Eminem's lyrics are some of the most provocative
that the music industry has ever seen. Containing intricate rhyme
schemes, the lyrics by Eminem are also very complicated by song
standards and Eminem is a master of staying on beat while he's rapping
A favorite target of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
censors, Slim Shady's lyrics, over the years, have cost many radio
stations much of their hard earned cash. This was especially true
on the song "The Real Slim Shady", which first appeared
on The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000.
The edited version of these Eminem lyrics was played by Colorado
Springs FM radio station KKMG Radio and the station was fined $7,000
by the FCC. The FCC would later review and reverse its previous
decision saying the lyrics did not violate its indecency standards
and were not patently offensive. This kind of scrutiny of the Eminem
lyrics has played itself out many times over Mather's career.
When reading both the edited and unedited versions of "The
Real Slim Shady" it is easily apparent why these Eminem lyrics
would be offensive to some people. This song, along with many others
by Eminem, collectively violate George Carlin's 7 Dirty Words that
you can never say on radio or TV.
Besides pushing this boundary, however, the song also takes a poke
at Pam and Tommy Lee, feminist women, Tom Green, Will Smith, Christina
Aguilera, Carson Daly and Fred Durst. Besides poking fun at a few
celebrities, however, the song is actually an anthem about free
speech and expression and saying the things out loud that other
people are thinking to themselves.
So far, Eminem has received nine Grammy Awards, five Grammy nominations
and one Academy Award in his quest to thwart the censors and push
the envelop of free speech and expression that others are also eager
to support. Eminem's lyrics don't just take a crack at celebrities,
however, as they are some of the most self-revealing lyrics of our
In the Eminem lyrics, Slim Shady talks about his mother possibly
having Munchausen's By Proxy Syndrome, anger towards his father,
on-and-off again wife, Kim, his daughter, Hailie Jade, his friends
and using drugs. Critics denounce the Eminem lyrics as being to
violent, anti-women, racist and homophobic.
While some of this is true, as Eminem will concede having made
public apologies, much of Eminem's lyrics need to be taken with
a grain of salt. Speaking from a place of rage or venting or even
humor, the Eminem lyrics give us a look inside the artist's world
as long as we can hold off judging him. Without judgment, you start
to get to know a person, and Eminem, through his lyrics has given
us all an invitation to know him and all his human vulnerabilities,
a little better.