Demographically, I do not fall into rap sensation Eminem’s fan base. Middle class white mothers in their late 30’s can be heard listening to adult contemporary and 80’s music, or, if they are a little edgier, Dave Matthews or Jack Johnson. I listen to Eminem a lot, and I find myself impressed and obsessed every time he releases a new song. I see him as a writer. A good writer. The dark, introspective and desperate nature of all his music reminds me of the confessional poets I have always admired such as Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. His lyrics are just as emotional, open, and terrifyingly honest as the poetic verse of Plath and Sexton. Yes, he’s controversial. Yes, there are homophobic and sexist themes that grab your attention. But as a writer, there is depth to what he produces, and a real respect for the creative process. In interviews, he has spoken about his endless hours with a notebook and a pencil, writing songs. He is a rap star now, but he was a writer first. We can relate to that – chasing the discipline to sit down and devote ourselves to the words inside of us, despite the hundred other things we could or should be doing. Writing, rewriting, thinking, courting the muse. And the result, for Eminem, has impacted a music industry, a generation, and me. Perhaps I am attracted to his music because I find the same themes wander into my writing: anger, struggle, desperation, fear, complicated relationships. The fury of emotion he releases inspires me. I feel the same amount of rage, frustration, love and hate as Eminem. But where I hold back to choose careful, polished and often too-literary words, he spits out exactly what he feels, and boldly leaves it there – naked and shivering, vulnerable to judgment and attack. Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers, and he is 37 years old, the same as me. I hope he keeps writing. I know that I’ll keep listening, and learning. I’ll devour every new song of his the way I read and re-read my favorite Plath poems – those where she is completely exposed and shamed. As writers, we can only explain our imperfect worlds and selves through the thunder and tiptoes of our written pages. Eminem is an imperfect person. He makes up for that, though, with an astounding talent as a writer. That’s why I pay attention. Even as everyone else my age turns to music less confrontational.
Causes Cari Oleskewicz Supports
Doctors Without Borders