Leaked at the end of July, this diss song by Eminem is in many respects a return to form, but also an open invite to his critics to bring out the old labels. Yes, this song is sexist, misogynistic and has strong undercurrents of violence. If by now you haven't worked out that every rapper, perhaps especially Eminem, isn't being entirely serious or honest in their songs then perhaps you shouldn't upset yourself by listening.
As for the song itself, it's a no-nonsense attack on Mariah Carey and her husband Nick Cannon in retaliation for what Eminem saw as insults in public statements by the pair and the recent release by Mariah, "Obsessed". In it Eminem once again tells us that he bedded Mariah some years back and warns her to stop insulting him. From a the perspective of a fan it's disappointing that Eminem seems unable to move on from the Mariah incident. Whether he did or did not sleep with her is irrelevant; he has gone from the occassional reference in songs such as "Superman" to penning entire songs that boil down to whether or not a man slept with a woman once. It has to be hoped, with Relapse 2 due later this year, that Eminem simply enjoys being under someones skin again and not that he actually is besotted with Mariah.
If it is the former then the omens are good for Relapse 2. The production, by Dr Dre, is that perfect blend of simple drumbeat and melodic piano that works so well when paired with Eminem's lyrical ability. The decision to allow Dre to take on the majority of production and allow Eminem to focus on writing was a great one, and Relapse 2 may yet emulate his first two offerings. Dropped is the bizarre accent that featured on songs such as "3AM" and the tone, angry and with a point to get across, is one which has always produced Eminem's best (The Way I Am, to name but one). If Eminem can reproduce everything that is great about "The Warning" but switch the focus away from such trivial subject matter then Relapse 2 should make for good listening.
Head of Advertising 2009-10