Opinions, Pop Culture

An encore of good memories through Eminem’s music

I take the opportunity to listen to music whenever I can. When I’m getting ready for the day, working, walking on campus, or traveling to and from school, I’m always listening to music.

Whenever I listen to Marshall Mathers III, better known as Eminem, I reminisce about how much of a staple his music has been in my life since 2000.

Growing up, my cousin Alex was my best friend and Eminem’s music was a shared interest we had. I wasn’t too familiar with Eminem and his first album “The Slim Shady LPat the time, but I knew my cousin Alex liked his music.

It wasn’t until Eminem’s next album, “The Marshal Mathers LP”, that I began to have an appreciation for his music. Which was influenced by how funny he was in his music video for “The Real Slim Shady.”

Hearing the song and his other music floods my mind of memories with Alex, and them being some of the best times I had as a kid. Alex and I would play NFL Blitz on his Nintendo 64 and listen to the album in the background on repeat.

The first time I heard the blunt lyrics of “The Real Slim Shady” was the start of me not caring about what others thought of me.

At my cousin’s house, I would sing along with the lyrics loudly not worried that I would get in trouble with my mom:

“And there’s a million of us just like me, who cuss like me, who just don’t give a f**k like me, who dress like me, walk, talk, and act like me.”

Years later, when the album “Encorewas released in late 2004, I felt a connection to the song, “Evil Deeds” because of the way Eminem mentioned his dad in the song. The lyrics helped me learn something about my mom as well.

“And the dad that he never had, and how his childhood was so bad,” struck a chord with me because my father is estranged, and I am a product of a mother who tackled dual roles in my life as my full-time father and mother.

In 2011, I made new friends through work which led to another good experience I had involving Eminem. It was a Sunday night, my friends and I were all in the living room when I heard another great Eminem song that was at the end of an episode of “Entourage.”

Till’ I Collapse” fades in, and listening to the intensity of the song, made it seem like I was hearing it for the first time again since 2002.

Every time I hear the lyrics, “till the roof comes off, till’ the lights go out, till’ my legs give out, can’t shut my mouth,” I remember the joy my friends and I had watching the show.

I’m grateful for this memory because it led to discussions on other rappers and musicians, like comparisons between Eminem and Lil’ Wayne. To me, “Till I Collapse” will always be synonymous to the show and that memory with my friends.

Eminem and his music continue to build upon connections in my life like bringing me closer to my future in-laws.

When I began dating my fiancée, the subject of Eminem’s music came up in conversation. She had told me she and her siblings love listening to his music.

One night at our house, her siblings came to visit, and we all decided to do karaoke out on the back patio. One of her siblings picked “Lose Yourself from the “8-mile” film soundtrack and we all started rapping along to the iconic lyrics.

With all of us in sync singing, “there’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti,” it felt like a perfect night because everyone was singing along and enjoying the moment.

I really wanted my fiancée’s younger siblings to like me and after that night, I felt a bit more welcomed and comfortable with them.

Eminem continues to connect me with people, almost every day, even my fiancée. I can play any song from one of Eminem’s earlier albums and she’ll know the lyrics. We still joke about how she claims she can rap along to Eminem’s “Godzilla”.

For these last 22 years, I realized that I can appreciate Eminem’s music being an unseen staple in the best times of my life.

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