‘Without Me,’ written, sung and rapped by Eminem is a song that talks about his perspective of how empty the music industry would be without his presence because according to his lyrics, he forms a major part of the music making business and has a huge fan following which would dissolve if he leaves his career behind. Furthermore, the song is very exploitative in nature because it talks and discriminates on the basis of race. On a different level, Eminem has tried to portray how White Americans have been profiting within the industry and money making business because of and through the marginalized experiences that the African Americans or Blacks have had.
Eminem is like a diamond in the rough; it is not easy for most people to be able to connect with whatever he wants to say through his lyrics. He has changed the entire game of rap and the genre will not be able to survive without him because of his major contributions towards the same. He has taken the examples of Dick Cheney, his wife Lynne Cheney, the FCC, MTV as well as band Limp Bizkit, singer Moby and Chris Kirkpatrick and has also drawn out himself to be like the Elvis Presley of the modern day, a white man succeeding in an art form that is predominantly Black. He is also rather smug about himself as he is confident enough to proclaim himself to be the greatest rapper there ever was; and that this is one of the forms by which the Whites are siphoning away all the profits of the Black people. Eminem’s song appropriates the rap
style of African Americans and the music that they generally produce because of the kind of words that he makes use of, for example like ‘dope’, as well as his accent and dialect. Furthermore, his lyrical sense of rapping is completely like that of Black music rapping. For example, as can be seen in the lyrics, “I been dope, suspenseful with a pencil ever since Prince turned himself into a symbol. But sometimes the shit just seems everybody only wants to discuss me.” Eminem says, “No I'm not the first king of controversy, I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley to do black music so selfishly and used it to get myself wealthy...” Through these lines it is evident that he feels a sense of superiority over the rest of the artists within the industry, especially within this genre of rapping, and is not afraid to compare himself with the greats of yesterday like Elvis Presley and completely admits on stealing away the profession of Black people. The song thus refers to a tradition of White musicians that have made profits that the Blacks initially deserved. Artists like Moby and Limp Bizkit have also entered the Black music genre, and just like Eminem, they have taken away the fan following that Black musicians had with the help of their music and have established themselves instead. (Without Me – Eminem) However, this is not necessarily a bad thing because music appeals to anyone at all who might be interested in listening to it and it is the fault of Black artists if they are not able to retain their fans. Making music, writing lyrics and rap etc requires a great amount of skill that not a lot of people possess; it is very important for any artist to be able to have his own uniqueness and be able to capture on the essence of music along with the help of his fans and create a following. It is not the fault of Eminem if he created and paved a way for White artists to be able to take on rapping, which was originally of the Black people. In the modern world, people are trying to get rid of racism and thus people should not blame Eminem on taking away fans from the Blacks because it depends completely on his merit and ability to be able to entice all kinds of people with his music. In conclusion, Eminem’s song ‘Without Me’ is exploitative in nature to an extent however it has its own pros and cons and has led Eminem to fame once again. It talks about a number of issues and also about the kind of supremacy that the artist truly has established for himself in the