The Greatest Rapper Of All Time Part 1Posted: March 27, 2015
Why Eminem is the best ever:
Marshall Mathers can rap. He can rap better than 97% of rappers that ever rapped. You can dispute that fact if you want to. But the truth is when you look at his words, the way he places them together, the use of double entendres, outlandish metaphors with more than one meaning, the clever flows and insane topics…you can’t deny that he is a genius. Eminem does not make songs for the club, he never tried to uplift anyone’s spirits and when he made love songs they were probably more fueled by hate.
Slim Shady is a battle rapper and one of the few that made the transition to superstardom. He raps fast, he can go slow, he can tell stories, he gives us emotion, his performances are strong, he freestyles live without a hitch, he goes bar for bar with underground starving emcees and then he can make a radio hit that will push an album to diamond status. He is harsh with his truths, he can berate his mother on record and years later apologize. Em has murdered his child’s mother on songs and professed his love for his family in the same breath. Marshall gives his all on his recordings; pieces of his core are poured out habitually on every LP even when he’s a jester. His albums have become confessionals and open windows to his tortured soul. Shady has been unafraid to push the boundaries in his videos and his punchlines.
Even when he admittedly backslid into the world of narcotics and used stupid voices too much, he found a way to form stanzas in a way that is unmatched. Every single cipher he enters he demolishes and every song he features on, he illuminates. No big jewelry, no name brand references, no shortage of different methods of attacking tracks. His sales are indicative of his reach and his fans. And the biggest factor that might place his stamp permanently on the top of Mount Rushmore is his consistency along with longevity. If you listen to “Rap God” it’s obvious that Em hasn’t lost a step. He signed a group full of rappers’ rappers and outraps them. You can disagree but,
“in my head there’s something I can feel tugging and struggling
Angels fight with devils, here’s what they want from me
They asking me to eliminate some of the women hate
But if you take into consideration the bitter hatred that I had
Then you may be a little patient and more sympathetic to the situation
And understand the discrimination
But fuck it, life’s handing you lemons, make lemonade then
But if I can’t batter the women how the fuck am I supposed to bake them a cake then?
Don’t mistake it for Satan
It’s a fatal mistake if you think I need to be overseas
And take a vacation to trip a broad
And make her fall on her face and don’t be a retard
Be a king? Think not, why be a king when you can be a God?”
Why Eminem is overrated:
Being a great emcee is not easy. But when your focus is wordplay, and style trumps substance, your greatness can have a ceiling. Em’s albums have some depth. He tackled domestic violence, suicide, alcoholism, and even addressed some world issues. But his view is limited. He may describe himself as trailer trash but we have to be honest, Slim Shady is a Caucasian male in America.
His pop crossover singles making fun of Michael Jackson and attacking Brittney Spears and N’ Sync would not have been accepted by anyone of another color. His leaked tape using the N-word was swept under the rug, he can be described as a culture vulture using the race card to take hip-hop to places an artist of color could not. Eminem is great at what he does but how much of his whiteness is a factor?
How can we crown him the best even though he looks nothing like the pioneers that began this genre? How can he embody all that hip-hop stands for? He can’t. He can simply study words, and learn how to put them together in the slickest way possible. Let’s say we don’t address ethnicity and focus on content. How many of us look to Eminem for lyrics beyond the wow factor? When we want to hear weird songs and clever lines we listen to Em. But will he enlighten us with positivity? Will he run out of shock value rap phrases and namedrops? Is Eminem just a circus act with talent that has been around brown people and poverty enough that he has adopted the lifestyle and flow? That may be a possibility. Mr. Mathers had a negative obsession with homosexuality that became an annoying recurring theme on his projects.
Yes his mind is on steroids, he can battle anyone, and he is guaranteed to give you a punchline to make you cringe or bend your mind. But for many listeners, Em is a novelty act that can’t be taken seriously. Sure you may say he killed Jay on “Renegade” but Hov was rapping about life on the streets and making it out alive, Shady was speaking on his critics and parents blaming him for corrupting society. Jay is relatable, Em is debatable. Marshall is allowed to be in your top 5 but he can’t be number one of all time.