Stimulating, entertaining, but also telling the truth

Eminem is a master in provocating people. He loves it and he does it particularly well. Most of the time, his own amusement is created by the reaction of some closed- minded people. A reaction he anticipates most of the time for the greatest amusement of his public.
The statements he makes are well choosen to make them intentionally mad.
A good example comes from the song « Kill You » from the Marshall Mathers LP:

« They said I can’t rap about bein broke no more
They say I can’t rap about coke no more
(AHHH!) Slut, you think I won’t choke no whore
Till the vocal cords don’t work in her throat no more?!
(AHHH!) These motherfuckers are thinkin I’m playin
Thinkin I’m sayin the shit cause I’m thinkin it just to be sayin it »

Eminem enjoys small-minded people to look ridiculous and to make fun of them:

« On stage I’m the average small-minded, conservative American who rejects anything that is different. I like taking on this role in order to show people just how ridiculous they are. Some people just don’t understand me and they take my irony at face value. »

Despite the fact many of his lyrics are to take at a second degree, Eminem also offers an realistic vision of America. America has often been idealized as a wealthy country, where anybody can succeed. In the mind of many people, America is the land of the Freedom Of Speech.
Eminem pictures another vision of the United States : a land of killers, racial discrimination, restricted Speech and censorship, where many white people experience poverty… Eminem is a real threat to the Establishment, because he doesn’t lie about facts the government would prefer to hide. No wonder that a great majority of Americans think the rapper’s rhymes are more credible that President Bush’s (empty) speeches.

Eminem is conscious of both sides : on the one hand, he wants to entertain, but on the other hand he also has a message to deliver about the American policy.
If we take a look at the song « Stimulate », a bonus track from the 8 Mile soundtrack, you can easily discover how much the artist enjoys entertaining his audience :

“I’m only entertaining you
My goal is to stimulate, making you high
And take you and I
To a place you can’t see
But I believe you can fly
I don’t mean nobody harm, I’m just partying
I’m not your dad, not your mom, not your guardian
Just a man who’s on the mic
So let me entertain you…”

His lyrics are constantly targetted by the Congress and that’s one good reason why Eminem drops bombs against them :

« My lyrical content is constantly under fire
No wonder why I constantly bomb back
To combat attacks with constant concepts
When lyrics are constantly took outta context
Failure to communicate with congress has
Been a problem for the longest, I guess
But maybe one day we can make some progress
Food for thought – see how long it takes to digest
Feeling good when I should be ashamed … »

He’s giving the government some food for thought.
Maybe they will understand what he’s talking about, because he uses the Constitution as a weaopon to fight them.

“Constantly moving, constantly using the constitution
As a form of restitution
Bless the children, nothing less than brilliant”

I particularly like the sentence « Bless the children, nothing less than brilliant ».

Eminem connects to the young people easily, because he dresses like them and he speaks their language. The youth is open minded and understands his speech well. The youth is also tired of the government ‘s policy. Young people want somebody who is able to understand the problems they’re experiencing. They are tired of being lied to by the Bush administration. In fact, the youth is also conscious of being used for Mr Bush’s war against Iraq. So many young lives are taken for a useless war.

Eminem is a rebel to this fake democracy, he’s a real spokesman for the misunderstood youth. His fight is political, he’s appealing to people’s conscience not to accept any speech from the government without thinking before. Marshall wants to show people how corrupt politicians are and how much they want to serve only their own interest and to use young soldiers as puppets to invade and impose their policy abroad.

“All this terror, America demands action
Next thing you know, you’ve got Uncle Sam’s ass askin’
To join our army, or what you do for their navy
You just a baby gettin’ recruited at 18
You’re on a plane now eatin’ that food and that baked beans
I’m 28, they gon take you ‘fore they take me
Crazy insane or insane crazy?
When i say Hussein, you say Shady!
My views ain’t changed to lean humane way for
Rain 2 days late, the date’s today
Hey team!”

The « Without Me » video offers both perspectives and that makes it particularly interesting. It is entertaining and amusing, you can see a succession of interesting characters like Debbie, Elvis Presley and Ossama Ben Laden.
The picture of Ben Laden’s surrender certainly helps people to relax after the drama of September the 11th. The best way to overcome traumas is to manage to relax and laugh, no matter how tragic the event is.
Mr Mathers has proven to be a better therapist than Mr Bush in that way.