The annotation site Genius has just landed its most high-profile editor yet. (Sorry, Sasha Frere-Jones.)
Eminem, perhaps the most popular and influential rapper since the turn of the millennium, has checked in on the site to edit lyrics and add notes to dozens of songs, both his own and others'.
The annotations cover deep cuts and huge hits like "My Name Is," his first single with Dr. Dre that heralded a major new star:
"That beat was talking to me. I was like, 'Yo, this is it, this is my shot. If I don’t impress this guy, I’m going back home...I knew Dre wasn’t an easy person to please. I made sure that everything he had a beat for, I had a rhyme ready to go, or I came up with a rhyme on the spot...Everything was live, one take. If I got all the way to the...end, and messed up the last word, I’d be like, 'Run it back, let’s do it again.'"
He also defends his more vivid bars like "I slap Linda Ronstadt with a lobster/Throw her off a balcony/Just so happens she's fond of algae" by comparing himself to comedians like Lisa Lampanelli:
"I’m not gonna not say this, because it’s funny, regardless of whether or not it’s [messed] up. If it happens to connect and there’s some kind of humor in it, some reason for it to rhyme with something else, then I’m going to say it."
Other commentary touches on his "Curtain Call"-era drug use (on the "South Park"-y "Fack": "Ambien will make you do crazy [stuff]. Imagine if you took it all day long") and the downside of Biggie and Tupac's freestyle battles ("No one wants to see something real happen. If for a second you entertain the idea of that being entertaining, if something ever happened out of that? No. That’s not healthy").
This is perhaps the annotation site's biggest coup yet, and proof that hip-hop artists at all levels are paying attention to it as a more or less definitive lyrical and storytelling resource.
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