Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Closet Rap Fan

This is getting to be less and less of a secret, but I'm ready to openly admit it:

I'm a closet rap fan.

Well, that's not entirely true.  More accurately, I am a closet Eminem fan.  One devout enough to have chosen this blog's title as an homage to one of my favorite tracks, "Cleanin' Out My Closet."

And one devout enough who, when at the late night insistence of Amy and Janene and hyped up on Zumba, will choose one of her favorites ("White America"), look it up on YouTube and rap along.

...So many lives I
Touch, so much anger aimed, in no particular direction, just sprays and sprays, and straight
Through your radio waves it plays and plays, 'till it stays stuck in your head for days and
Days, who would of thought, standing in this mirror bleachin' my hair, with some peroxide,
Reaching for a t-shirt to wear, that I would catapult to the forefront of rap like this, how
Could I predict my words would have an impact like this, I must've struck a chord, with somebody
Up in the office, cause congress keeps telling me I ain't causin' nuthin' but problems, and now
They're sayin' I'm in trouble with the government, I'm lovin' it...

Whenever I start explaining the virtues of Eminem (in spite of the language, which is why I usually try to listen edited), the words start tumbling out of my mouth faster than I can organize them - a pretty classic tell of Andrea's geek-dom.

First, in my opinion, Eminem is the best poet and lyricist to have graced this good earth.  His vocabulary (which really does include more than just expletives) and unparalleled musicality combine to string words together in sequences at which I can only marvel.

Then there's the sheer speed. I talk all sorts of fast, but my speed can't even hold a candle to Eminem's seemingly effortless cadence.  Yet, I can understand pretty much every word.  That diction!

Generally at this point in the diatribe, I move on to Eminem's subject matter.  Sure, he's got some disrespectful-to-women tracks characteristic of his genre, but the majority of the time, he's more of a political columnist.  He has a lot of interesting opinions to share which, whether I agree or disagree, I can't help but enjoy listening to.  When he's not talking politics or the state-of-the-union, he's sharing the details of his personal life.  Just putting it all out there in what seems to me to be the way he prefers to work out his issues.  It just happens to make him money.

Kirk and I recently stopped mid-conversation as we realized a new Eminem song was on the radio.  I listened carefully (and admittedly quickly Googled the lyrics to follow along because I didn't want to miss anything!) In this recent track, he referred to a song he'd written earlier in his career, "Cleaning Out My Closet," in which he expressed some pretty negative feelings about his mom.  That song was from 2002.  Now, 12 years later, he has evolved as a human and has more to say about his relationship.

[Verse 1]
I went in headfirst, never thinking about who what I said hurt
In what verse, my mom probably got it the worst, the brunt of it
But as stubborn as we are, did I take it too far, "Cleaning Out My Closet"
And all them other songs, but regardless I don't hate you
Cause ma, you're still beautiful to me, cause you're my mom
[Verse 2]
Cause to this day we remain estranged and I hate it though
Cause you ain't even get to witness your grandbabies grow
But I'm sorry momma for "Cleaning Out My Closet," at the time I was angry
Rightfully, maybe so, never meant that far to take it though
Cause, now I know it's not your fault and I'm not making jokes
That song I'll no longer play at shows and I cringe every time it's on the radio

And although one has only met their grandma, once you pulled up
In our drive one night, as we were leaving to get some hamburgers
Me, her and Nate, we introduced you, hugged you
And as you left I had this overwhelming sadness
Come over me as we pulled off to go our separate paths
And I saw your headlights as I looked back and
I'm mad I didn't get the chance to thank you for being my mom and my dad...
...I'll always love you from afar cause you're my momma

Yeah, I can't be a closet Eminem fan anymore.   I wish I was bold enough to share real moments about hamburgers and regrets and struggle with myself as I try to defend my own pain without hurting others in the process.  I think the man is a genius.

Of course, I can't recommend that you actually listen to the song.  I pasted parts that didn't have any swearing, but there's plenty in the rest of the song.  So instead, I'll post what reminded me of this in the first place:

I have to say that for educational rap, it's not half bad!  (And my 5th graders got me to rap today and then subsequently mocked me.)