There was a moment in the early 2000s when the release of a new Eminem single felt like a bona fide cultural event. Everyone would know the words to tracks like “My Name Is” or “The Real Slim Shady,” but that moment has passed. Sure, there’s a decent number of people who still wait on every new release, a core of diehard fans who’ll invade your comment section and tell you that Em is the greatest rapper in the world if you dare to suggest otherwise. As far as a connection with the general public goes, though, Eminem’s moment has passed. But still the Eminem show goes on — and Mother’s Day brought a new episode, a song and music video titled “Headlights,” intended as an apology to his mom, Debbie. … Read More
You already know what I’m going to say, don’t you? Marshall Mathers, 41 this year, gave an interview to Rolling Stone this week, wherein he spoke about the controversy surrounding his repeated use of homophobic language in his recent single “Rap God.” To the surprise of precisely no one, Eminem was unrepentant about the whole thing, arguing that hey, he’s not homophobic, and he doesn’t mean the word “faggot” badly, and if people are offended, well, that’s their problem.
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It’s getting toward the end of the year, which in the music industry means two things: big commercial releases and a precipitous drop-off in quality as the “festive” season draws closer. It’s not all bad, though. In amongst the stocking stuffers and superfluous best-ofs, there are still some quality releases, and as we do at the start of every month, we’ve pored over the release schedules to pick out ten of the… Read More
Look, I have nothing against Eminem. I really don’t. (And no, I’m not just saying that because his
insane devoted fans stormed our comments section the last time I said something remotely uncomplimentary about him.) For all that aspects of his work — namely, his not-especially-latent misogyny — have always bothered me, I found the way he lived out his crises in public, turning them into powerful and conflicted art, compelling and perversely fascinating. What we’ve heard of his new record so far has been a curious and diverse array of sounds: old-school pseudo-Run DMC (“Berzerk”), reflective power balladry (“The Monster”), raging against the dying of the light (“Rap God”), and… well, now there’s new single “Love Game,” co-starring Kendrick Lamar. To which my reaction was the same as many people’s: what the actual fuck is this?!
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The first rule of relevance is: you don’t talk about relevance. And you certainly don’t release a single talking about how relevant you are (especially if its immediate predecessor sounded like it was made in 1988). Oh, Eminem — how did it come to this? 2013 is the year of the hip-hop midlife crisis, but even so, there’s something particularly unedifying about “Rap God,” Eminem’s new single, wherein he spends six minutes and a lot of words talking about the fact that he is still, yes, a rap god. … Read More
For years, Eminem has been screaming at us, making us very sad and forcing us to contemplate just what happens… Read More
Last week, Forbes published their annual “Cash Kings of 2011″ list, counting down hip-hop’s top 20 earners. The winner was Jay-Z, who has raked in $37 million over the past year. But now, Rolling Stone has come up with their own “Kings of Hip-Hop” list, another top 20 that includes most of the same names but places Eminem at #1. The difference between the rankings is that, while Forbes only takes into account rappers’ earnings, RS has a more holistic (and music-focused) view, incorporating all of the following criteria: “album sales, rankings on the R&B/hip-hop and rap charts, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards and critics’ ratings.”
So, which list gives us a better idea of who’s most influential in hip-hop? It depends whether we’re taking a short of long view. Rolling Stone definitely does a better job of picking out rappers who have released popular and acclaimed albums recently — that is, 2011’s biggest hip-hop stars. What Forbes gives us is a ranking of musicians-turned-moguls (or moguls-turned-musicians) who have proven their staying power by becoming a personal brand. In other words, Eminem is having a very good year, but Jay-Z will be around forever. Check out both lists after the jump and weigh in Eminem vs. Jay-Z in the comments. … Read More