Legacy Pt.2

Everyone wants to be remembered after they leave the Earth. Being remembered could range from memories made with family and friends to actual entities that they’ve created in their lifetime. One of these entities that a fair amount of people have created over the years is music. Music can be used in a multitude of ways to leave a mark on the world. If one wants to reach more people with their legacy they need to stand out and have a reason to be remembered in the first place. There are plenty of musicians from the 70’s and 80’s that have never managed to break out of a local scene or be able to produce a hit song. The year is now 2018 and it’s easier to make music now more than ever before. With technology constantly evolving, musicians easily come and go while collecting their paychecks and garnering their fame and fanbase.

One of the greatest and most successful rappers of all time is Eminem. Eminem has decades of experience, talent, and knowledge under his belt as he continues to release music here and there over the years. The rap god himself, however, fell from his throne last year with the release of RevivalRevival wasn’t the worst album in the world, but it certainly wasn’t the best. Although often considered his worst album, it still says a lot when considering  Eminem’s discography is quite impressive and full of classic albums. While Revival didn’t exactly hit the marks, it did allow Eminem to create an album that he seemingly enjoyed making and wanted to see the public’s reaction to his thoughts on the world. The album, however, was not what people wanted to hear and left many feeling disappointed. Less than a year later, Eminem released Kamikaze. This album is Eminem’s response to the listeners and critics that ostensibly chastised Revival in the previous year.

Kamikaze, was the perfect opportunity for Eminem to get his anger and feelings out against those who loathed Revival. With Kamikaze being a sudden and surprising release, Eminem undoubtedly had the public’s attention again. The album itself is admittedly one of his better albums that further explores his opinions while showcasing his technical skill when it comes to rapping and writing. Kamikaze is a good album, however, with Eminem being one of the most controversial humans in existence it was bound to be met with negativity. This negativity commonly stems from comments aimed at his disses towards newer rappers, old friends, and even a questionable insult to Tyler, The Creator. With fans and critics once again blasting Eminem for being his usual controversial self, one must ponder about the impact this has on his legacy. Eminem is now constantly coming under fire whenever he releases an album thus making one wonder if he’s destroying or bettering his legacy with each release.

A legacy can vary depending on the nature of the person who’s leaving it. Someone who caused pain and torment to others in their lifetime will surely be remembered, but they will be remembered as an example of what not to do in life. On the other hand, leaving a positive legacy behind is not an easy task. Now more than ever are people being found guilty of past issues which subsequently leads to their name forever being associated with that act. Eminem is a special case in regards to the mark he will certainly leave on the world. Eminem is different because his influence is constantly changing throughout the years. In the early 2000’s, Eminem was one of the biggest celebrities that appealed to kids, teens, and adults while simultaneously receiving hate from Congress. Compare early 2000’s Eminem to modern day Eminem who now has a divided fan base due to his album releases and political stance, and it’s easy to see why his legacy is in a peculiar position.

While Eminem will obviously be remembered as one of the greatest and most controversial rappers of all time, it is imperative to take a step outside of the box and view Eminem as a whole. With an insanely successful career comes hardships and obstacles, both of which Eminem has surely detailed in his music. Eminem struggled for a long time until he got his chance to shine, and with that opportunity from Dr. Dre, he made the best of it. Eminem learned not to let anyone walk over him, use him, or even disrespect him in his career, which has led to some notable feuds. The story of Marshall Mathers is a culmination of one man attempting to make his opinion heard and fight for what he believes in. Revival may have been a fumble, but Kamikaze once again reaffirms that the rap god will fight to his death to defend what he believes in. Leaving a legacy behind as a man who doesn’t care about what other people think will inevitably be Eminem’s destiny.

Legends

Music in general has it’s fair share of “legends” and “heroes”, however, it seems that these days the most pressure is on rap legends to release music that can top their old releases. That simply isn’t possible.

Recently, Eminem has been at the center of the cross-hairs with his hype and release of RevivalRevival was going to be Eminem’s big comeback and best record since The Marshall Mathers LP 2 which came out in 2013. When Revival came out it was met with harsh criticism and very split opinions. Revival is the music equivalent of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in terms of the division of the fan base. The album was assumed to be great based on his track record and recent freestyle and protest against Donald Trump, however, think about Eminem’s past releases and how “good” they were.

Eminem has constantly dissed his own album Relapse and is known to dislike and seemingly hate that album. The real twist is that most fans really do like Relapse especially big names like Tyler, the Creator. Although Eminem is allowed to dislike his work notably when you take into account his personal life at that point and his issues with drug abuse. Having a commercial and critical failing album is a good enough reason to dislike it, however, when we look at Revival that dislike from critics and fans is multiplied exponentially. Why do the fans expect so much from these musicians specifically when they’ve released non-favorable albums before.

The legendary status given to Eminem is very much earned and the result of years upon years of hard work, but what does that title really mean? Does Eminem have to consistently compete with his old work? Does he have to once again become the Rap God? These questions can be quite taxing on a musician and their fans because these expectations aren’t realistic. To say Eminem must put out an album better than his 2000 album The Marshall Mathers LP is next to impossible.

Revival instead is a complicated yet interesting display of lyrical talent and skill. The lyrics and rhyme patterns that Eminem has been perfecting over the years is quite astonishing considering that most modern day artists never go that far in depth with their rhymes. Revival isn’t supposed to be his best album or comeback, it’s simply an update of where Eminem stands politically, personally, and lyrically. With the album standing at mostly a 50% score it’s easy to see the divided sides argue due to the misleading expectations.

Eminem is a legend in rap, and a master of his own craft. The expectations for him are out of this world due to this legendary status, however, each listener is allowed to form their own opinion on Revival and Eminem as a legendary icon. The only true statement that most agree with, is that Eminem helped make modern rap great. Eminem was a unique anomaly in the 2000’s due to his style and skin. Eminem is a legend in his own right, and deserves to be recognized as someone who is responsible for today’s artists and the future artists. Revival may not be his best work, but it does have immortal lyrics and stories to share to the world.

Eminem earned the title of Rap God and thus needs to push forward and once again display his talent as the Rap God in due time.