Does anyone really care about Eminem anymore? I guess a lot of people do, as he’s been a current trend on Twitter, since he announced that he was going to release a new album called Recovery in June. But I’m just curious as to why anyone really cares at this point. When he first appeared on the music scene in late 90’s and early 2000’s he was certainly among the most interesting of musical stars, and certainly the most controversial. Whatever you think about his misogynistic and homophobic lyrics (and it’s hard to argue that a lot of his lyrics aren’t those things) the guy let you into his tortured life and for a while it seemed fascinating. Like Lennon and Cobain before, for Eminem music and life intersected so much, it’s hard to tell where they stopped.
The best song he Eminem ever recorded was “Lose Yourself” because it came off as a triumph of over-coming the odds, and the song had a momentum that is rarely heard in rap. After that though, he seemed to rest on his laurels, just releasing dribble and lame shots at celebrity. Last year’s Relapse didn’t get the attention that everyone thought it would, because so much had been said about his drug abuse that it felt like we knew it already. The audience didn’t need to hear his perspective. Eminem ceased to be actually interesting. Before he had been different – a white rapper, he used different personas. But drug abuse made him like many other musicians. There was nothing that hadn’t been said before. Perhaps Eminem has learned as much as the lead-off single from Recovery, eschews his normal celebrity-bashing lead singles. On the “Not Afraid” song he raps that Relapse was “Ehh”. That might the most personal and true thing he’s said in a while. But it’s just not Relapse that’s “ehhh”. It’s Eminem’s whole career since 2002.