I really like rap music. Which is probably the “whitest” way to phrase that. But it’s interesting. Take a look at this video from 8 Mile, where the character Eminem plays takes on several people in a rap battle. Specifically, watch through to the last person he takes on. Because that’s an example of embracing flaws. Yeah, he comes from a white trash neighborhood. Yeah, he’s got problems. Yeah, he’s a loser. But he’s still showed up to the battle in full force.
This is something that rap approaches in some ways. I like the way Eminem does it, any maybe there’s some subconscious white bias mixed in there, but he shows more than just the strengths that come from embracing the flaws of a character, he also displays the damages that they can bring to a person’s life. Take Stan, for example. Tough song to listen to. But within the depravity of the Slim Shady alias comes the aftermath of it’s impact on the other people who are also struggling with their inner problems.
This is something that someone like Kanye West doesn’t really attack. Even Lil Wayne, one of the other big names in hip-hop and rap doesn’t really broach this. Both of them have rather embraced their self-centeredness and self-confidence to make claims like “I am the greatest artist of all time” and so on. Classics like Notorious B.I.G. are other artists like Eminem who entered this mindset of struggle. Suicidal Thoughts, a personal favorite of mine for it’s extremely frightening yet realistic stream of consciousness that people go through sometimes late at night. Don’t you sometimes get so locked up in your own self-sadness that you talk yourself down? So much so that you can’t even hear the positive things your friends say. Everything just becomes background noise.
The dark side, right? We all have those hard nights. Those days when it feels like the walls have closed out everyone else in life. Those nights when we feel like the sun will never rise. And it’s so important to recognize exactly what those feelings do to people. They break people sometimes. But look at where Eminem is now. One of the biggest names in the world. Seriously, how many people don’t know who Eminem is, or Slim Shady? Or some amount of his music. He made it through some of the hard times, despite coming from a tough neighborhood.
And certainly he still suffers from hard times, even if today his life is better than most people’s ever will be. We all get lost in our minds sometimes. Just keep walking, and eventually you’ll find your way out of the maze to a better place.