With a new album dropping May 19th Eminem is assured of two things: 1) people are gonna love his album and say it’s one of the best rap albums ever. 2) people are gonna hate his album & say his lyrics are too violent, misogynistic & just plain hateful. What they don’t realize is that it’s the same thing that’s been going on since the 60s. As a matter of fact I was listening to one of my favorite Beatles albums the other day, Rubber Soul & was taken aback by how violent the last song, “Run for Your Life” comes off. If you haven’t heard it, it’s John Lennon singing about how he’d rather see the girl he’s presumably dating dead than for her to be with another man. The song is actually a take off of a verse in an Elvis Presley song, “Let’s Play House“.
Now listen to me, baby
Try to understand.
I’d rather see you dead, little girl,
Than to be with another man.
Well I’d rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or I won’t know where I am
You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That’s the end’a little girl
Well you know that I’m a wicked guy
And I was born with a jealous mind
And I can’t spend my whole life
Trying just to make you toe the line
Let this be a sermon
I mean everything I’ve said
Baby, I’m determined
And I’d rather see you dead
Where is the fervor over John Lennon’s misogyny? It isn’t filled with curse words, but still if you read the lyrics it’s an awfully violent song. The difference? The beat…Eminem is a rapper, his lyrics are paramount in the song. It’s what you pay attention to & granted they are more in your face, up front & graphic. In rock songs, if there’s a poppy beat, you could care less about what’s said. This obviously isn’t my first foray into trying to get people to read/listen to the lyrics. We all remember the Soulja Boy incident of 2007.
I digress, the point isn’t that John Lennon & Eminem are equally violent towards women. The point is that it’s a double standard. There’s other examples: Gary Puckett & the Union Gap’s song, “Young Girl” comes to mind.
Young girl, get out of my mind
for you is way out of line
Better run, girl,
You’re much too young, girl
With all the charms of a woman
You’ve kept the secret of your youth
You led me to believe
You’re old enough
To give me Love
And now it hurts to know the truth, Oh,
Beneath your perfume and make-up
You’re just a baby in disguise
And though you know
That it is wrong to be
Alone with me
That come on look is in your eyes, Oh,
So hurry home to your mama
I’m sure she wonders where you are
Get out of here
Before I have the time
To change my mind
‘Cause I’m afraid we’ll go too far.
If that song were sung today Chris Hanson would walk into the recording studio with a camera crew & say, “Have a seat.” What the hell is that? “Get out of here before I have the time to change my mind”!!! I’ll translate for you, “Get out of here you hot young piece of ass, because I’m a pedophile & you’re looking really good right now.” They’re still play that song on oldies radio stations. Yet, Eminem is the antichrist?
Oh, what a night
Late December back in sixty-three
What a very special time for me
As I remember what a night.
Oh, what a night
You know I didn’t even know her name
But I was never gonna be the same
What a lady, what a night.
Oh I, I got a funny feelin’ when she walked in the room
Yeah my, as I recall it ended much too soon.
It’s not only that he sings about finishing prematurely but he goes on about how great it is to finally be having sex. likening it to some religious conversion:
Oh what a night, why’d it take so long to see the light
Seemed so wrong, but now it seems so right
What a lady, what a night
Wouldn’t even know that if you didn’t see past the happy, poppy beat. It’s like people singing along to songs, but not realizing what they’re singing about. It’s just words thrown in like some fucking mad lib to a cool melody/beat. Follow blindly & we’ll lead you to the promised land. Where have I heard that before?
A song is a conglomeration of things, melody, beat & lyrics. Lyrics to me are paramount. Don’t assume, because it has an upbeat sound, that it’s an upbeat song. If you’re gonna let the words come out of your mouth you should really know what it is you’re singing or you could be saying something you don’t agree with at all. Here’s a few examples of what I’m talking about. Keep in mind these songs are not for the faint of heart.