Eminem has been described as everything from brilliant to controversial, even simply retarded.
He can switch from absolutely ridiculous to poignant, malice to loving, violent to forgiving, captivating the real emotions that we are all accustomed with.
He is not a perfect artist, far from it, critics such as myself will point out the redundancy of certain subjects, overly simplified explanations of feelings and views, perverted ideas, and sometimes pure ignorance.
What you can’t deny is his ability to intrigue us. I’m willing to bet the majority reading this article at some point enjoyed an Eminem song for one reason or another. I’ll take that same leap of faith by presumptuously assuming the same can’t be said for Rakim, who is one of the greatest lyricist in the history of hip hop.
Why does Eminem still matter? I have no hidden-reason, or sagacious perspective that will immediately change your mind. What I do have is an insurmountable list of facts, statistics, and reasons that 09 will be good to Eminem.
- Eminem wants to be the greatest rapper ever
Marshall Mathers like every other superstar rapper has an ego. He wants to be known as one of the greatest rappers to ever live. He cleverly alludes to his hopes of being listed with the greats in his 2003 song “Till I Collapse” with this set of bars “I got a list here’s the order of my list that it’s in.It goes, Reggie, Jay-Z, Tupac and Biggie, Andre from Outcast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas and then me.”
In one of his more recent songs, Eminem consciously resents his self-portrayed standing in hip hop, on “We’re Back” off the “Re Up” album, with his reflective lyrics “when they say one of the best, I’m nowhere thought up as that, not even the same league as Jay-Z, Nas, Pac, Biggie or maybe, the name me somewhere down at the bottom, right after AZ.”
For these reasons, Eminem is still hungry with the desperation to solidify his spot in the hierarchy of hip hop, maybe to his greatest critic of all, himself. In my opinion, his new album will be worth listening, if only for that reason.
- Eminem has a built-in-market
White kids, the main consumers of hip hop music are overwhelmingly fans of Eminem. The steady decline of album sales over the past few years, not only shows that labels are slow to adapt to advancements in technology, but it also implies that they are not targeting the correct markets with the right product. Slim Shady already has a built-in-market established which has been proven to purchase records.
- Dr.Dre will be a big part of his next album
He is still produced by the most effective producer in the history of hip hop. Eminem produced the majority of his own tracks on recent albums to his detriment as admitted even by Em, who said with Dre producing, he’ll able to concentrate more on the performing aspects, i.e. writing, flowing, and less on the music.
- Eminem has sold over 20 million albums
He is the top selling hip hop artist alive today. Despite the fact that he has only released four official solo LP’s. Even in comparison with the late-great 2 Pac, he has sold almost the same amount with half the body of work.
- Eminem knows that controversy sells
He is a controversial figure, his lyrics are always subject to criticism giving him an edge on rappers like Lupe Fiasco, who are more introspective and positive. The mediums that hip hop artists use to promote themselves are historically apt to cover a contentious issue rather than a uniting one. Eminem is unquestionably hip hop’s biggest media scapegoat.
- Everybody loves come back stories
He put himself on a self-imposed hiatus for almost five years. The momentum he will be capable of gaining with his come back can easily be much more significant than a 50 Cent, who has intuitively went to amazing lengths too keep himself relevant for years.
- Eminem has venting to do on his new album
He has been through a tremendous amount of grief since he went away including a divorce, the passing of Proof, and health conditions. He has serious subjects that he can address on his new album.
- Eminem is an empire by himself
Eminem has a music empire with an enormous stake in seeing him succeed. He also has a diverse set of outlets that should be used to help promote his come back.
If you take into consideration, his clothing line, Shade 45 – Satellite Radio, Interscope, and some loyal label-mates, who will be more than likely to take the focus off themselves to give Eminem his time to shine, thats measurable power.
He also has many favors to cash in on with all the producing and behind-the-scenes work he has done while taking a break from rapping. Of course, you can argue the success of some of these experiments.
- Eminem doesn’t have due dates
I don’t think, we have heard of Eminem having a due date, a must come out time, or content demands from his label. He obviously has freedom in his contract. They’re not going to force him to tour. I wouldn’t say Em has no pressure, but significantly less than most rappers.
- Eminem has great fans
His stans are a vigorous block of hip hop fans, who have literally worshipped him since 2000. They want every song he has ever made, including embarrassingly bad music, think “Fack”.
The majority of them would give encore 4 and a half mics. They’re many websites, forums, and newsletter subscribers, who are 100% dedicated to keeping Eminem relevant. In their defense, they’re truly the loyal type of fan that any rapper would want.
- Eminem goes his own way
He still matters because he is his own entity. While hip hop is a genre that is immersed with carbon copies, Marshall Mathers, is the epitome of the adage “way out in left field”.
He has made a career out of doing the complete opposite of everybody else. When “My Name Is” hit the airwaves it was almost like Em came from a different planet to invade what we currently knew as hip hop.
Technically, you would be executing a valid argument by citing his predecessors as having an amazing influence on his rhyming style, punchline content, wordplay, and drama-oriented lyrics.
He is not a lyrical innovator as some would like to make him out to be, but Eminem used the various tools to build a different house as Chino XL was once quoted to say in respect to Eminem being like him.
The major difference being Eminem had mainstream success by using the same formula and getting a different result.
- Eminem doesn’t even need to make great music
Crack A Bottle, which is rumored to be on his next album Relapse broke the digital record for the most downloads (418,000), in a week, surpassing the fantastically better Live Your Life from T.I. featuring Rihanna (335,000).
The track jumped from No.77 to No.1 on the billboard top singles chart in a week!
I haven’t seen one honest review with the audacity to claim the song was above average. In all fairness, Em had the help of Dr.Dre and 50 Cent to help boost sales.
Ridiculous songs are also what helped launch his career.
- Eminem is Eminem
His personality has been one of the biggest contributing factors in him maintaining his stardom. His humor and wit evident throughout his lyrics makes us want to see what he is going to do next. Better known as the “shock factor”, a recipe for immediate attention, it will only take Em a split second to make headlines.
- Eminem is Relapsing
I don’t care who you are. Everybody knows that the “old eminem” was better than the new. Why the hell do you think, Slim Shady is relapsing?
Eminem still matters and he will for a long time. The only question I have is “how much will he matter”? I’m going to assume, he’ll sell over 4 million. How about you?