In general, musicians tend to keep their subject matter limited to just a few different topics. And that's fine, we love songs about chicks and drugs as much as anyone else. But sometimes, a musician will latch onto one pet subject and hang on for dear life no matter how bad it makes them look. For example...
Eminem hates his wife and his mother.
"I love my daughter more than life n' itself
But I got a wife that's determined to make my life livin' hell
But I handle it well, given the circumstances I'm dealt"
Take my wife, please.
How It All Started:
Eminem has had mommy issues, be it with his mommy or his kid's mommy, since his major label debut, The Slim Shady LP. That album's first single, "My Name Is," was chock full of lyrics about his mom's unfortunate drug habit, but the real kicker was "97 Bonnie and Clyde" (we're not completely sure if that title refers to the year it was recorded or the number of times that goddamned title has been used in rap songs). It was some pretty harrowing shit; Eminem drives to the beach to dispose of the freshly murdered corpse of his ex-wife, Kim. And her new boyfriend. And her boyfriend's kid. All while Kim's daughter, who also happened to be his daughter, was in the car with him.
Kind of hard to top that. But boy, has he tried. And tried, and tried...
Why It Needs to Stop:
It's one thing to call your mom out for being a junkie and threatening your ex-wife on your first album. Antics like those can generally be chalked up to a publicity stunt. But when you follow that up by littering your next three albums with songs about raping your mom ("Kill You") and killing your wife some more ("Kim"), then you're turning into the rap version of Marilyn Manson: a cartoonish figure trying to convert shock value into free advertising.
Like a hip-hop Boo Berry.
When the shock wore off, we kind of just started wishing he'd develop a crippling substance abuse problem like regular folks, rather than rhyming his way through his emotional issues on MTV. Thankfully, that's exactly what he did and the world was blissfully "mommy was mean to me" song-free. For a few years.
Then in 2009, Eminem reemerged with the aptly titled album Relapse. With that album, not only did the world get to hear the innermost turmoil of a man wealthy enough to delve into a four-year drug binge while suffering little to no financial ramifications before being welcomed back to work with open arms, but we also got a whole new round of mommy rhymes.
What rhymes with "ALF shirt"?
On the album's second track (third if you count the intro, which only retards do) Em was back to his old tricks with a song called, what else, "My Mom." She did valium, you know. And lots of drugs. That's why he is how he is. Because of his mom. Fascinating stuff, Mathers. We didn't catch that the first dozen times.