It has been a long 13 years since hiphop artist EMINEM burst onto the music scene and the charts with his first studio record, “The Slim Shady LP”. An ecclectic and shocking album, 5 more equally shocking albums would follow, and be placed at number 1 on the American Billboard Charts for years to come.
It wasn’t until 2006 or so, that Eminem (aka Marshall Mathers) announced he would be retiring, and also seeking help for personal problems and rehablitation. As a fan, and someone who never knew hiphop until I first heard Eminem when I was 13 years old, I was devastated. This is an artist that came out–angry, loud, and full of energy and rhythm I had never heard–someone who exposed me to a kind of pain I was feeling–from the most unexpected source– the land of hip hop, and he was finished? Done? Over?
Flash forward to June 2010, and Eminem is back with a vengence with his latest album “Recovery”. What a great, heartbreaking record. Scattered with famous samples from old tunes, to rock to rap, to everything in between, the album is a personal diary . . . of an artist’s struggle with his career, the spotlight, drug abuse, and domestic abuse. He has since left behind what made him famous– his constant dissing, and dropping of derogatory terms in a joking context, to something true, honest, and painfully detailed. Never, in my opinion has an artist been able to bounce back, survive, and ultimately be so frank with his audience, maybe a true rock star. This is why I admire Eminem, Marshall Mathers, whatever the name, this person. The musical genius indeed. His has stepped up to the table, lived through his war and decided to let the world know his personal story. That is a real rock star.
Check out the video for his first single “Not Afraid”