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Shahjahan Khurram
October 17, 2016

Even at 44, Eminem continues to dominate rap music

Even at 44, Eminem continues to dominate rap music

There’s hardly a celebrity he hasn’t feuded with and dismantled entirely; or a family member who’s escaped his tenacious lyrics (save his daughter).

Arguably one of the greatest lyricists of all time to grace the microphone, Eminem continues to dominate the global hip/hop, rap music scene even at the age of 44.

His second album The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000 became the fastest selling album of all time when it sold 1.7 million units in the first three weeks and was certified platinum. He outsold every other artist in the world from 2000-2010. Em sold more than 32.2 million albums in the 2000s, edging out the Beatles to claim the title of top-selling artist.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Eminem continues to reign supreme in the world of hip/hop and commands such reverence across the globe:-

1. You don’t see a white boy reach superstar status in rap music—like ever!

When the video for his first song My Name Is debuted on MTV, the whole world was shocked to see the face behind the voice. A Caucasian rapper was previously not unheard of—Vanilla Ice had broken ground before but for all the wrong reasons.

Eminem was lyrically unmatched and had a command over his flow much like rap heavyweights Nas, Jay-z and Snoop Dogg. It was only sheer talent and profound passion which helped him climb the ladder in a predominantly black music genre such as rap.

2. As far as lyrical perfection is concerned, none can stand toe to toe with the Detroit MC

Eminem’s lyrics were the main reason he received tremendous attention and media spotlight. No one could write what he was writing, the way he was writing and about whom he was writing.

Considered by detractors and doubters as a ‘shock artist’ when he first broke through the underground scene to become a mainstream artist, Slim Shady’s subsequent albums proved he was in the music business to stay for an indefinite period.

From freestyles to voracious guest features on other artists’ songs, Eminem has stood the test of time through his complex rhymes and potent lyrics.

3. Eminem has publicly feuded with many artists—and crushed them all!

My Name Is, Without Me, The Real Slim Shady, Just Lose It and We Made You are just some of the songs in which he has collectively trashed boy bands, female and male pop artists alike. Not only were his humorous jabs at boy bands and female pop artists popular—they set him apart from other mainstream artists who were grouped with him at the time.

4. Eminem has always been unique by simply being himself

The 90s was basically about ‘Gangsta rap’, where African American rappers churned out music which resonated with the black people of America in terms of violence, drug abuse and gang-banging. However, Eminem knew him rapping about racy cars and women would not connect with the general audience. Hence, he took the persona of an evil alter-ego Slim Shady and came up with lyrics that sent schockwaves across the world. No longer was rap music about money, sports cars or about women—it was about substance abuse, humour, psycho killer instincts and talking about one’s own personal struggles.

5. The Real Slim Shady was the pioneer of humour in rap music

Never before did artists project humour into their lyrics and music videos as Eminem. With a plethora of his songs targeting celebrities (Moby, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Madonna, Elvis Presley to name a few), Eminem gained notoriety and subsequent respect for exaggerating a situation to the extent that you felt guilty for laughing about some of the stuff he rapped about.

6. No artist has chronicled his personal life in songs the way Eminem has

From his struggles of an alcoholic and abusive mother to his uncle Ronnie who committed suicide, Eminem has managed to pen it all down in numerous songs. The listener can’t help but love him and hate him at the same time—for the amount of abuse he endured from his mother as a child and for hurling insults back at her in his songs.

His childhood sweetheart and wife Kim also had to bear the brunt of his incensed lyrics—in his song 97 Bonnie and Clyde as well as Kim, Eminem talked about killing her. A live performance of Kim instigated his wife to slit her wrists. Mrs Marshall Mathers managed to live though, as she was discovered before it was too late.

7. A gifted story teller, his songs project diverse feelings

Eminem has always been a versatile artist, who can paint vivid pictures via his words. In Lose Yourself (which won him an Osar award, an unprecedented feat for a rapper), Eminem addresses the issue of stage fright right in the very first verse in an impeccable way. In Love The Way You Lie, his powerful words evoke the effects domestic abuse has on a couple. In When I’m Gone, he talks about juggling his personal and professional life as well as the hazards that come with it.

All in all, it’s no surprise that with less than two decades in the music industry, Eminem has managed to win more than 10 Grammy awards and an Academy Award for his song Lose Yourself. He’s managed to work with the pick of the artists from the music industry which include Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, 50 cent, DrDre, Kanye West, Drake, Lil Wayne, Jay-z, Pink, T.I and others.

Eminem still remains one of the most sought-after artists in the world today and is still, to this day, a musical force to be reckoned with.




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