Eminem Condemns The State of "Hip-Pop" Music
Don't worry if you haven't. The song is best described as a steadily declining train wreck that starts off with something to say and quickly looses its focus. It's not even that good. Mr. Mathers begins the track with a fairly solid verse that aims to slam the state of "hip-pop" music, but the following verses by Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Stat Quo, and Ca$hi$ progress quickly from "good" to utter garbage. Not that I would expect anything less from 50 Cent; he's horrible.
The thing that's interesting about Eminem's verse though is that he delivers a fairly accurate, yet scary characterization of what your average, middle of the road clubgoer thinks about music. That is, if you can call the type of songs that Eminem is criticizing as music. Perhaps not. Eminem makes the case that kids today don't care about lyrics. They don't care about anything; it's about the beat.
These kids barely know the chorus that repeats the same four words. "Boom, boom, boom, now" – anyone? To them, music represents a social lubricant.
They get drunk to it.
A Different Kind of Music
This isn't a revelation. I'm not presenting this as a new idea. Pop music has always been relatively senseless and the lyrics didn't matter to most people.
What this song makes me think of is something different.
It's sort of a reminder. The music that we're attempting to save – that we care about the most – is different from the type the masses consider to be music.
We're all romantics. To us, music embodies elements that songs on commercial radio often lack. Yes, in many cases, the songs on the radio have been the necessary evil that pays for the music that we love. But, we're not the mass culture. All of us here, we know exactly who sings the songs that we like.
We know every last word to the songs that we truly identify with.
Why we like – make that love – the music has little to do with a catchy beat or a four-word hook. It's the sonic experience and the subtleness of the lyrics. The way that it feels like the singer wrote the words just for us. It's describes us.
What We're All Fighting For
Sometimes, just a few phrases make the whole song. But that song is ours. It matters to us. It says things about us that we couldn't say about our past and ourselves. Music matters. And not the fake stuff. The real thing. The real artist that poured their soul and heart into a verse. This separates the music that we love from the songs that Eminem condemns. Hip-pop is different from our music.
It's important to remember what kind of music we're fighting for.