America’s Greatest Living Poet

I’ve mentioned Eminem before but the passion in his poetry cuts me.

This is what poetry should be about.

If you don’t know who Eminem is or haven’t heard any of his performances, then watch. I’ve read that he’s suffering from a morbid fear of death and that’s a pity. I’ve seen behind that veil. There’s nothing to be afraid of.

2 responses

  1. Rhianna’s vocal is lovely, but this video & Em’s rap is derivative(The Burning Bed), exploitative, & cliched. ” At his best, he has always made a fascinating scramble of his internal turmoil, but the guy rapping on Recovery just sounds devoid of any noticeable joy, personality, or wit.
    … Em almost passes out showing us he’s still got it, rapping in double and triple time, piling tricky syncopations on top of each other, constructing whole verses with end rhymes buried in the middle of phrases– basically any kind of pyrotechnical trick he can think of to wow the kind of rap listeners who venerate technical skill above all else. And yet for all the rattling-around-inside-the-beat syllable pileups here, there is almost nothing worth quoting. He reels off an astonishing amount of cringe-worthy lines, on the order of, “Girl, shake that ass like a donkey with Parkinson’s.” On the menopausal, Diane Warren-esque uplift anthem “Not Afraid”, he actually strings together the excruciating lines, “Okay, stop playin’ with the scissors and shit, and cut the crap/ I shouldn’t have to rhyme these words in a rhythm for you to know it’s a wrap.” Eminem spends nearly half of Recovery insisting he’s the best rapper alive, but for the first time in his career, he actually sounds clumsy.” Jayson Greene in Pitchfork review


    • Pitchfork. Thanks. I hadn’t read that review.

      That said, I hear the criticism but that’s not what I walk away with.

      And when quoting reviews it bears mentioning that, in balance, the positive reviews outweigh the negatives (for all that’s worth).

      I also don’t think Rhianna would have agreed to perform (given her history) if she thought the rap was exploitative (though that doesn’t mean her’s is the final word). It’s got to be an individual response when the song is this new. I love the way you lie reminded me of Frost’s “Home Burial” – though it’s completely different in all the obvious ways. You’re not alone in your opinion and I’m not alone in mine. I’ll be interested to see how the song and album ages.

      My main point, though, is to compare this with the flat, passionless, flavorless, insipid verse that’s modern ‘published’ poetry.

      Poetry without some kind of rhythm and rhyme, without some kind of linguistic play, is (to me) dead on the page.


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