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Eminem turns 30

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Marshall Bruce Mathers III alias “Slim Shady” alias “Eminem” was hatched 10-17-1972, making him 30 years old today.

I have to say that even as a hardcore libertarian, I’m not real thrilled to hear my pre-teen nieces and nephews singing Eminem songs. It’s one thing for a jaded old uncle to listen to “Kill You” 20 times in a row, and quite another thing for a much more impressionable eight year old. Still, we can’t limit our expression to what is appropriate to children.

Yeah, Mr. Mathers has issues. He has asked for most of the flak he’s gotten. Carrying on about killing faggots just might earn you a spot of criticism.

Still, he’s a sincere artist of considerable skill and vision. His best songs have strong hooks and something resembling melodic development. He expresses genuine and complex emotions. In short, he’s real- and there’s far too little realness in music today.

Nonetheless, he needs to be thinking about getting some new material. A 30 year old man still bitching about Mommy ain’t cutting it. Sounds faggy, frankly. As OK Go puts it in the jam of the year, “Get Over It.”

Plus, autobiography as the basis of your art in general becomes very limiting and repetitive very fast. If any y’all gets to talk to him, direct him to Walter Rimler’s book on songwriters whose work has stood the test of time, Not Fade Away. It’d do him a world of good.

Indeed, he needs to do some reading just in general. His trailer trash world view needs to be expanded. Britney Spears and NSync are unworthy topics for his ire. He needs to hunt some bigger game.

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  • Eric Olsen

    Nice Al, puts his whole deal in some perspective. Remember, though, 30 isn’twhat it used to be.

  • Al – I feel torn when it comes to the topic of Eminem. I have a 10-year old son who loves his music, as do all his bestest pals. While he’s not particularly appropriate for the youngsters, I absolutely love his music.

    It’s bitter and mean-spirited and angry and for the most part irrational. But like you said, it’s real and you can feel it. He’s got talent.

    I think he’s capable of establishing a long and worthy career if he’ll just take heed. Your advice needs to be expressed to him post haste. I mean fighting with a puppet at the VMA awards? Dude it’s time to chill out and re-group!

  • jessefox

    True ’nuff. Two caveats: he seems to be aware of his need to move on from the whole mom-Kim-bitches’n’fags axis-of-evil stuff. He mentions turning 30 a couple of times on The Eminem Show. And he has started to go after bigger game — witness the haphazard shots at Bush and Cheney (and their wives). He doesn’t have much of a worldview yet, but he may develop one. I think “White America” is the best political song of the year; can you think of any other artists who have basically accused their own audience of racism? (“Let’s do the math / If I was black, I would’ve sold half”)

  • laub

    i would just like to say to all the parents of kids who hate eminem the stuff your kid is listening to they already know all will find out in a week eminem can be free to speak his mind so should all of us if you dont like his music press a button called OFF just coz he says something dont meen your kid is going to do it if you ask me with the recent wars going on i think that may cause a little more of what you call hate into the world dont you

  • kate

    i fink eminem is a great rapper he did mention turning 30 at the eminem show but no matter wot any1 says i fink hell be rapping till about 42 hes so good and gorgeos

  • That’s my birthday, too – but a couple of years later