Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Eminem ft. Liz Rodrigues – Survival

Chasing that Call of Duty money..


Patrick St. Michel: The way he shouts “butt” when he raps “while I’m wiping my butt”…man, I feel bad for anyone trying to explain to the 14-year-old kids out there why Eminem used to be edgy.

Alfred Soto: Watching the first generation of rock and rollers reach their thirties, Greil Marcus, who loves Em more than I, warned about survivorhood. At their best the musicians recorded albums that celebrated being alive. The trick is to keep these desires implicit. Otherwise it results in sententious and hectoring albums about survivorhood. But Em is sententious and hectoring, right? So it comes down to whether the metal guitar chords and the way in which Em clangs and bangs like the screwdrivers he alludes to can assuage the sense of dja vu. Survivors never shut up.  

Edward Okulicz: I like me some shouty, intense Em, particularly when his stresses on the most important words are so angrily percussive. But this needs either a big hook or a powerful one, and what you get instead is a really bad and really trite rock song — all the faults of, say, “Sing For the Moment” magnified — with utterly execrable drum programming on top of that.

Anthony Easton: Eminem running slow has always been more intimidating then Eminem running fast, though his choice in female vocalists has changed — having someone perform as quickly and as aggro has him might not be a triumph of feminism, but it’s a move forward.

Mallory O’Donnell: Can anyone really still stomach Eminem? He turned almost instantly (circa “Stan”) into such a complete self-parody that Billy Idol has idol envy. Where once was undeniable freestyling skill and a slight hint of transgression there is now only a leering, self-obsessed mask that contemplates itself over stolid 80’s metal stroke tracks. Enough already.

Brad Shoup: The wack rock continues as Em raids his closet for fuel canisters. His delivery game is tight; there’s hardly a remnant here of his brown period, and even at this level of vagueness, his ability to turn words into see-saws — to redistribute weight at a whim — is sharper than ever. He used to sound like the most prepared dude at the freestyle sessions. Now, he raps like he’s afraid to stop: enjambment everywhere, lines that test the tensile strength of vowels. At no point is any of this fun. It’s more like watching a very angry craftsman building a doghouse. He wants to talk about toolboxes, but he’s working with a backing track that I can only describe as Jim Johnston entrance music. It sounds like off-brand Aerosmith. 

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: If any couplet jumps out from Eminem’s verses, it’s this: “I can see the finish line with each line that I finish/I’m so close to my goals/ I can almost pole-vault/over the goal post!” It makes you wonder what exactly Em has to prove to himself anymore, and exactly what makes “Survival” fascinating. He has amassed a professional athlete’s obsession with getting better: that frame of mind that each ring and trophy and award isn’t satisfying enough, that there’s more left to topple, more achievements to chase. We all know this is hogwash. Em doesn’t need to topple any more towers. He can either (1) rehash former glories for the needs of franchises or (2) follow the ‘respectable artist’ narrative and work with Rick goddamn Rubin. When you’ve got nothing left to prove in rap, the choices are far and few between, no matter how much you think you gotta keep crushing. For the record, (1) is a better listening experience than (2).

Reader average: [5] (2 votes)

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5 Responses to “Eminem ft. Liz Rodrigues – Survival”

  1. Was tempted to downgrade this to [4] because of his rudeness in dropping another new song just as we got to this.

  2. Is there anyone with worse taste in anonymous hook singers than Eminem?

  3. Lupe Fiasco

  4. Yup. Switch it up, it’s gotta be Macklemore, right?

  5. Lupe takes Ls on the daily with his musical choices. Gotta be him.