When a Tornado Meets a Volcano, Indeed!
Anyone who knows me has heard my theory of ‘new favorite songs’. The theory goes that once people get past a certain age, they almost never hear anymore ‘new favorite songs’ and only prefer to listen to their ‘old favorite songs’ from thereafter. I’m sure the age varies, but my best guess is it starts to happen around age 30. Suffice it to say I’m so far past that birthday that it’s even that much more eventful, for me to hear a ‘new favorite song’ and when I do, its my duty to celebrate. I haven’t had a new favorite song since Wyclef’s The Sweetest Girl back in spring of ’08!
The song is by Eminem, off his 2010 album Recovery, and featuring Rihanna, called Love the Way You Lie. I didn’t think Eminem would ever do any favorite song of mine, new or old, although I was pretty fond of a couple of his old ones. Being not exactly a huge fan of the genre (rap), I had at least not failed to notice it’s most successful artist of the last decade. I don’t think anyone would argue with his talent, and I couldn’t add anything new about that. But what I noticed about Marshall Mathers right away was his transcendance of racial genre, and to rise so high and so fast. I’m not sure if anyone other than possibly Elvis has done the same, to the same extent. The proof is in the market share; Eminem would’ve never been the top selling rapper of the early 21st century without the black market, and he couldn’t be any whiter! Furthermore, for all his notorious trash-talking about homosexuals, the gays and lesbians seem to love him as well. Elton John sang with him! How does he get away with it? And even I would overlook his juvenile outbursts, emotional antics, and extreme surliness, as long as I don’t have to live with him, at least.
I’m thinking its probably the same kind of quality that allows him to write about certain intense frustrations and resentments, without sounding whiney, and how he can sound outraged without coming across as self-righteous, something that is really not very easy to do. And I can’t notice any posing; he’s based his entire image and career on airing his dirty laundry and exploiting his white trash background in verse. His inspiration is as real as the lawsuits charging defamation of character by both his wife and mom, and his tatoo referring to his ex ‘Kim Rest In Pieces’ or some such.
As well as providing ample rageful material, ex-wife and daughter’s mama Kim grew up with Eminem and has wed him not once, but twice, the second time being after that silly business of the lawsuit and rude lyrics about her was settled, not to mention his accusations of infidelity and her suicide attempt. The relationship was dysfunctional on an epic level, and Eminem has described it as ‘a love-hate thing, and always will be’.
Also notable is his longetivity at this late date, when even some of my favorite artists had a fleeting youth of passionate creativity and started sucking at the first sign of middle age (ahem, cough cough, Rod Stewart, cough), just sadly faded away, or abruptly shut down(so long, Cowboy Junkies). But there’s several that don’t/didn’t, and I’m always inspired in those cases.
Love the Way You Lie is Eminem’s rather thoughtful rumination on a mutally abusive and dysfunctional relationship. He compensates for excessive angst with his usual authenticity of expression. Additionally, his unmatched mastery of the genre’s tradement audacious whimsey is in full play. Nobody else could have gotten away with recruiting Miss Rihanna, impossibly hot young thing known also for speaking out about her own personal experience with domestic violence only last year, to sing these very words. Its the Post-post Ironic Age, and the art of subtlety perished many generations ago by now, along with most all pretense of or aspiration for sophistication. Truth has long since triumphed over fiction for flat-out strangeness, and the most profound realities always have more than a heavy underlying streak of irony. Instant classic, this one, and you heard it here first!
So this would be how the 2nd biggest selling rapper of all time (1st is 2pac) has recorded my new favorite song. In this song, when Em demands to know if “don’t you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk?” the answer is a resounding ‘Yeah!’ from all quarters.
Behold what my world has come to, the official video released today!
– Dominic Monaghan, last seen playing a resurrected Charlie on LOST, is the scruffy man in this official video. The character of Charlie was admittedly(by its creators) modeled on one of those archetypical trashy white boys, the Gallagher brothers from Oasis. MORE love for Love the Way You Lie!
– Rihanna, last year during her first interview after being physically abused, of love.
Below, an inexplicably rousing solo piano rendition of Love the Way You Lie.