Odd Future & Eminem, Part II: Footnotes
by Zack Rearick
My first article was, in many ways, unfinished. In its original conception, I intended to a have a good deal of footnotes as is normal for any aspiring English doctoral student. However, it didn’t occur to me that footnotes don’t really work on the Internet (unless we’re talking about grantland.com), so I had to scratch the footnotes. Until now! Enjoy these deleted scenes and bonus features from my first ever Polycultural article!
1. “My signature sound”
A quote from Eminem’s song “Bagpipes From Baghdad.”
Tyler himself has complained about media designations of his music as horrorcore, stating in “Sandwitches”: “And we don’t make horrorcore you fucking idiots / Listen to our fucking music before you put it in a box.” However, a close listen to albums like Bastard, Goblin, and Earl do not dissuade one from categorizing them as horrorcore. If anything, it seems that Tyler himself is restricting the possibilities for what the horrorcore genre can do rather than the media restricting him by properly associating his music with the musical genre it is most characteristic of.
3. “reincarnation of ’98 Eminem”
Of course, 1998 was the year that Eminem released The Slim Shady LP, his most playful album. Interestingly, Tyler’s two albums to date sound a good deal more like The Marshall Mathers LP than anything else in Shady’s catalogue: they are dark, purposely shocking, and intensely personal and, though there is humor present, it seems to be delivered with a sneer rather than a smile, as if the listeners aren’t really worth telling the jokes to.
4. “a few excellent music videos”
I am speaking here of the videos to Tyler the Creator’s “Yonkers” and Earl Sweatshirt’s “Earl.” The former is a single-shot masterpiece which has received praise from Kanye West and the latter is a comically overdone drug binge which results in the deaths of nearly half of the Odd Future group. While we’re here, check out Odd Future’s already-legendary performance on The Jimmy Fallon Show.
5. “the group’s biggest stars at the moment”
At the time of this article, Frank Ocean, due to recent success of his Nostalgia Ultra album and his appearance on the Jay-Z/Kanye album Watch the Throne is the only other Odd Future member who has achieved any real mainstream success.
Due to Eminem’s confusion about the uses of the term, it seems useful to clarify what exactly cross-dressing is. Cross-dressing is usually reserved for the wearing of clothes intended for the opposite gender in a non-sexual context, allowing the term “cross-dresser” to be erotically neutral so that the term “transvestite” can be used for those who derive sexual pleasure from such activities. Later Eminem appears to be a bit closer to a transgendered person than anything else, but earlier Eminem seems to be a transvestite.
7. “Eminem has spent more time on the subject of cross-dressing than any other rapper in the game’s history”
Of course, such a claim is impossible to prove, and I recognize that it is likely not even entirely true. However, in the realm of mainstream rap, Eminem has spent more time on cross-dressing by far than any of his hip-hop peers, past and present.
8. “extraordinary insanity”
The descriptor here is crucial; Eminem’s rise in the rap game came nearly a decade after rappers like Biggie Smalls and, well, the entire Wu Tang Clan made being crazy a desirable commodity in the rap world. In order to distinguish himself in a game where everyone from Cage to Lloyd Banks claims to be crazy, Eminem has to up the ante by making his brand of insanity “extraordinary.”
9. “Eminem’s identity literally melts”
A reference to this line from “Insane”: “’Shady, what the fuck you saying?’ I don’t know, help me! / What the fuck is happening? I think I’m fucking meeeeeeeeelting!”