Eminem tells it like it is for young men

I MUST congratulate Padraic Killeen for his review of the work and importance of the rapper Eminem who, I think, has been overlooked as a 21st century artist (Irish Examiner, November 30).

However, I felt the conclusion was a little unfair... trying to weigh his contribution to world music against his negative impact on youth culture.

Art is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder. Eminem’s songs are intensely personal, autobiographical and touch a chord with young males who feel their opinions and feelings are disregarded by their parents and the authorities, as well as equality, gay and race agendas.

Eminem sings about self-empowerment (Lose Yourself), self-confidence (The Way I Am), racism and bigotry (Yellow Brick Road), poor parenting (Cleaning Out My Closet), the love that a man feels for his children (Hailie’s Song) and the complexities and ambiguities of love and life in the modern world.

He does it in a clear, undiluted way that young men have not heard before, and certainly not from the manufactured pop bands of the last 10 years.

His message is to be happy, confident, honest but caring (especially about your own children) and, above all, an individual. Young men shouldn’t feel they are part of a ‘me’ culture because they have these qualities, which should be nurtured (although perhaps in less descriptive language).

It is his honesty, smart lyrics, and ability to describe the world as it is that fans love and that will be his legacy.

Tom Fahey



Co Cork

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