Today’s matchup is a funny one, but then any pairing with Eminem was bound to be a little odd. Eminem is the only rapper represented in the contest, a fact that reflects both my general ambivalence to the genre and my admiration for the work of Marshall Mathers.
As a follow-up to the excellent The Eminem Show, release just two years earlier, this record couldn’t have been more disappointing.
And ‘Spend Some Time,’ today’s Random Weekend SOTD, might be the worst song on the album. Along with Obie Trice, Stat Quo and 50 Cent, Eminem spews tired, misogynist garbage about the women (make that “bitches”) who’ve let them down.
The Detroit rapper had the difficult task of following up on his smash success from 2000, The Marshall Mathers LP. That record stirred up a heap of controversy and sparked debates about free speech and artistic expression. It also received tremendous critical acclaim and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
How do you follow that? With arguably an even better album.
Much of this album is bogged down by silly accents and cartoonish violence even more cartoonish than the violence on Eminem’s best albums. But a few tracks aim for something deeper.
My first introduction to Eminem was through the Marshall Mathers LP, the record that launched him to superstar status. That album generated critical raves and public outrage in equal measure and forced pretty much everybody to have an opinion about the rapper.
I was a huge fan of the album, despite its often disturbing content, but I wasn’t sure if it was a one-off or if I could truly call myself an Eminem fan.
This track is a sloppy retread of a dozen other, and better, songs about Slim Shady working out his issues through violence against women. What was edgy and disturbing — and a catalyst for discussions of how far art can go — nearly a decade earlier is yawn-inducing here.
Eminem – ‘Headlights’
Okay, here’s an instance where I probably would have put your selection, ‘Bad Guy’ on my list, but since you already featured that great track from the new Eminem album, I’m going to go with another one of my favorites, ‘Headlights.’