Hi-fi Friday ~ The Evolution of Eminem

Man… Eminem turned 40 on Wednesday. He certainly doesn’t appear 40, considering all he’s been through. I’m always amazed at how much his music has ‘matured’ over the years… Check it out!

From what I can tell, it was about 15 years ago I stumbled across Eminem. Here’s how it happened:

I heard Kid Rock’s ‘Bawitdaba’ on the radio one day and loved it! I went out that day and picked up his CD, ‘Devil Without a Cause’. I was immediately hooked! The  way Kid Rock combined rock and hip hop was fascinating. I listened to that CD for quite some time.

Now… there was a track on that CD titled ‘Fuck Off,’ which ended with a silly sounding rapper, called himself ‘Slim Shady’, who caught my attention. Here was his verse…

Yo, tell the world to hold their breath they’re breathing the wrong air
This planet belongs to me and this hippy with long hair
Two white boys who spike punch and light joints
Hang around drugs, loud music, and like noise
Slim Shady and Brown Trucker another bunch of mother fuckers
Who hate the world as much as each other
And I ain’t leaving this party tonight
Till I see some naked bitches dancin around drunk touchin each other
Rum and Pepsi got your perception of me sketchy
Cause when I stage dive people are scared to catch me
Cause all I do is curse and fuck
So when I do shrooms you all better give me two rooms
Cause I’m fuckin the first one up
So when you see me on your block you better lock your cars
Cause you know I’m losin it when I’m rappin to rock guitars
This is for children who break rules
People that straight fool
And every single teenager that hates school

Fuck Off

I know… that’s not my father’s Neil Diamond… But I liked it… raw, funny, edgy, a bit controversial…

Several months later, I hear about this ‘Slim Shady LP’ that was gettin’ pretty popular. Slim Shady? Why does that sound so familia…. Ohhh it’s the guy from the Kid Rock song… and he had a single out… it was this.

~ My Name Is ~

I was immediately intrigued because he mentioned Dr. Dre, of NWA fame, who I was a huge fan of. But wait… this white rapper, working with Dr. Dre of NWA, NO WAY!

Yeah, a lot of Eminem’s stuff is incredibly funny, but it also crosses into controversial and gets pretty dark at times. That’s pretty good range for a rapper, as most rappers are only good writing about bitches and blunts (note: that IS how he started, though)!

He blew up from his ’99 release of the Slim Shady LP up until he starred in the awesome flick ‘8 Mile’ in ’02, which brought us this single… a fight song of sorts for me… Don’t even tell me this tune doesn’t fire you up when you have a goal you want to achieve…

~ Lose Yourself ~

The next couple years, Eminem released another studio album, ‘Encore,’ and a compilation album, ‘Curtain Call’. A lot of his material was becoming much more mature. Yeah, he still wrote nasty stuff about his ex-wife, Kim, but he also wrote ‘Mockingbird’ to his young daughter Hailie. As a divorcee, this tune has a bit of meaning to me…

~ Mockingbird ~

Unfortunately, behind the scenes, Eminem had been dealing with prescription drug addiction. He considered suicide at times and in 2009 released ‘Relapse,’ which was so terrible it almost made me consider suicide… Just terrible stuff…

But… he bounced back a couple years ago with ‘Recovery,’ which is, in my opinion, his best stuff yet. There’s definitely a better quality to his work when he’s clean.

I leave you with a video that’s not from ‘Recovery’ but instead one he did with Dr. Dre last year. Em and Dre sort of come full circle in this one.

~ I Need A Doctor ~

Oh… and that angelic voice you hear throughout the song? That’s Skylar Grey, my soon-to-be girlfriend!

Enjoy your weekend folks!

Hug your children and love them every day

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