Sunday, October 24

Let me be the voice

by justmy2 @ 10/24/2004 01:38:00 PM

Eminem has never veered away from controversy. I suspect one of his latest songs, "Mosh", which can be heard here, will strike a nerve with some people.

So be it....

I recently heard the first single he released, "Just Lose It", and I found it very disappointing. It came across as a thinly-veiled attempt to please his record company with a radio friendly single. I absolutely forgive him for this watered down song now that I hear what else was going on his mind. I have not heard his new album "Encore", but if Marshall Mathers has moved from some of his more chauvinistic and misogynistic lyrics of his earlier albums in favor of songs with meaning like "Mosh", he deserves a great deal of respect. I am under no false impression. I am sure he will still be outrageous at moments, but it seems as if he is moving in the right direction.

Here are the lyrics to the song. Pay particular attention to the third verse.

' [Intro]

[I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
And to the Republic for which it stands
One nation under God
Indivisible・
people…this is it…It feels so good to be back..]

[Verse1]

Scrutinize every word, memorize every line
I spit it once, refuel, reenergize, and rewind
I give sight to the blind, mind sight through the mind
I ostracize my right to express when I feel it's time
It's just all in your mind, what you interpret it as
I say to fight you take it as I’m gonna whip someone's ass
If you don't understand don't even bother to ask
A father who has grown up with a fatherless past
Who has blown up now to rap phenomenon that has
Or at least shows no difficulty multi task
And juggling both, perhaps mastered his craft slash
Entrepreneur who has held long too few more rap acts
Who has had a few obstacles thrown his way through the last half
Of his career typical manure moving past that
Mister kiss his ass crack, he's a class act
Rubber band man, yea he just snaps back

[Chorus]

Come along, follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark, that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength,
Come with me, and I won't steer you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
Till the light, at the end, of the tunnel, we gonna fight,
We gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march through the swamp
We gonna mosh through the marsh, take us right through the doors..come
on.

[Verse2]

To the people up top, on the side and the middle,
Come together, let's all bomb and swamp just a little
Just let it gradually build, from the front to the back
All you can see is a sea of people, some white and some black
Don't matter what color, all that matters is we gathered together
To celebrate for the same cause, no matter the weather
If it rains let it rain, yea the wetter the better
They ain't gonna stop us, they can't, we're stronger now more then ever,
They tell us no we say yea, they tell us stop we say go,
Rebel with a rebel yell, raise hell we gonna let em know
Stomp, push up, mush, f*** Bush, until they bring our troops home come
on just . . .

[Chorus]

Come along, follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark, that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength,
Come with me, and I won't steer you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
Till the light, at the end, of the tunnel, we gonna fight,
We gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march through the swamp
We gonna mosh through the marsh, take us right through the doors, come
on

[Verse3]

Imagine it pouring, it's raining down on us,
Mosh pits outside the oval office
Someone's trying to tell us something, maybe this is God just saying
we're responsible for this monster, this coward, that we have empowered
This is Bin Laden, look at his head nodding,
How could we allow something like this, Without pumping our fist
Now this is our, final hour
Let me be the voice, and your strength, and your choice
Let me simplify the rhyme, just to amplify the noise
Try to amplify the times it, and multiply it by six
Teen million people are equal of this high pitch
Maybe we can reach Al Qaida through my speech
Let the President answer on high anarchy
Strap him with AK-47, let him go
Fight his own war, let him impress daddy that way
No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our soil
No more psychological warfare to trick us to think that we ain't loyal
If we don't serve our own country we're patronizing a hero
Look in his eyes, it's all lies, the stars and stripes
They've been swiped, washed out and wiped,
And Replaced with his own face, mosh now or die
If I get sniped tonight you'll know why, because I told you to fight

[Chorus]

So come along, follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark, that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength,
Come with me, and I won't steer you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
Till the light, at the end, of the tunnel, we gonna fight,
We gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march through the swamp
We gonna mosh through the marsh, take us right through the doors

[Outro]

[Eminem speaking angrily]
And as we proceed, to mosh through this desert storm, in these closing statements, if they should argue, let us beg to differ, as we set aside our differences, and assemble our own army, to disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president, for the present, and mosh for the future of our next generation, to speak and be heard, Mr. President, Mr. Senator

[End] '


The question is will Eminem's fan base relate to this message. We now have P. Diddy saying "Vote or Die", in a not so subtle endorsement of John Kerry, even though he won't come out and say it. Eminem one ups him by out and out saying kick the President out of office. Eminem speaks to young rural, suburban, and urban youth, but will his message resonate? This song sounds like it is from the heart and there could be consequences from a public relations standpoint. You have to believe large portions of this group are strong supporters of the President, especially in middle America. Will this straight-forward and direct message alienate them, or peel them away from Bush/Cheney 04, if they vote? Will those that are alienated fnas not buy the new album? The fact that he is willing to put the song out at this heated moment says more about the man, Marshall Mathers, than it does about the artist Eminem. Slim Shady has earned the respect of the rap community for his lyrical dexterity, freestyling ability, and powerful storytelling skills with "Stan", "Lose Yourself", and "Cleaning Out My Closet" being some of the more prominent examples. Will this song and related interviews, such as this one in Rolling Stone, earn him more or less respect outside of the hip-hop community?

"He's been painted to be this hero and he's got our troops over there dying for no reason," Eminem said in the interview. "He's in a tailspin, running around like a dog chasing his tail. And we got young people over there dyin', kids in their teens, early '20s that should have futures ahead of them. And for what? It seems like Vietnam 2."

A Michigan resident, the rapper said he worries his 18-year old brother could be drafted if Bush remains president. Bush has said flatly he would not reinstitute the draft if re-elected.

"People think their votes don't count, but people need to get out and vote," Eminem said.


Will the song be played on local radio and MTV, or will stations play it safe and stick with the single "Just Lose It"? I get the feeling that this will be a bigger story than one would initially believe. There are a variety of factors that add up to this becoming the story for the hip-hop generation over the next week. Eminem will be the feature interview in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone as noted above, his new Sirius Satellite Radio station, Shade 45, will begin broadcasting this week, and you have to believe the MTV and BET appearances are right around the corner. Add to that the release of a highly anticipated album and you have the foundation for an album release media blitz that will have an intended or unintended political ramifications like none before. This also opens the opportunity for Slim Shady to say something that has causes a news cycle or two to divert from the Kerry Campaign's message, which may be positive or negative depending on the timing.

Juan Cole, a professor at the University of Michigan, has a good wrap-up of the potential impact of this story here.

Will Eminem be the voice of America's youth for 7 days prior to November 2?

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