Saturday, December 02, 2006

Somebody Dropped Me On My Head

Click to enlarge / © Viz Comics

Eminem - Any Man

Here’s Marshall Bruce Mathers III then, right at the start, before he hooked up with Dre and became a scourge on society. ‘Any Man’ is lifted from the awesome compilation ‘Rawkus Presents Soundbombing Volume II’, which dropped in 1999 and made me take notice of hip hop again for the first time in a while. Over a dope beat from New York’s Da Beatminerz, Eminem greets us with an innocent ‘Hi!’, as if he’s just bumped into you in the street and is about to conduct a friendly conversation. He then launches into two minutes or so of high velocity fire spitting and trademark verbal brilliance in which he manages to offend pretty much everybody. ‘Any Man’ also sets out some of the major themes for the rest of his rapping career – his twisted hatred of his Mom and obsession with killing his ex-wife. This is not a track for the faint-hearted. It’s not like he pulled many punches throughout the rest of his career, but ‘Any Man’ was recorded before the infamy and demonstrates an eagerness to shock. It’s hard not to marvel at the skills on show and it’s pointless being offended. In fact, I can guarantee that Eminem would have had a much less successful career if the moral majority had chosen to ignore him. Instead, he became a folk hero and questionable role model for a generation. I've always thought of him as a bit of a cartoon character, so I was delighted to find Viz had honoured him with his own strip.

Buy ‘Rawkus Presents Soundbombing II’ from Amazon
Eminem at Amazon
'Any Man' lyrics here
Eminem at Wikipedia
Da Beatminerz at My Space
Viz website, still going strong after all these years!