Filed under: Features,Print Work,Shots Fired,The Unkut Opinion
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Why do people who don’t even work in the music industry talk about album sales? It makes no sense whatsoever when you think about it, but since the young rap fans of today are often more concerned with what sort of jacket Kanye was wearing in his new video than what he says in his lyrics, it shouldn’t really come as any great surprise. See, there’s this white guy who used to rap about being crazy, going on killing spree’s and unsavory thoughts toward the mother of his child (and his own mum, come to think of it). Nothing unusual there either – pale-faced rappers have often resorted to casting themselves in the role of the lunatic in an attempt to deflect any questions of ‘street cred’ or whatever you want to call it. He sold a hell of a lot of records performing Black music, won an Oscar, then took a break and got strung-out on goofballs and got fat – basically on some Elvis shit. Here’s the thing – he was actually a pretty great rapper. Sure, as his career progressed the quality of the beats steadily declined and the choruses became increasingly annoying, but the kid still had lyrics to go.
Here’s the problem – it seems as though our friend Slim Shady passed away as a result of an unfortunate overdose of prescription drugs during the break, and as a result we’re now left with touchy-feely Emo Eminem. His new album, Recovery, is so god-awful that I’d like to imagine that it’s some sort of belated April Fool’s joke. For starter’s, the song with Lil’ Wang – sorry, I mean Weezy – samples the theme song from Night At The Roxbury in a failed attempt at irony. Then he does a track with Pink, which is great news if you’re an eight year-old girl. What’s that? You’re actually a depressed teenage boy who digs Linkin Park? Em’s got you covered too – ‘Not Afraid’ is the new cutter’s anthem, complete with the worst singing since Biz Markie. Didn’t think it could get any worse? Wrong again, buddy. ‘Your Never Over’ features Marshal warbling over the worst Eurobeat music this side of Aqua. And don’t get me started on his cover of an Ozzy Osbourne’s slow jam…
But what would I know? I hate a lot of shit. Turns out Eminem has a lot of loyal Stans out there. His first week sales of 741,000 units delivered him his sixth straight #1 album, as well as the second biggest digital album sales in history. What does this tell us, when current rap heart-throb Drake fell short of Gold certification (500,000) in his opening week? Could it be that white rap fans are fiercely loyal towards the only cracker that ever mattered on the mic? Or has tapping into the Tween and Emo demographic proved to be a stroke of marketing genius? Or maybe everyone was just so relieved that he wasn’t rhyming in that stupid cartoon dog voice anymore that they bought three copies of the CD each? Regardless, I’m betting that we’ll see an Eminem/Celine Dion Duets album by the end of next year which out-sells Thriller.
Originally published in ACCLAIM #21.
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