Slim Shady's Soap Opera
Slim Shady the infamous alter ego of Eminem is Angry dark and hilarious. However between the laughs and repulsion do you ever step back and wonder why? What is the rhyme or reason behind Eminem's Evil twin? I think the song As the World turns offers some insight. Slim sets up the song with a skit called Soap mocking soap operas but also setting up his own little soap opera track As The World Turns. Eminem has said in his book the way I am that he became a class clown so that he wouldn't be picked on. Slim Shady seems to function the same way at times in Em's music as a protective mechanism.
So in this addition of of Eminem's most underrated songs we are gonna take a look at the lyricism and enter the wacky world of shady and see why he does what he does.
"(I don't know) Yes, man
(Why this world keeps turning) As the world turns
('Round and 'round) We all experience things in life
(But I wish it would stop and let me off right now)
Trials and tribulations
(I don't know) That we all must go through
(Why this world keeps turning) When someone wants to test us
('Round and 'round) When someone tries our patience
(But I wish it would stop and let me off right now)"-Eminem
Eminem lets us know right off the bat that its not a happy story.
"I hang with a bunch of hippies and wacky tobacco planters
Who swallow lit roaches and light up like jack-o-lanterns"-Eminem
This is a cool dark double entendre because they light up like they smoke and they would light up with fire on the inside like a jack-o-lantern if they swallowed a lit roach.
"Outsidaz, baby, and we suin' the courts
'Cause we dope as fuck and only get a 2 in The Source"-Eminem
According to genius this line is about Eminem's friend from his former group the outsidaz getting a two in the source magazine. This makes sense because how would em have an album review for his debut album at the time of writing this verse. The fact that Eminem would go on to have a huge beef with the source only makes this line more interesting in retrospect.
Also suing the courts is like judging the judges in this the case the judges of music being the source. Very good metaphor here.
"Yo, they never should've booted me outta reform school (Uh-uh)
Deformed fool, takin' a shit in the warm pool
'Til they threw me out the Ramada Inn
I said, "It wasn't me, I got a twin"-Eminem
Oh my God, it's you, not again (Ahh)
Aside from the absolute hilarity of this line apparently Eminem actually use to stay in Ramada inn's with his mom at times in their travels. Also Twin line is a reference to soap operas where there is commonly a evil twin introduced as a plot twist.
"It all started when my mother took my bike away
'Cause I murdered my guinea pig and stuck him in the microwave"-Eminem
This line is interesting because this allegedly happened in real life. Eminem's mom Debbie says in her book that Eminem tried to warm his guinea pig up because he was cold by putting him in the microwave. So here Slim takes a tragic moment and repurposes it as the act of a demented youth and the moment is reclaimed as something else for the slim shady persona.
"After that, it was straight to the 40 ouncers
Slappin' teachers and jackin' off in front of my counselors
Class clown freshman, dressed like Les Nessman
Fuck the next lesson, I'll pass the test guessin'
And all the other kids said, "Eminem is a thizz head
He'll never last, the only class he'll ever pass is Phys Ed"-Eminem
Eminem admits he didn't do drugs until he started rapping about them so he probably wasn't doing drugs back in high school. He was class clown that part is true according to his book. Here instead of talking about his home life and everything that made it hard to succeed in school and fact that he found more success in rap outside of the class room. Eminem repurposes his school struggles for the lore of slim shady as someone who didn't give a fuck and disrespected his counselors and did drugs.
"Maybe true, 'til I told this bitch in gym class
That she was too fat to swim laps, she need a Slim Fast"
This is cool because this like a triple entendre. Needs slim fast like she needed slim shady who often rapped about getting with "fat chicks".Also a Slim fast like fasting to get slim and Slim fast like the dieting product. \
(Who, me?) "Yeah, bitch, you so big
You walked into Vic Tanny's and stepped on Jenny Craig"-Eminem
(Well, I have never)
This line is pretty self explanatory she is fat which is why she steps on Jenny Craig who is known for weight loss. However for the longest time I thought he was saying big panties but he is actually saying Vic Tanny's which is a gym so if any of you had the same misconception I did here you go.
"She picked me up to snap me like a skinny twig
Put me in a headlock, then I thought of my guinea pig
(Wait, wait, wait, wait)
I felt the evilness and started transformin' (Rrrahh)
It began stormin', I heard a bunch of cheerin' fans swarmin'
Grabbed that bitch by her hair, drug her across the ground (Come here, bitch)
And took her up to the highest divin' board and tossed her down
Sorry coach, it's too late to tell me stop
While I drop this bitch face down and watch her belly-flop"-Eminem
Its a well known fact that Eminem is heavily bullied as a kid so it makes sense that he would repurpose that for slim shady in this dark twisted fantasy where Shady is the bully and he beats someone up to the cheers of his classmates.
