Monday, April 15, 2013


I backed into Marshall Mathers, sort of like I have back-doored into most of the great blogs I found on blogger in the very beginning.  I used to think it was sheer luck that I found these excellent reads.  Then I decided that The Universe decided to look upon me favorably.  Then I decided that eventually every bird finds a worm.  So, there you go.  Let's circle back specifically to Marshall Mathers, shall we?

One of my new blog friends posted Marshall Mather's (aka Eminem) newest video, at that time, off of his Recovery album on HER blog.  The song was called Not Afraid.  I sat and looked at that YouTube footage- in horror- for probably two minutes.  I post a lot of YouTube footage, and really want people to take the time to actually WATCH it.  Ergo, I try to give others the same courtesy.  But rap, seriously?  I hate rap.  My hand hovered anxiously on my mouse.  I did not want to take this plunge.  Before I could go back, I clicked.

And I was astounded.  Amazed.  Mesmerized.  I watched it three times.  On her blog.  I dare you to watch it (only once)...

Then, I went to YouTube.  And that was when the confusion began.  There were videos like Not Afraid, but there were also these really angry songs that I didn't like at all.  Watching the video Superman made my stomach turn.  How was this the same guy?  And there were more of the same and worse.  So the quest began.  Who was Marshall Mathers?

I threw a Shout Out on my blog asking for help in explaining this mystery.  I got some excellent feedback from some amazing Blog Buddies (you know who you are) detailing that Marshall Mathers has *personas* that he raps as in each song.  Eminem, Slim Shady, and Marshall Mathers are all distinct characters in The Eminem Show.  They each have their own unique voice.  The fact that I hate the Slim Shady voice is just my own opinion.  Other people have reached out and embraced that hate speech, making Slim Shady very popular.  That is more a reflection on Public Opinion than anything else, folks.  Just sayin'.  (Yep, I am saying that the masses are a hateful bunch.  My opinion.)

Eminem's voice is still "street" but not so hard.  From The Man himself in his autobiography, he says that his song Lose Yourself, from the 8 Mile Soundtrack, is a good example of the Eminem voice.  When he raps as Marshall Mathers, he is actually himself.  He says that the song Mockingbird is one of those.  There are not that many songs coming from the Marshall voice, because he doesn't think people actually want to hear what Marshall has to say (according to him in his book).  I think he couldn't be more wrong about that.  Marshall is the only REAL person in the room, and everyone is very curious to know what Marshall has to say.  Again, that is just me. 

I think that there was a lot more Marshall in the Recovery album than in any of his previous work.  That is scary stuff.  When you are hiding behind a persona and everyone loves it, it is scary stuff to suddenly expose yourself.  And he went full throttle.  He told everyone about his addiction problem, his inability to cope with his best friend's murder, and the fact that he was an abusive husband to his former spouse.  In fact, I have never seen anyone be so honest about what abuse looks like in a relationship.  It often goes both ways.  The fact that one person is stronger than the other does not make the person being abused get out, stop it, or even curb things.  Please understand me... Not saying that they deserve anything that happens to them, but it is like an avalanche that everyone sees happening, except the two people at the bottom of the hill, about to be buried by it.  In their own ways, at different times, they are both certain they have got it under control.

Marshall Mathers taught me that I can respect someone for their honesty, without liking every minute thing about them.  The things that I don't like in him, he doesn't like in himself.  But he isn't lying anymore about them.  He isn't glossing them over.  I can respect that.   And I have to believe that when you know better, you do better.  That is what life lessons are all about.

As Marshall says, "I can't tell you what it really is, I can only tell you what it feels like."

Marshall Mathers: IDK yet.  He's been a Passion.  I thought he might be a Phase.  I certainly have learned some Life Lessons.

Had you seen either video before today?  Did it change the way you saw Eminem or Marshall Mathers?  Did I LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE feel like a sucker punch in the gut when you saw it?  Are there people whom you respect without liking every single part of them?  Are you able to accept people with their flaws and all?  If this was your first exposure and you are now intrigued, I recommend Lose Yourself, Beautiful, and Airplanes Part 2 as your next stops on the Eminem Tour.


  1. While I've never been a fan, I can say that the stuff I've heard from Mathers has always been thought provoking. Definite talent, for sure.

  2. It's hard for me to comment since I really don't know Marshall or any of his alter egos, but I can certainly accept how hard it must me to step out form behind a mask. Especially when the mask is well liked.

  3. I'm not really a fan of Eminem. :/ I think it was good that he came out and talked openly about his addiction and about his abuse on his wife. Sometimes they keep all that stuff hidden. Def enjoyed reading your posts and watching the videos you shared!

