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Eminem Kicks Assonance


I'm sorry about the title. I tried to resist. I failed.

Eminem's Relapse is ready to release on May 19th.

His first single, We Made You, has already made the rounds and you've already seen the video. Though the track, as expected, displayed his unparalleled verbal skills, I was kinda bummed out because who really cares about Slapsticky Goofy Eminem? I suppose it's probably necessary to take a breather and be silly here and there if you're the one who's Eminem. You probably need to make fun of celebrities and bust some silly rhymes from time to time so as to not slit your wrists. But as ee cummings once said about "everyone else", we are not Eminem. I don't care what Eminem needs to live with himself. That's what drug addictions are for. I want Crazy Eminem Who Doesn't Give A Fuck.

Because, yeah, Eminem scoped out whole new realms of assonance (he kicks assonance). He does shit with words that, if you care about language even a little bit, make you pause your iPod and say "Wait. Did he really just do that?". I don't think there's an argument against his fundamental brilliance. If I hear someone sassing Eminem, it's usually because they don't like rap or white rappers or crazy people.

But here's the thing. Sick rhymes need sick content. Marshall loses ground when he's being silly. I want Crazy Eminem Who Doesn't Give A Fuck. And then over the weekend I heard this. Go check it out and get ready to nod your head like you just got stoned because Dre brought some plants to the studio.

Then let's review 3 AM after the jump.

Let's just start with this, shall we?

"Here I sit while I'm caught up in deep thought again / Contemplating my next plot again / Swallowin' the Klonopin / While I'm noddin' in and out on the ottoman / At the Ramada Inn / Holdin' on to the pill bottle then / Lick my finger and swirl it round the bottom and make sure I got all of it / Wake up naked at McDonalds with / Blood all over me dead bodies behind the counter - shit / Guess I musta just blacked out again / Not again" [Enjambment mine]

Okay THIS is what I meant when I unveiled the new rap aesthetic: Sick rhymes need sick content. How many ways can you variate the "in" sound? And then the "-in" sound shifts to "-it" and flows into "-th" - then back into "-it" and ends in "-in" (again). It doesn't matter that these words don't truly rhyme because his vocal emphasis isn't on the "-in"; of course it works for him when he's rhyming words that end with "-in" but it's the "i" that fuels the whole thing. It's as if Mr. Mathers only hears the language through a microphone that amplifies vowels. When your emphasis is on rhyming vowels, potential is cracked wide open. All words move through vowels. So your options open up exponentially. In a sick way.

Don't get me wrong. Assonance has been around. But not like this.

This is truly language deranged and it's only made better and driven home harder when expressed with deranged language. So Eminem is zoning out on pills at a hotel. He even sops up the last bit of powdery goodness with a wet finger swirled around the bottom of the pill bottle. Then he blacks out and WAKES UP NAKED AT MCDONALDS SURROUNDED BY DEAD PEOPLE!

This makes me incredibly happy. Now this - this is a relapse worthy of the word. Welcome back, Eminem.

Then there's this:

"Scoping every channel until I find Hannah Montana / Then I reach for the Aloe & Lanolin / Bust all over the wall panelin' / Dismantlin' / Every candle on top of the fireplace mantlin' / Grab my flannel & / My bandana then / Kiss the naked mannequin man again / You can see him standin' in my front window if you look in / I'm just a hooligan / Who's used to usin' / Hallucinogens / Causin' illusions again / Brain contusions again / Cutting and bruising the skin / Razors, scissors, and pins / Jaysus when does it end? / Phases that I go through / Days that I'm so confused / Days that I don't know who / Gave these molecules to / Me what am I gonna do? / Hey, the prodigal son / The diabolical one / Very methodical one / I slaughter them" [Enjambment mine]

And the song's only half over.

The Hannah Montana bit will garner much attention. Questioned, picked, and probed. Misogyny this. Pedophilia that. And beyond, way beyond, the soundness of the soundest arguments against him is Eminem not giving a fuck. That's what his critics misunderstand. There is something inside some people that want to be wrong. They want to take wrong as far as wrong can go, if only to test the limits of the fuck they refuse to give.

Teenagers get masturbated to. Life goes on without apology.

And beyond, way beyond, the soundness of the soundest arguments against them, we need people like Marshall Mathers. They serve a cultural function and they provide it for all of us, even their critics. They preserve the right to defy and resist. They keep those rights sheltered and safe for when the rest of us find the courage to be what we are, whoever we are, crazy, hysterical, out of bounds, wild, and delightfully not giving a fuck.

Welcome back, Eminem. Here's to relapses.

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I love, love, love you, Black Hockey Jesus! Well played.


This made me flashback to my music theory classes in college, but only if music history classes were cool and not about breaking down the structure of classical music and making matrices for atonal music. Eminem is a genius - take to the grave and smoke it Bach


He's like Bill Hicks in that the function of envelope-pushing is more important than the form. The form is whatever will make the most people angry. Duh! Awesome.


It's just a fact, there's very few rappers who can touch his flow, and there's very few artists of any sort willing to go where he goes.


Love the new 3am song & the one that just got released. We made you is funny & I agree with what you are saying. Em has a history though of releasing a goofy single in the beginning. I know my hubs was disappointed, but when I reminded him of all the others, he started to like this song more, lol.

I'm thrilled to find a "mom" sight recognize his genius with words!

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