As a character in his own music, Eminem is a creative genius who hears voices. One of the voices Eminem hears most often is the voice of his daughter, Hailie Jade. The 2009 song “Deja Vu” is an example.
“‘Mommy, something is wrong with Dad, I think!/He’s acting weird again, he’s really beginning to scare me!/Won’t shave his beard again and he pretends he doesn’t hear me!/And all he does is eat Doritos and Cheetos/And he just fell asleep in his car eating 3 Musketeers in the rear seat!’”
Eminem is heroically hiding his drug addiction from his family. “’Cause that Christmas, you know the whole/Pneumonia thing?/It was bologna/Was it the methadone/Ya think?” Eminem lost his best friend, DeShaun Holton, suddenly. Holton rapped under the name Big Proof. Subsequently, Eminem struggled with substance abuse, compounded grief, and positive self-image. His fight for sobriety is articulated in his lyrics. “‘Maybe just a nice cold brew, what’s a beer?’/That’s the devil in my ear, I’ve been sober a ****** year/And that ****** still talks to me! He’s all I can ****** hear!”
Going Through Changes
Eminem describes being surrounded by those enabling his self-destructive behavior on his 2010 song, “Going Through Changes”. “****** drug dealers hang around me like ‘yes men’/And they gon’ do whatever I says when, I says it/It’s in their best interest/To protect their investment!” Eminem has well-documented his crumbling mental health and descent into drug addiction in various songs. Jay-Z’s 2001 song, “Renegade” features Eminem and includes the lyrics, “Viewed in America as a ************** drug addict/Like you didn’t experiment?/Now now, that’s when you start to stare at who’s in the mirror/And see yourself as a kid again/And you get embarrassed.”
A “renegade” is defined as a deserter of ideals. Eminem often describes feeling misunderstood by those whom he is surrounded by. “My friends just can’t understand me/That’s understandable!” he raps on “Going Through Changes”. Eminem sees himself as a Good Dad who would do anything for his children.
Putting Slim Shady To Bed
Eminem raps on 2002’s “Hailie’s Song”, “My baby girl/Keeps gettin’ older/I watch her grow up with pride/People make jokes, ’cause they don’t understand me/They just don’t see my real side!” That is the context. It makes Slim Shady’s darkest lyrics all the more depressing.
Moreover, one of Eminem’s saddest songs of all time is his 2010 track, “When I’m Gone”. In the chorus of the track, Eminem is instructing his children on how to act once he is no longer around to be there for them. “And when I’m gone/Just carry on/Don’t mourn, rejoice/Everytime you hear/The sound of my voice/Just know that/I’m lookin’ down on you/Smilin’, and I didn’t feel a thing/So bab[ies] don’t feel no pain/Just smile back!” He also describes putting Slim Shady to bed for his family’s sake.
“Then turn right around in that song and tell [Hailie] you love her/And put hands on her mother who’s the spittin’ image of her/That’s Slim Shady, yeah baby Slim Shady’s crazy/Shady made me/But tonight, Shady’s rock-a-bye baby!”
Eminem also articulates his various dimensions of consciousness. In a dream he has, he imagines Hailie’s voice as she pleads with him. “Daddy, please, Daddy, don’t leave, Daddy, no, stop it!’”
Eminem’s 2007 overdose plays out in “Going Through Changes”. Eminem explains his brush with death with even more lyrics about hearing the sound of his child’s voice. “(Daddy), don’t you die on me!/(Daddy), better hold your ground!/****, don’t I know the sound of that voice/Yeah, baby, hold me down!/I’m going through changes!”
Great article. Timely considering he just performed.