Earlier this week, Eminem released the music video for his number one hit with Rihanna, The Monster. I honestly wasn’t expecting much. I enjoy this song, but it’s probably one of my least favorites on MMLP2. However, what came on Monday night surprised me. The video captures the nostalgic feel of his most recent album and takes the audience on a 5-minute joyride through Eminem’s career.
We begin with Marshall Mathers taking a trip to Dr. Rihanna’s office. The Doctor pops a tape into a VCR for her troubled patient, thus beginning The Eminem Show. We see words flashing on the TV screen; archetypes that have come to define the Rap God’s music. You know, things like insanity, death, fame, addiction, and violence—all over the backdrop of his vintage music videos. For instance, we see him rapping about fame in The Way I Am, addiction in 3 AM, and so on.
Things start to get interesting when Eminem suddenly finds himself encaged in an elevator, slowly dropping through, and also re-enacting, some of the most epochal moments of his career (Inception anyone?). He’s bound by a straitjacket in My Name Is, raps in a do-rag and baggy clothes Lose Yourself style, plummets from towering heights in The Way I Am, and gives an iconic performance of Stan with Elton John. But what awaits Eminem in the dark depths of this journey? It’s a Jurassic Park style cage that contains his own personal Monster; the insidious creation of his subconscious: Slim Shady. Or in other words…himself.
Eminem stares at his demonic past in bewilderment. Meanwhile, Slim Shady glares at his future self, sporting the earrings and wife beater that had once been the rapper’s signature look. Sneering maliciously, Slim tosses crumpled up pieces of paper out into the open. Eminem collects the scraps, examines them. Then, after one final glance at his Monster, he turns away and pockets the scraps, leaving Slim to scream furiously in his cage. The recovered Marshall Mathers is leaving behind his drug-fueled ways—but he’s taking some of Slim’s mentality and lyrics along with him.
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