Ha! You all thought I was going to say Jared Leto. Shame on you. Shame. On. You.
I have an eclectic taste in music. There isn’t a genre I can say I flat out HATE; I like songs and artists in pretty much all categories. Sure, there are bands I can’t stand, but I like to think I’m pretty open-minded. I even like that one Miley Cyrus song. I’m not really one for rap, but there is one rapper who I think is freaking awesome: Eminem. I’ve been a doing a little bit of research on Eminem for another blog post that I’m working on (coming #soon), and I have to say, I find his story incredibly inspiring and motivating. He faced a lot of adversity and discouragement, but despite it all he kept pursuing his dreams. He never gave up on himself. I know a lot of people don’t like him for various reasons (language, content, apparent women hate etc etc) but I love a lot of his music. There was a time that I was ashamed to admit this, because when I was a young teen (I’m talking 14 or 15) admitting you liked Eminem was akin to admitting you liked to club baby seals in your spare time. You just didn’t do it. I mean one time the people at church decided to pray for me because I had Cleaning Out My Closet stuck in my head. Yep. (Admittedly my Eminem-love-shame had A LOT to do with the church I was attending at the time, which also had me feeling guilty for reading Harry Potter and doing yoga. Kids, just say no to the Kool-aid, okay??) Even now there are some people who deeply disapprove of my unabashed Eminem love, but unlike my 14 year-old self, I’m not afraid to be myself. And myself happens to think Eminem really IS a Rap God. The man is a lyrical genius. I can’t say I admire him in the same way that I admire (love, adore) certain members of certain other bands (cough)* but he is definitely up there as one of my favourite artists. Case in point: Rap God is a six minute song. The average six minute song contains maybe 200-400 words (based on about 2 minutes of research on A-Z lyrics). Rap God contains 1500. You can’t tell me you aren’t impressed by that.
The thing I like the most about Eminem is the way his lyrics tell a story. When I listen to his music I get a very vivid image in my head about what he is rapping about – a skill that I envy as an author**. Granted, it’s not always a pleasant picture (see ’97 Bonnie and Clyde, which may not be pleasant but it IS funny as hell in a very twisted way), but it takes a lot of talent to be able to tell an entire story in lyrical form. The current state of the music industry is a testament to that.
I also love the way that he just doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks about him or his music. When it comes to his artistic expression, the only opinion that matters is his own. That’s admirable. How often has the fear of other people’s opinions held you back? I know that if I’m not careful, I can easily become bogged down in the fear of other people’s opinions. What will they think, what will they say, what will become of me? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just not care what other people thought? (Within reason, of course. I’m not suggesting that we should all become selfish individuals who only look out for number one.)
So here’s what I propose: let’s take a page out of Eminem’s book and make 2014 the year where we don’t give a damn what other people think about us or our taste in books, music, movies, how we choose to spend our time or anything else. Let’s make it the year where we let our freak flags fly and be who we want to be, whoever that may be. Let’s make it the year where the most important opinion about ourselves is OUR OWN. Let’s make it the year where we all become Rap Gods in our own special way.
TITLE LYRICS: ‘Rap God’ by Eminem. Again! I really love Eminem.
*No-one will ever come close to my love for him. Ever.
**So I decided to start calling myself that. Optimism and all that.