"We drive around in million-dollar sports cars
While little kids hide this tape from their parents like bad report cards"
Here slim appreciates the irony of the situation. They brandish their success profit as many of the core audience has to hide that they are even listening to it.
"Hypochondriac, hangin' out at the laundromat
Where all the raunchy, fat, white-trashy blondes be at
Dressed like a sailor, standin' by a pail of garbage
It's almost dark and I'm still tryna nail a trailer park bitch"-Eminem
Again Eminem plays with irony as a hypochondriac hanging out with people he descibes as trashy and even hanging out speccifally by the actual trash but inside the laundromat where things get cleaned. Also according to genuis the sailor line is a reference to the playground version of the Popeye the sailor song. "I'm Popeye the sailor man i live in a garbage can. "
I met a slut and said, "What up? It's nice to meet ya" (Hi)
"I'd like to treat you to a Faygo and a slice of pizza
But I'm broke as fuck
And I don't get paid 'til the first of next month (Sorry)
But if you'd care to join me, I was about to roll this next blunt
But I ain't got no weed, no Phillies or no papers
Plus, I'm a rapist and a repeated prison escapist
So give me all your money and don't try nothin' funny
'Cause you know your stinking ass is too fat to try to outrun me"-Eminem
So here Eminem subverts the typical expectations of a rapper picking up a girl. He isn't smooth and admits he is poor but then he kind of repurposes that for slim shady. It was all a ploy in attempt for the evil Slim shady to rob the woman.
"I went to grab my gun, that's when her ass put it on me (Stop)
With an uppercut, hit me with a basket of laundry (Ooh)
I fell through the glass doors, started causin' a scene
Slid across the floor and flew right into a washin' machine
Jumped up with a broken back, thank God I was smokin' crack
All day, and doped up on coke and smack
All I wanted to do was rape the bitch and snatch her purse
Now I wanna kill her, but yo, I gotta catch her first-Eminem
Then the story begins to get even more crazy. But Eminem shows off his effective storytelling skills narrating skills. Starts off with a twist and action scene leading to a chase and heightened tension in the story. Also again the absurdity at the end of Eminem being saved by drugs.
"Ran through Rally's parkin' lot and took a shortcut
Saw the house she ran up in and shot her fuckin' porch up
Kicked the door down to murder this divorced slut
Looked around the room
That's when I seen her bedroom door shut
I know you're in there, bitch, I got my gun cocked
You might as well come out now
She said, "Come in, it's unlocked"
Here Em shifts the story taking us in one direction of chasing this woman down and now that its the moment of truth and she is dead to rights she shifts things welcoming him in.
"I walked in and all I smelled was Liz Claiborne
And seen her spread across the bed naked, watchin' gay porn
She said, "Come here, big boy, let's get acquainted"
I turned around to run, twisted my ankle and sprained it
She came at me at full speed, nothin' could stop her
I shot her five times and every bullet bounced off her
I started to beg, "No, please let go"
But she swallowed my fuckin' leg whole like an egg roll"
Here Slim executes more shifts in the story then she tries to seduce Eminem and then he goes from being the hunter and to the hunted and apparently this women is an invulnerable cannibal.
"Duh-dah-duh-dah-duh-duh, go-go gadget dick
Whipped that shit out, and ain't no doubt about it
It hit the ground, caused an earthquake and power outage
I shouted, "Now, bitch, let's see who gets the best"
Stuffed that shit in, crooked and fucked that fat slut to death"-Eminem
Ow, ow (Come here, bitch)
Ow, ahh (Come here, take this mothafuckin' dick, bitch, come here)
The last shift slim goes to his trust trump card to win this battle wills. Also its funny because he originally tried to flee when this woman tried to seduce him. Also this is a hilarious go go gadget reference.
"It’s just a stupid fucking animated story about stereotypical white trash. It’s about being a trashy kid growing up with no morals and no fucking values. Every day is the same, the world keeps turnin', and I wanna get off this motherfucker. There’s not even a meaning in that song. Not all songs have to have meanings to ‘em. It’s just funny, y'know? Laugh."-Eminem
Eminem had this to say about As The World Turns.He is right of course the song isn't super meaningful its just a silly Slim Shady tale. However if you dig into the some of the references and think about why he chose to use Slim shady in certain ways it shows some interesting windows into Em's life and the Shady persona.
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