MUSIC: HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?

by Emerson 7 days ago in pop culture

These days I was browsing through the subreddit of some musical artists that I reconnected with during this quarantine, and I came across a question: “Did Eminem go too far in the Kim track?”, And immediately I thought, “No.”

MUSIC: HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?

These days I was browsing through the subreddit of some musical artists that I reconnected with during this quarantine, and I came across a question: “Did Eminem go too far in the Kim track?”, And immediately I thought, “No.”

This made me reflect on the reason for this reaction, as the music itself is really heavy and the way it was produced makes the viewer extremely uncomfortable.

If you have not listened to music yet, I would urge you to do so, before moving on with the article.

THE MUSIC: KIM

Kim is a track on the Marshall Mathers LP (2000) album by the rapper Eminem. The song portrays Eminem’s alter ego killing his ex-wife, Kim’s, new husband, his son and ultimately Kim herself.

Eminem's Picture from the Album Cover for The Marshal Mathers LP (2000)

With verses like: “Let’s go for a walk, bitch […] We’ll be right back; well, I will, you’ll be in the trunk.”, or “Go ahead. Yell! Here I will scream with you! ‘Somebody help!’ Don’t you understand bitch? Nobody can hear you!”

These verses are basically shouted at the mic, and even then, are not the heaviest verses present in the song as a whole. So, how come something like this is not too far? Even more, considering that Kim is the mother of Eminem’s daughter.

CONTEXT

Well, the context in which these verses are said is extremely important. The story develops with the author losing his sense of reality more and more, showing his insecurities and externalizing his fury.

At various times he demonstrates, albeit in a distorted way, loving Kim. Demonstrating in a few words the toxicity of their co-dependent relationship. He even says that he hates Kim several times, trying to convince himself, until he reaches the realization that he loves her.

So, this narrative is demonstrating the flaws of the author and painting his point of view, making you understand his actions. A man without perspective who loses the love of his life is desperate and completely detached from reality, spiraling in a descent toward madness.

DELIVERY

We also have to talk about the artist’s delivery in each verse. Eminem shows that he is becoming increasingly unstable, that his justifications are meaningless and that he still cannot control his anger.

Even reaching that realization during one of the verses, and realizing that it was too late to go back. Causing a brief conflict with himself and his alter ego.

This descriptive painting of the scenery, the feelings, the actions, are what makes this song a work of art in writing. A macabre work of art, if you want to be more sophisticated.

WHY DIDN’T IT GO TOO FAR?

The music is, yes, heavy, part of a movement called horrorcore, however it has not gone too far due to the fact that there is no idealization of what happened.

During the progression of the song it becomes clear that there is a certain hatred behind his writing, that of someone who’s hurt. And the song is just an expression of this anger, through phenomenal writing, which does not idealize the act of killing Kim.

The showing of these feelings, of this instability, makes the verses strong and at the same time beautiful from a certain perspective. In the same way that you can see beauty in verses by Álvarez de Azevedo or Stephen King.

The story is that of a man driven to hate, who loses his sanity and commits atrocities. And that’s it. Because it involves a real person, many argue that it is something very strong, but the actions are fictitious, which diminishes the strength of this argument.

How many films have not already been made on similar premises, including ones that justify the actions as moral? The question that remains is: how is the premise implemented?

There is the value of a story. And the story, as written by Eminem, shows that this track should have the artistic license reserved for several authors. Since it is a great example of how to tell a story.

CONCLUSION

The song "Kim", values: Characters, Personalities, Narrative Coherence, Storytelling, Descriptions, among others aspects of writing. The shock value ends up becoming even secondary, when analyzed against these characteristics.

So, no, the song didn’t go too far. Remember context within a text is what, above all, will determine its value.

pop culture
Emerson
Emerson
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Emerson

I love writing, and language is the thing I'm most passionate about in the world. I decided that making a carreer out of this passion is going to be my primary objective for the foreseeable future.

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