Eminem’s Creative Genius


(Images: Photos: Kevin Mazur/Kevin Winter/Aftermath Entertainment/Getty Images via Level)

Jelani Dupon, Writer

In the rap community, there are few names that have more representation than Eminem. His say-whatever-I-want style was almost unheard of when he first started, which propelled him to superstar status seemingly overnight. The other big statement on his rap resume was that he was white, he was the outcast, he was the one who stuck out amongst all the other rap superstars. His start was quick, but it’s apparent that your start doesn’t promise your destination, and we see it all the time with one-hit wonders or one album wonders. He’s highly respected in the industry because he has a sense of creativity like no other rapper. The topics he talks about, but more so his song structure, and the complexity of his unorthodox lyrics and rhyme scheme are what kept him in the rap game for years.

Eminem’s first album, The Slim Shady LP, was a big success because of his new sound and beats by producer Dr. Dre. However, the biggest takeaway he got from this album was his alter-ego, Slim Shady. With the birth of his character, he could now switch between Slim and Eminem in his future albums, which adds a unique aspect to the music he creates. Slim is the more brutal, say what’s on my mind type of sound, while Eminem is the heartfelt, normal one. Having two opposite voices on an album adds something that had never been done before, and has yet to be done since This is due to the simple fact that it’s his trademark, and he played on that concept for most of his career. Slim says really inappropriate and unexpected things that are almost comical to hear, and his say anything I want attitude is what made many fall in love with him. 

While his first album was all about Slim, his second album, The Marshall Mathers LP, was all about Eminem (as the name says). The biggest song on this album was “Stan”, which is about an obsessed fan who tries to call Em over and over again to no avail. The first three verses of the song are from the perspective of Stan, who gets more and more angry and persistent as the song progresses. Eventually going as far as saying “You ruined it now, I hope you can’t sleep and you dream about it. And when you dream I hope you can’t sleep and you dream about it. I hope your conscience eats at you and you can’t breathe without me.” His tapes end in the third verse when he takes his life, as well as his pregnant girlfriend’s’ by driving off of a bridge. Eminem then comes on for the fourth and final verse of the song, in which he expresses he was sorry and he just got Stan’s messages. He called his obsessive fan crazy saying “I saw this one thing on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick, some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge, and had his girlfriend in the trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid. And in the car, they found a tape, but they didn’t say who it was to, come to think about, his name was-it was you.” The word “Stan” in reference to an obsessive fan might sound familiar, and that’s because it is. In 2017, the Oxford Dictionary officially made it a noun to describe an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity, as well as a verb meaning the same.

His career accomplishments shaped him into the musical legend he is today. When someone says “Eminem,” most people think of the artist instead of the worldwide known chocolate m&m–only superstars can do that. He contributed albums to the rap genre as well as taking Grammy nominations from the pile. Eminem is a synonym for complexity, weirdness, and success no matter what you look like or how much you stand out. Eminem put the name Stan in the dictionary for “obsessive fan”, but someone should put his name in with the definition being as short as “Greatness”.