"If I had a million bucks, it wouldn't be enough I'd still be out robbin' armored trucks."
Do you remember the first time you experienced Eminem? I do, and I was in awe, he had to be one of the most sickeningly interesting musicians I’d ever lent my ears to. One of his records was also the first time I ever heard “skits” used in rap music, and I realized his comedic attraction; he is a “lyrical rapper”, a rapper gifted with both flawless delivery and engrossing poetry and boy did he use that present well. Up until then at least, but this review is about Eminem’s old ***.
Judging by desires to run away with his daughter, steal money and stuff his mother in the trunk of a car it was clear he isn’t your typical MTV act, he was only on that channel because of the insane revenue funneling straight out of his mouth. Be advised when listening to this record that the guy who made “Relapse” wasn’t even an idea yet. Here, Em shows us the hilariously edgy persona that allowed him to become a self-caricature. From the SSEP’s confines a two-faced character will either push you away or make you think twice about how far rap can really go. “The Slim Shady EP” is the purest Eminem: gritty, witty, clownish, and downright sad. If you have the time which I know you do, listen to it.
With each impeccable beat comes the psychologically defining battle between the famed rapper and his even more famous alter-ego, Slim Shady. Slim keeps a bigger presence on this, but Eminem himself wrote the two greatest songs you can find here, those being the emotional manifestation If I Had
and Murder, Murder
. We hear the remorseful Eminem, depression weighing down his voice narrating a slew of ill-fated crimes, or rapping a list of things he wished he had but really didn’t because all things considered, he’ll always be a grudging soul in life. That anger materializes as Slim Shady the adrenaline junky when the foreboding intro transitions into Low Down, Dirty
, a masterful braggadocio piece and that may sound like exaggeration, but if it’s this damn good it has to be an art. Eminem’s voice has a rabid illumination about it; he raps with a totally American “give me your attention” accent and he does it well, grasping at feelings that everyone feels on a day to day basis. Listening to Eminem is like dipping into my adolescent memory bank but it’s relevance doesn’t end there – he touches on a sensitive subject: poverty. Every moment of the Slim Shady EP emanates famine, both financially and mentally. A situation best described by one of his best songs, Rock Bottom
, which is unfortunately not among these tracks but it doesn’t need to be, because it’s essence already is.
Nearly twelve years ago this extended play was birthed unto the music industry and since it’s mark is still visible. The Slim Shady EP is perfect and despite its age (in the rap world a year is a century) it’s as important as it ever was, and always will be. Eminem was once a preacher for the poor, whose music offered comic relief among harshly stark reality but he didn’t forget that either, because who can? The world is the same as it was in 1997, there are just different talking heads on T.V. Still, young thieves devoid of opportunity run around town chasing freedom while the cops chase them just as fast as their hopeless leap to an almost unreachable haven. Still, people cradle their unloved baby in warm arms and a tear drops on it’s face for her mother or father’s lack of care. And still, somewhere a fantastic ego assumes power when there is none, crashing and burning empty handed. As social commentary this album is a bullseye and as unadulterated hip-hop entertainment it is too. Do you hate what you might think rap really is? I have just the thing for you.