top of page

Slim Shady Toes The Tightrope of Genius & Insanity

Surprisingly, this song is not a Dre beat, but it is brilliant; it's credited to The Bass Brothers DJHead and Eminem. The beat encapsulates the song as beautiful, dark, and complex. There is a section of the beat that's like a hip hop bop. Then there's another part that's like a haunting dramatic sound, and then there are also harps. This song is one of the songs that got me into Eminem when I was younger because of the crazy storytelling. At face value, this song is about Eminem and Halie, and a Fathers love for his daughter. However, the backdrop is Eminem and Kim's relationship and the devils in the details.

" (Just the two of us, just the two of us)

Baby, your dada loves you

And I'ma always be here for you

(Just the two of us, just the two of us)

No matter what happens

You're all I got in this world

(Just the two of us, just the two of us)

I would never give you up for nothin'

(Just the two of us, just the two of us)

Nobody in this world is ever gonna keep you from me

I love you"-Slim Shady

It starts nice enough Eminem proclaiming how much he loves his daughter. However, something darker creeps beneath the surface as Eminem promises nobody will ever keep Halie from him. Who would try? Eminem has been quoted as saying that he doesn't care about his deadbeat father's excuses because he would never let anything or anyone keep him from his kids, and he expresses that sentiment here. According to Eminem, in the summer of 1997, Kim was keeping Halie from him, and it was that action that inspired this song.

"C'mon Hai-Hai, we goin' to the beach

Grab a couple of toys and let Dada strap you in the car seat

Oh, where's Mama? She's takin' a little nap in the trunk

Oh, that smell? Dada must've runned over a skunk

Now, I know what you're thinkin', it's kind of late to go swimmin'

But you know your Mama, she's one of those type of women

That do crazy things, and if she don't get her way, she'll throw a fit

Don't play with Dada's toy knife, honey, let go of it (No)"-Slim Shady/Halie

In line three, we are informed things have gone terribly wrong. Kim is napping(dead) in the trunk. The foul smell that Eminem tells Halie is roadkill is Kim's body beginning to smell. In the last few lines, Em references Kim's behavior around the house as the reason she wants to go swimming at such a late hour. Before Em calmly tells Halie to give him the murder weapon back, pretending it is just a toy knife.

"And don't look so upset, why you actin' bashful?

Don't you wanna help Dada build a sandcastle? (Yeah)

And Mama said she wants to show you how far she can float

And don't worry about that little boo-boo on her throat

It's just a little scratch, it don't hurt

Her was eatin' dinner while you were sweepin'

And spilled ketchup on her shirt

Mama's messy, ain't she? We'll let her wash off in the water

And me and you can play by ourselves, can't we?"-Slim Shday

Eminem Cheers Halie up with a promise of sandcastles at the beach before getting back to sugarcoating the darkness. He tells Halie that Kim wants to show you how far she can float because he knows she won't be swimming. Then we learn that Kim's throat has been slit and Slim Shady explains this away as ketchup. He then uses Kim's messy booboo as the reason she needs to wash off in the water once again trying to explain her need to float. Then Em shifts to promises of his daughter and him playing together after that. Referencing the chorus and his promises that nobody will ever keep Halie away.

"There's a place called Heaven and a place called Hell

A place called prison and a place called jail

And Dada's probably on his way to all of 'em except one"-Slim Shady

This is the most memorable bar of the song, in my opinion. Eminem is subtly confessing the gravity of his actions to his daughter. This bar is also impressive because, on the one hand, it seems that Slim Shady is willing to kill to keep his daughter with him but gives no consideration to the fact that he cannot be with his daughter in prison. Interestingly, he anticipates jail and prison, and even Hell, so Slim is impulsive but not unaware.

"'Cause Mama's got a new husband and a stepson

And you don't want a brother, do ya? (Nah)

Maybe when you're old enough

To understand a little better, I'll explain it to ya

But for now, we'll just say Mama was real, real bad

Was bein' mean to Dad and made him real, real mad

But I still feel sad that I put her on time out

Sit back in your chair, honey, quit tryna climb out

I told you it's okay, Hai-Hai, want a ba-ba?

Take a night-night? Na-na-boo, goo-goo-ga-ga?

Her make poo-poo ca-ca? Dada change your didee

Clean the baby up so her can take a nighty-nighty

Your dad'll wake her up as soon as we get to the water

'97 Bonnie and Clyde, me and my daughter"-Slim Shady

Here Slim reveals more of the backstory. Apparently, Kim cheated on Eminem and was even leaving him for this new man who also apparently has a kid. Eminem tells Halie before realizing she is too young to understand and reverts to his sugar-coated words. He explains the cheating as momma making dad real mad and Slim Shady killing her as putting her on time out. An act Slim Shady admits he feels sad about. Also, we see Eminem use Halie and how young she is to make this situation even creepier as he has all track, but he turns it up more with baby talk and an Erie calm as he dumps his wife's body with his daughter. Here we can see how Hailie's presence is used to enhance the tale.

"Wake up, sweepyhead, we're here, before we pway

We're gonna take Mama for a wittle walk along the pier

Baby, don't cry, honey, don't get the wrong idea

Mama's too sweepy to hear you scweamin' in her ear (Mama)

That's why you can't get her to wake, but don't worry

Dada made a nice bed for Mommy at the bottom of the lake

Here, you wanna help Dada tie a rope around this rock? (Yeah)

We'll tie it to her footsie then we'll roll her off the dock

Ready now, here we go, on the count of free

One, two, free, whee"-Slim Shady

Slim turns up the baby talk as even a young Halie starts to get suspicious. Also, he needs Halie to listen to him now that she is free from the car seat. Halie is worried because Kim won't wake up, but Em assures her she is just exhausted, and that flows right into the demented wordplay where Slim says he has made a nice "bed" for mama at the bottom of the lake. Of course, this bar is a wordplay on the lake bed and an actual bed. Then Slim instructs Halie as if they are playing a game, and they throw Kim in.

"There goes Mama, spashin' in the water

No more fightin' with Dad, no more restraining order

No more step-dada, no more new brother

Blow her kisses bye-bye, tell Mama you love her (Mommy)

Now we'll go play in the sand, build a castle and junk

But first, just help Dad with two more things out the trunk"-Slim Shady

Slim reveals that he and Kim were fighting, and apparently, Kim wanted a restraining order. There is some truth to this apparently, when Kim and Eminem were dating other people, they were fighting, and Kim was keeping Halie away from Em and even threatened a restraining order. Em does not stop with Kim though he packs the final punch in the last line, revealing two more things in the trunk. Two more people, the step brother, and father he referenced earlier.

This song is in the underrated series because it does not get the respect it deserves. This song is high concept elite songwriting and storytelling, a horrorcore masterclass. Eminem pens a tale so twisted it will still make you cringe with revulsion today at some of the gruesome lines. He does this without over the top violence but with subtle terror. The terror is in the background and explained through baby talk, but it does not take away from the narrative; It makes the song more twisted and shows how skilled a rapper Em is to tell a story in such a creative and terrifyingly effective way. Eminem showed he was a storytelling master early with this one, and this should be brought up more when talking about his storytelling/creative skills.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page