Both records feature Eminem’s unique blend of provocation, self-analysis and societal commentary, set to infectious beats.

‘Without Me,’ the lead-off single of The Eminem Show, is a snot-nosed Slim Shady taunt in which Eminem proudly accepts responsibility for making the pop culture discourse interesting. It’s almost quaint, given the ugliness on display from our highest leaders over the past five years, that this was what counted as toxic in 2002.

[Refrain 1: Eminem]
Two trailer park girls go ’round the outside
‘Round the outside, ’round the outside
Two trailer park girls go ’round the outside
‘Round the outside, ’round the outside

[Refrain 2: Eminem]
Guess who’s back, back again
Shady’s back, tell a friend
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back
Guess who’s back

[Verse 1: Eminem]
I’ve created a monster, ’cause nobody wants to
See Marshall no more, they want Shady, I’m chopped liver
Well, if you want Shady, this is what I’ll give ya
A little bit of weed mixed with some hard liquor
Some vodka that’ll jump start my heart quicker
Than a shock when I get shocked at the hospital
By the doctor when I’m not co-operating
When I’m rocking the table while he’s operating (Hey!)
You waited this long, now stop debating
‘Cause I’m back, I’m on the rag and ovulating
I know that you got a job, Ms. Cheney
But your husband’s heart problem’s complicating
So the FCC won’t let me be
Or let me be me, so let me see
They try to shut me down on MTV
But it feels so empty without me
So, come on and dip, bum on your lips
Fuck that! Cum on your lips and some on your tits
And get ready, ’cause this shit’s about to get heavy
I just settled all my lawsuits, fuck you, Debbie!

[Chorus: Eminem]
Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody, just follow me
‘Cause we need a little controversy
‘Cause it feels so empty without me
I said this looks like a job for me
So everybody, just follow me
‘Cause we need a little controversy
‘Cause it feels so empty without me

[Verse 2: Eminem]
Little hellions, kids feeling rebellious
Embarrassed their parents still listen to Elvis
They start feeling like prisoners helpless
‘Til someone comes along on a mission and yells, “Bitch!”
A visionary, vision is scary
Could start a revolution, polluting the airwaves
A rebel, so just let me revel and bask
In the fact that I got everyone kissing my ass (*smack*)​​
And it’s a disaster, such a catastrophe
For you to see so damn much of my ass—you asked for me?
Well, I’m back, na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na
Fix your bent antenna, tune it in, and then I’m gonna
Enter in, and up under your skin like a splinter
The center of attention, back for the winter
I’m interesting, the best thing since wrestling
Infesting in your kid’s ears and nesting
Testing, “Attention please”
Feel the tension soon as someone mentions me
Here’s my ten cents, my two cents is free
A nuisance, who sent? You sent for me?

[Chorus: Eminem]
Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody, just follow me
‘Cause we need a little controversy
‘Cause it feels so empty without me
I said this looks like a job for me
So everybody, just follow me
‘Cause we need a little controversy
‘Cause it feels so empty without me

[Verse 3: Eminem]
A tisk-it a task-it, I’ll go tit for tat with
Anybody who’s talking “This shit, that shit”
Chris Kirkpatrick, you can get your ass kicked
Worse than them little Limp Bizkit bastards
And Moby? You can get stomped by Obie
You thirty-six-year-old baldheaded fag, blow me
You don’t know me, you’re too old, let go
It’s over, nobody listens to techno
Now let’s go, just give me the signal
I’ll be there with a whole list full of new insults
I’ve been dope, suspenseful with a pencil
Ever since Prince turned himself into a symbol
But sometimes the shit just seems
Everybody only wants to discuss me
So this must mean I’m disgusting
But it’s just me, I’m just obscene
Though I’m not the first king of controversy
I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley
To do black music so selfishly
And use it to get myself wealthy (Hey!)
There’s a concept that works
Twenty million other white rappers emerge
But no matter how many fish in the sea
It’d be so empty without me

[Chorus: Eminem]
Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody, just follow me
‘Cause we need a little controversy
‘Cause it feels so empty without me
I said this looks like a job for me
So everybody, just follow me
‘Cause we need a little controversy
‘Cause it feels so empty without me

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,936: ‘Without Me’ – Eminem

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    During our recent long drive from Asheville, Daniel, our resident car DJ, played a JayZ song featuring Eminem. I’ve always been underwhelmed by JayZ and this song was no exception, but then Eminem came in and the song was suddenly more interesting and simply better.

    That’s the thing about Eminem, he’s just a cut above the others, even if he is no longer as popular as he was in the early 2000s.

  2. Peg says:

    I really hate this stuff

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