Poetry offers different perspectives into life and the world. Through the use of the lyrics in his songs, the rapper Eminem offers his own perspective of his life and the events that have occurred throughout it. In this essay I shall be discussing a few key themes from his songs and how they are communicated to the audience through the use on language techniques and language in general, as well as how they relate to Eminem’s context.
One theme that has a recurring use in his songs is the issue of poverty, as Eminem spent his childhood and early adulthood living in poverty. Eminem often refers to his past and the difficult times he went through. Having to live in a trailer park, growing up in a poor suburb, and his low paying job history. The theme of poverty is touched upon in the songs “Cleaning out my closet” and “Mockingbird”. The song “cleaning out my closet” is about Eminem’s shaky relationship with his mother and how he does not forgive her for the way she treated him while growing up.
Through the use of language techniques like the assonance “commotion emotion run deep as oceans exploding” he creates the mournful mood of the song. The title of the song is a metaphor for how Eminem is cleaning out his closet, or letting go of his emotional baggage through the use of his song. Throughout the song, Eminem makes references to real events that happened during his childhood, “goin through public housing systems,” and the use of slang like “bitchin” is an example of Eminem’s context.
The issue of poverty is touched upon again in the song “Mockingbird” which is addressed to Eminem’s daughters. Once again the title is of significant meaning, as a direct reference to the children’s lullaby, “hush little baby. ” The song is intended to sooth his daughters, much like a lullaby is designed to do, and also like in the lullaby, Eminem is saying he will give his daughters anything to prove that he really does love them. “Ima give you the world, ima buy a diamond ring for you, ima sing for you, I’ll do anything to see you smile”.
Poverty is talked about in the second verse, when Eminem recounts a Christmas that happened before he became a famous recording artists, where he could not afford to buy presents for his daughter Hallie “Mommy wrapped the Christmas presents and stuck em under the tree, and said some of them weren’t from me, cause daddy couldn’t buy ‘em. ” In the same verse he talks about how they lived in a bad neighbourhood, “every house we lived into, kept getting broken into and robbed or shot up on the block. Once again the use of the assonance “when it spins, wen it swirls, when it whirls when it twirls” creates the mournful mood of the song. Towards the end of the song Mockingbird, Eminem discusses his break into the music industry, which completely changed his life. Other songs where the music industry are mentioned are “Stan” “Cleaning out my closet”, “toy soldiers” and, as already mentioned, “Mockingbird”.
Despite the fact they gave him his break, Eminem regards the music industry with some contempts, complaining that they kept him away from his family “Daddy’s always on the move,” “you started seeing Daddy on TV”, “Papa was a rolling stone”. He also states that the music industry is no longer about the music but more about the violence and danger that comes with it “There used to be a time when you could just say a rhyme, and wouldn’t have to worry about one of your people dying. He also discuss how now that he is famous, some people now hate him for no reason, “The owners of it have a grudge against me for nothing,” although with almost the same level of contempt does he regard his fans, “Some receptionist at the source who answers phones at his desk has an erection for me and thinks I’ll be his resurrection. ” One of his songs, “Stan” is about a fan who was so obsessed with Eminem that he was eventually driven to commit suicide and murder his girlfriend and unborn child, just because Eminem did not reply to his fan mail.
Acts of violence are often mentioned in Eminem’s lyrics, in songs such as “Toy soldiers”, “Cleaning out my closet”, “Mockingbird” and as talked about in the above paragraph, “Stan. ” These acts of violence mentioned are based around Domestic violence, depression and self harm, gang wars etcetera. Most or all of the example given in his lyrics are a direct reflection of Eminems own life, for example when he states “the smartest **** I did was take the bullets out of that gun. Cuz ida killed him” referring to the time he caught his wif