Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Ass Like That" by Eminem (2005)



Poor Eminem... what made him history's most respected white rapper? Well, if nothing else, I think people admired his conviction. He tried so hard to get that street cred, and the simple fact is that you can sense that under all the image, there's a dorky kid so eager to please that he realises that 'pleasing' can sometimes mean talking violent, degrading trash. Whatever it takes, right? There's that famous picture circling the internet of Marshall Mathers III in high school... that geek is still there. That's what makes him other than hateful.

That and the fact that, I begrudgingly admit, the man has a way with a song. He is a good rapper, and he has a good pop sense for a 'hook'. He's put out quite a few songs that are enjoyable to listen to, whether or not you pay attention to lyrics, that it's easy to forget how much run-of-the-mill stuff he's pumped out.

"Ass Like That" is neither. He's a puppet in the video, driving home the point that it's all a big cartoon, but that's no mitigation: I don't listen to the Teletubbies either. This is a load of silly nonsense spoken in a ridiculous accent. It seems beside the point to complain that this is misogynistic: you get the impression Eminem would wear such a criticism as a badge of honour. But it's meant to be a comedy track, and it's just not funny. That's what's saddest about the song. It feels like a desperate attempt at a 'party anthem', but it's just too pathetic to do the job. And of course, we get to the line "you make my pee-pee go da-doing doing doing", presumably onomatopoeia for an erection. Er... well, whatever. He plays with a slinky at one point. Er... well, whatever. There's lots of references to police and to urination. It's all... sigh. It's just sad, really.

Eminem seems to be attempting a comeback. We'll see if he can make it work. because songs like this pushed his expiration date forward way more than it needed to be.

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