  4. Recognised Marshall Mathers was Eminem but didn't realise he used these different personas. Thanks for the enlightenment!
    Happy A to Z-ing!
    Jemima at Jemima's blog

  5. Respect someone's honesty even if you don't like things about them. That is really profound. And when he's put on a show for so long, it must've been a huge step to reveal the real him.
    Listened to fifteen seconds of the video. Sorry, I just can't handle any kind of rap.

  6. Interesting post. It took me a bit of reading on the post to realize who you were even talking about. lol. Shows how much I pay attention. I do listen to his music on occasion. He has some great songs. I even have "Not Afraid" on my playlist for my Rogues of Revolution series I'm working on writing. Even if I'm not big on rap there are some that I end up liking and he's actually one of them I have found music I enjoy.

  7. Mark ~ He always "keeps it real." That is for sure.

    LD ~ That would be very scary. What if they don't like me now??? Fame is not always a kind mistress. In fact, she can be brutal.

    Gossip Girl ~ He kept it hidden for a long time. That is what makes the telling the truth so BIG. Especially for a Rap guy. They have this big Image Thing. He shattered that.

    Jemima ~ I had no idea, either, before I did all of my research a couple of years ago.

    Alex ~ That was one of the Life Lessons I got from Marshall. I am sure that was a HUGE step. It's okay. You gave it a whirl...

    Dawn ~ Hahahaha. I think "Not Afraid" is very inspiring. I can totally see it on a Rogues of Revolution Playlist.

  8. I watched the first video. I liked the part where he broke through. Still not a huge fan of his overall style, though.

  9. I can't say I'm a fan, but I do like some of his stuff, especially Lose Yourself. The guy had a tough upbringing, and I do respect what he's been able to accomplish.

  10. Just watched the videos for first time. It didn't change the way I viewed him. I like some of his stuff and some I don't. I see him as a guy with good side and bad side, just like everyone else.

  11. Carol ~ I like the part where he breaks through, too. The overall message in "Not Afraid" is very inspiring, I think. Rap will never be my favorite genre, either, so I hear ya.

    Tim ~ Lose Yourself is a great song. I think it is very motivating and is very personal Marshall and to how he grew up. I think anyone who had it rough and still fought for their dream despite terrible odds is Inspiring. Again... I do not respect all of his choices in his personal life. He doesn't respect all his choices in his personal life. We are in agreement on that.

    JKeith ~ We all have good points and bad points. Not all of us are as honest about our bad points as Marshall. That is what I respect about him. Everyone can hype their good qualities.

  12. I've been a fan of Marshal Mathers since he came on the scene. I've had numerous conversations with people who don't like rap music and who wrote him off as a novelty. Especially for writers, I would tell them, just listen to the lyrics. Listen to the words. He is a brilliant writer.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree. He is a brilliant writer. If you read some of my earlier posts when I went on and on and on about Marshall Mathers. I said repeatedly that he was an amazing writer and it really bugged me that I thought he wrote better than I did and I spent 4 years in college to get an English degree. However, if you got it, you got it. You have to give the guy his due.

  13. Absolutely. My "fascination" with Marshall (and Marshall only) is solely because of you, my dear friend. I can't really call it anything else, because although I have a love that borders on adoration of nearly every other genre of music, I am not a "fan" of rap or any other rap artists. When you first posted Not Afraid, I think I listened to it at least 5 times consecutively and immediately added it to just about every online playlist I have. (and I have several. lol) Mesmerized is the perfect word. I'd never given him a second thought over the years, but thanks to your posts about Marshall ~ the man, I "got it" and I respect it. Perfect post, Rob. But... I knew that it would be. XOXO M.

    1. Thank you, Miss Mary. He made a reference in a song that he did with another rapper that he wished he never made Recovery. I think that in the Rap Community he may have experienced some backlash over being that honest about his life. You really are supposed to be All Machismo, not all Honesty. In his world, other rappers don't like the Marshall Mathers voice. However, he is just flat out gifted at writing and the fans love it. That record sold like crazy. I think it was a very healthy thing to do. I suppose when doing the unhealty thing feels natural, doing some healthy would feel Wrong.

  14. When I saw this title I actually said out loud: Why am I not surprised???

    Girl, your love for Marshall is so honest and divine. And I know it's because he is so honest, honest to the point of raw. And I so love you for that.

    Seriously, you make people like me know that coming out from behind the curtain is OK after all. And for those of us who spent way too long making sure that the show was still going on and that everybody was still smiling, that is golden my friend.

    1. Only someone who has read ALL of my Marshall Musings over the years would have that reaction. Hahahaha.

      That is the thing that I love most about him. If he were still putting on a show and playing Slim Shady, I wouldn't care for him at all.

      If I did that for you, by doing that for him, than that is golden. You are a beautiful person, Miss Jasmine. Everyone should be so lucky to see that light that you have shine at it's brightest. It would be sad for you to keep it hidden behind a curtain!!!


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