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Name: Adam Bernard
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Slim Shady’s Startling Slide
Friday, September 21, 2007

Although it pains me to say this due to the fact that I’ve been following the man’s career since he had an album titled The Slim Shady EP that was so buzzed about among Hip-Hop heads that HipHopSite.com couldn’t seem to ever keep it in stock, Eminem seems to be done as an artist. His skills have been diminishing for a number of years now, but after hearing his painfully bad guest appearances on a number of remixes and album cuts it’s become clear that, whether all the emotion he previously had has left him, or he simply just doesn’t care about rapping anymore, the only thing the Eminem of today has in common with the Eminem of five years ago is a name.

For a lot of people “Ass Like That” was the last straw, for others it was the remix to “Lean Back,” still others gave up on Em after his truly terrible showing on Akon’s “Smack That.” For me, though, I held out a sliver of hope that Em could return to his old ways. The verse Em gives us on 50 Cent’s latest album, however, has proven, at least for me, to be the final nail in the coffin of his career. In fact, looking at Em’s appearances on 50’s 2003 effort Get Rich or Die Tryin' and the just released Curtis one can see a glaring example of how far he’s fallen.

When I first listened to Get Rich or Die Tryin' Eminem ruined the album for me, but in a good way. His verse on “Patiently Waiting” was so dope that everything else on the album paled in comparison (no pun intended). Intense, and with a fantastic flow, that verse would turn out to be Shady’s last stand. On 50’s latest album, Curtis, Em has another guest spot, this time on a song titled “Peep Show.” Em’s verse on “Peep Show” ruins not the entire album for me, but just that song and for the complete opposite reason that his verse from “Patiently Waiting” ruined Get Rich or Die Tryin'. Em’s showing on “Peep Show” is so bad, and so devoid of any of the qualities we loved Em for, that I skip the track. Personally, back when I was downloading freestyles of his off of Napster in 1999, I never thought I’d see the day when I'd voluntarily skip a track he was on.

From 1999-2004 Eminem ruled the world. He changed the way America thought about race, parenting and censorship and he even seemed to be having fun while doing it. I was lucky enough to cover one of his shows when he was at peak, the Anger Management Tour in the summer of 2002. He had an entire sold out concert space hanging on, and oftentimes repeating, his every word. One moment that I will never forget from that show is when he performed “White America” and the entire sold out, predominantly white, crowd chanted every lyric along with him. It was a stunning in display that there was incredible truth to his lyrics. I’d never seen anything like it before and I’ll probably never see anything like it again.

Fifteen years from now we may look back on Eminem’s five year run from 99-04 as one of the highest pinnacles an artist has ever reached. For now, though, he needs to put the microphone down, because it’s not 2002 anymore and he isn’t contributing anything worthwhile to Hip-Hop. Maybe Em’s first single has become a prescient prediction and he truly doesn’t give a fuck. If that’s the case he shouldn’t record music, he shouldn’t do guest spots, and he shouldn’t damage the resume of one of the greatest careers we’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.

A friend of mine pointed out to me that he felt even Em knew the time to step aside had come when he released ‘When I’m Gone.” The start of the chorus seems appropriate when viewed through the eyes of someone witnessing his skills and fire diminishing; “when I'm gone just carry on, don't mourn.” I’m not sure if he realizes it, but we can’t carry on until he looks in the mirror and listens to another one of his old lines, this one from "Till I Collapse," “And when your run is over just admit when it's at its end / cuz I'm at the end of my wits with half the shit gets in." My sentiments exactly.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:56 AM  
  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger I Sort Glass said…

    Yep time to go buddy boy. Time to go...

  • At 9:50 PM, Blogger a-one said…

    I feel very much the same as you. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt until his next album comes out.

  • At 4:44 PM, Blogger Nobody? 1988 said…

    Aiyyo, I like your post on Eminem and it brings a very good point. But me, personally, I still think Em's got it in him somewhere. If you excuse all the guest appearances (particually the "Smack That" verse [I kinda chuckled when he said "Puddytat Dolls"]) and his lack of a new album over the years (Guess who's back.....), I would say Eminem's just taking a "career hiatus" and if his new album comes out anytime soon after the Detox hype, I think Em may return to his Slim Shady roots we all know and love. Even his serious songs such as "Lose Yourself" or "The Way I Am" displays skills of Em that certainly can never be lost or wane with time.

    Overall, I'll just wait 'til his next album before I would put the nail in the coffin to give him a possible chance to relaspe.

  • At 8:59 AM, Blogger marnotorious said…

    to the writer, with all due respect u have no *****ing idea what u talking about. have you listenes to his song "no apologies". from the re-up. and please dont tell me he was not a lyrical assassin in that song. i will admit his appearences and verses are weak in other people album but who gives a *****kkkk. wait till his album comes out , 50 *****ing *****got cent said himsels " eminem next labum is like old marshel matters on crack"

  • At 10:48 AM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    I have to love that last comment and not just because he spelled Eminem's name wrong, but because he said I have no idea what I'm talking about and then went on to agree with a number of my points.

  • At 5:43 PM, Blogger I Sort Glass said…

    And it don't stop, it don't quit!

  • At 2:53 AM, Blogger VKN said…

    A much as I wish this was not true, it is. Eminem has always been my favorite rapper, until I heard the crap on T.I.'s album, and "Peep Show" was the last straw. When I heard "You Don't Know" my reaction was just like 'meh.' Then I heard No Apologies, which I thought was one of the greatest songs that I had heard from Eminem, in a while. I don't want him to put down the microphone, but that's the way it is going to be unless he figures out something to rap about.

    If Proof had been killed by another big artist, I think then, there would have been a lot of stuff to talk about, but it would have just been redundant.

    Please Eminem, pull your shit together!

  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger Michael said…

    being an artist myself, a guest appearance is exactly what it is a guest appearance and sometimes it's a hit or miss thing, give the man an opportunity to come back with his own collection of music or album"no apologies" tells me that he's still got it in him.I mean "curtis" as an album isn't even that good so sometimes you put trash with trash, give him time to show and prove,everybody has a peak period. and few obtain that twice, he's still the best putting words together and yes this comes from a black man

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