Is Slim Shady Better Than Eminem Why

ALBUM REVIEW: Eminem: Sore with anger against Trump

ALBUM REVIEW: Eminem: Sore with anger against Trump

Eminem reacts to Donald Trump on his new album "Revival" and sometimes loses the thread.

You don't need a lot of imagination to imagine the following situation: Middle-aged, bearded Eminem aka Slim Shady aka Marshall Mathers sits in his mansion in a wealthy suburb of Detroit and waits. That his supposed archenemy finally reports. Preferably on Twitter. Otherwise he always does. When Snoop Dogg pointed his pistol at a doppelganger in a video recently, he immediately wrote "Lock up!" But Donald Trump keeps his sausage fingers still. No comment on Eminem's attacks against him, against daughter Ivanka (suddenly in Eminem's trunk in the play "Framed"), against wife Melania (you can't write).

Because it is like this: Donald Trump likes this guy. He may even see Mathers as a kind of like-minded brother. In 2004 Trump made a brief appearance in an MTV feature called "The Slim Shady Convention," in which he said of Eminem's alter ego: "Slim Shady is a winner. He's got brains, he's got balls, and he's got the voice of Donald Trump. "

The staged angry citizen

Marshall Mathers has been trying hard for months to shake off the stigma of the Trump favorite. Certain parallels between the two can certainly be drawn. Eminem, the most successful rapper of all time with around 175 million albums sold, based his career in the late nineties on hateful, violence-glorifying, misogynistic and gay-hostile tirades such as the stalker hymn "Stan", with which he - whether satirical or not - Above all, gave a voice to white, heterosexual, mostly young men who felt they had been neglected. Eminem posed as an angry citizen long before the word was invented. To this day, his fans are predominantly white and, especially in the USA, they can be found disproportionately in rural areas. In other words: Trump and Mathers' target groups overlap quite a bit.

But that should now be the end of it. In October, Eminem released the (previously rehearsed) a cappella freestyle video "The Storm", so to speak as the start of the "Revival" campaign. For four and a half minutes he verbally kicks Trump in the bin, scourges the neo-Nazi riots in Charlottesville, the planned construction of the wall and shows solidarity with the football professionals who kneel instead of kneeling at the national anthem as an anti-racist statement. In the end, he raps that his fans have to decide whose side they are on. The middle finger to the Trump supporters in his audience may cost him a few records sold, but it earned Eminem a lot of respect.

The intention is good

In this style it continues on "Revival". Eminem raps himself downright sore against Trump, which sometimes seems a bit redundant and tiresome. "Untouchable" is a six-minute treatise on the embarrassing and unfair privileges of the white man from Mathers ’point of view, only the instructive, less rhythmic number fits better in a tenth grade political class than on your own headphones.

It's almost pattern on this sprawling album, mainly produced by Rick Rubin and Alex da Kid: The intention is good, the implementation often lags behind. For example, "Like Home", a duet with Alicia Keys, could have become more, perhaps a "New York State Of Mind" for the whole of the USA. In addition to the obligatory Trump-Hitler comparison, it is about patriotism, Eminem still loves his country, the US flag is depicted on the album cover. But the song just doesn't really want to ignite. It was similar with "Walk On Water", the first pre-release single. Eminem raps about his self-doubts and the (not completely unjustified) fear of not having it anymore, Beyoncé sings a melodramatically inflated chorus, somehow that doesn't fit together.

That Eminem puts himself under great pressure and at a time when younger rappers like Kendrick Lamar or Drake Charts are shaping the hip-hop discourse (Eminem's last real hit was the Rihanna duet "Love The Way You Lie" from the "Recovery" album) 2010), trying to remain commercially relevant, artistically harms "Revival". In addition to Keys and Beyoncé, Skylar Gray and the pop rock band X Ambassadors appear, Pink dominates the power ballad "Need Me", and Ed Sheeran, the biggest pop star of the year, sings, even whispers, the chorus for "River". That sounds nice, but is Eminem trying to sound nice now? Apparently yes. "I wanted to make an album that had something for everyone," he said in an interview with his friend Elton John (so much for the homophobia allegation). The fact that Eminem samples both "Zombie" from the Cranberries ("In Your Head") and Joan Jett's "I Love Rock’n’Roll" (“Remind Me”) ensures relaxation and variety.

Far from previous brilliance

The first Eminem album in four years has worked out its strongest moments when it neither grapples with Donald Trump nor relies on pop star support: In the gripping "Believe" reminiscent of "Cleanin 'Out My Closet" you want to ask Eminem's question " Do you still believe in me? " (Do you still believe in me?) Affirmative. In the final two, feature-free pieces, "Castle" and "Arose", Marshall Mathers first addresses the letters he wrote to his now 22-year-old daughter Hailie during his drug and methadone addiction (he has been clean since 2008) before he too Bette Midler's "The Rose" talks about the overdose that put him on the edge of death's bed. At the very end you can hear the toilet flush. Eminem gets rid of the last of his pills here. And not his album. Because "Revival" is far from previous brilliance and sharpness. But the album is not a disaster. But the sometimes more, sometimes less successful attempt of a 45-year-old world star to see where he stays in times like these.