{01/11/2012}   Addressing my Eminem thing

I have quite a few Eminem albums, I always have Eminem tracks on my mobile and mp3, he is often played in my car and I used to have a crush on him.  Yet he and I are from totally different worlds, I dislike rap, his lyrics are controversial and often unpleasant, his are probably the only “Parental Advisory” tracks I regularly listen to and, in part because I am not remotely street in image or mindset, I would feel a touch out of place at an Eminem gig (“gig” seems wrong and oddly posh in this context?!).

I have often wonder where my Eminem thing has come from, particularly as I could have put it down to a phases had it ended at the Slim Shady days, yet it is ongoing.  However, I should say that probably only half of each album is listenable-to, the rest I will only play if an album is playing, so I wouldn’t choose to listen to the more hardcore rap expletive numbers.  “Numbers”, really, I sound so un-Eminem, though at least I didn’t say “songs” or “tunes”, I expect that would mark me out as even less likely to be an Eminem fan.

As for 8 Mile, I loved that film.  That came out at the peak of my Eminem-loving days, at a time when for about three years a good friend got me an Eminem calendar every year.  I wouldn’t quite say I swooned over it but I did find it pleasing on the eye.  I’ve always had a thing about men with shaved heads and tattoos, though I’ve never really known where that came from either.  I digress, I was about to wax lyrical about 8 Mile.  I really think it’s a great film – it’s ten years old, believe it or not – and the rap battle is just ludicrously exciting.  I guess in part I like films that give me insights into lives which I have absolutely no knowledge or experience of, I guess that’s like part of the fascination of travel, discovery.  So what I’m saying is it might be that it’s a film I can appreciate for its gritty reality and for introducing me to a lifestyle that confounds me.  But it is also because I think Eminem is such an interesting person, maybe in part for his upbringing and life and how different, thus fascinating, it is from mine.  I just don’t know.

As for listening to tracks, I played Eminem through my headphones while on a train a few weeks ago to drown out the pippy, pingy, squeaky, repetitive awfulness of a child’s toy.  I appreciated the contrast.  I also quite like it makes me want to head bang vigorously, it’s escapism I guess.  I like listening it in the car, in part because I have a BMW and it makes me feel a bit gangsta’ (yeah, right!) and I like respect on the streets of Peckham when I’m staying there (though I’m not sure Eminem is the rapper of choice).  I also love (sort of) doing Eminem at karaoke.  I’m rubbish and I certainly don’t claim to be able to rap, but it’s fun and it makes you realise what a skill it is to be able to speak/rap/sing that fast and manage to enunciate each word.  I also love the fact it makes me look like a total idiot as I get possessed by the need to do rap moves.  It’s not pretty and I embarrass myself thoroughly but, seriously, such a high and such a buzz.  And maybe that’s what I like about Eminem, it’s kind of in your face shouty ranting and I am, after all, all for sharing rants and moans and hardships.  I knew I’d get a conclusion by the end of this post.  So instead of writing a daily blog, perhaps I should write a daily rap. Oh, I love that thought!  I may just do it.


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