I remember getting somewhat psyched the other day, when I heard there was a new Eminem video coming out this week. Then I just kinda forgot about it. I didn’t even know the video for “We Made You” was hitting the Internets this morning, or last night or whenever.
I’d read about it on the ongoing embarrassment that is Elliott Wilson’s RapRadar, and I was actually more interested in how he was gonna play this. He hinted that he was gonna have it before anyone else, and I wasn’t sure what he meant by that. Were his bosses at Interscope gonna hit him off with the exclusive? And if so, how come he gets the exclusive and not XXL? We’ve got this swanky new video player and nothing to play on it but a Charles Hamilton video. FAIL
By the time I rolled off of the couch this morning, it was everywhere. I don’t know if it hit the Internets last night or this morning or what. I got home last night from seeing the Hold Steady, half-drunk and annoyed, and I couldn’t bring myself to go on the Internets. I checked RapRadar first this morning, and of course it was down. But come to find out everyone and their grandma had already posted it, and they probably all got it from MTV.
Anyhoo, I posted the clip for “We Made You” to my site and then watched it, in that order, and I was shocked at how much I didn’t like it. I figured I probably wasn’t gonna be crazy about it anyway, since the first single from these Eminem albums is always some lame pop shit to hook the TRL crowd, but I remember liking the video for “The Real Slim Shady,” when I was 19, way more than I like “We Made You.” What gives?
It could be that I’ve just grown out of that sort of thing. When the Marshall Mathers LP came out, I was barely out of high school. This summer, I’ll be skipping my 10 year reunion. That’s probably not the issue though. When I was 19, I was living in a shit hole and spending my every waking hour sitting around in my underwear staring at Internets pr0n. At the ripe old age of 28, I’m still living in a shit hole and spending my every waking hour sitting around in my underwear staring at Internets pr0n. There’s hardly anything I liked nine years ago that I don’t like now. I’m probably a bit less tolerant of fat women, but that doesn’t have anything to do with rap music. Or does it?
But I digress.
Now, where was I? Ah yes, why “We Made You” is lame. I’m thinking it’s probably just that Eminem himself has lost it. He no longer has his fingers on the pulse… except for his own pulse, to make sure his coke-induced heart problems don’t flare up again. As Uncle Grambo pointed out today on Vulture, the pop culture references in “We Made You” are fucking stale. He’s got Jessica Simpson dressed up like her character from the Dukes of Hazard movie, from three years ago, and Jessica Alba reenacting a scene from Sin City, from four years ago. Even Sarah Palin, who’s played by the same hideous woman who played her in that pr0n, is yesterday’s news.
However, even if Eminem did have any idea of what’s going on in pop culture (and I’m not saying I do), I doubt this video would have had the same impact as those first few videos. For those of us who grew up watching those classic Eminem videos, there still wouldn’t have been that same shock of the new. We’ve seen Eminem skewer pop stars before. If we wanted to see it again, we’d just consult YouTube.
You know, Eminem’s last album before this new one, Encore, was a real piece of shit. I remember clowing it pretty hard back when it came out, going on five years ago. (Yikes!) But looking back on it, at least he was trying to push the envelope. He had that one video, where he was trying to turn kids on to politics (before it turned on them), and he had that joint that sampled Martika, in which he took a courageous stand against violence. Now it just looks like he’s going through the motions, to get paid.