Eminem The Real Slim Shady(Aftermath/Interscope)

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The real slim shady

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The real slim shady

Eminem

The Real Slim Shady [I](Aftermath/Interscope)[/I]

Yes, yes, understood. He’s playing a character. Durrrr. Hell, it’s a concept even dolphins have worked out and let’s face it, if you haven’t grasped the theory of play-acting by the time you can sleep without the light on, then life is going to be horribly traumatic. Every episode of [I]Brookside[/I] an emotional apocalypse. Visits to the cinema ending in tranquillisers and counselling. And as for relationships, Christ…

Thing is, Marshall Mathers really doesn’t seem to be playing a character at all. Hasn’t anyone thought that maybe his recent firearms-related court appearances might mean the fact/fiction division isn’t quite as sturdy as his apologists make out? That although they trumpet his ‘cleverness’, he’s only clever enough to cling to that ready-made, postmodern get-out clause? There’s no genuine subversion, little real satire: homophobia and misogyny (yes, even when directed at [a]Britney Spears[/a]) are only ‘dangerous’ if you’re on the receiving end.

It sounds wonderful, of course: preposterous harpsichord skulk; groove cruising so low you’re breathing the hot tar fumes and that rabbitty little runt, looking like he’s been rescued from a life of unethical shampoo testing, coughing up the waste of a wicked imagination. But it’s not enough – in this smirking climate of cheap outrage, he’s getting away with the indefensible. And if anyone thinks that sounds like knit-your-own-Andrea-Dworkin worthiness, well fuck them. And fuck you, too.

See? A [I]terrible[/I] example.

Victoria Segal