Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Song: "Beautiful" by Eminem

Love him or hate him, Eminem writes some pretty powerful (and controversial) songs. Although his lyrics aren't exactly something I plan to share with my grandmother, his words reach my generation more than many other artists' songs. Couple his amazing lyric-writing ability with the fact that he shows mad Detroit love in a lot of the things he does and I'm happy to say aloud that I'm a big fan.

Eminem's latest track - "Beautiful" - from his new-ish Relapse album has got me in a fit of emotion. First off, I love the lyrics for the simple fact that they can be interpreted in many different ways -- always keeping in mind that Em wrote the song in part while in rehab and finished it when he was sober -- lyrically spitting a myriad of emotions. And second, the vid was shot in Detroit and anything that shows the raw emotion, passion and grit of the D gets to me because it's a side so many people want to shut out and forget about. But it's real.

The video starts off with a caption stating "In 1950, Michigan was 1 of 8 states in America that collectively produced 36% of the world's GNP [gross national product]" and that "Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city in the world."

The video then begins to highlight the city in present day, showing Em walking through abandoned buildings (Michigan Central Station and the former Packard plant) and later shows footage of old Tiger Stadium being demolished.

The images that haunt me the most during the video though are the people profiled - just the "average joe's" / scenery that make up Detroit - autoworkers leaving work, boys playing basketball on the street, a youth baseball team, burnt out crack houses. The American flag flies high in a dark sky during a scene, symbolizing to me that life does exist in the city that America seems to have forgotten about.

Although I believe Em wrote many of the lyrics to help ease the pain of overcoming addiction, I also think he had Detroit on his mind while in rehab. Much like the process of overcoming addiction, Detroit has a long way to go to again become the city it once was. Those of us that live here cannot apologize for our city. Just like an addiction, it takes time and love to heal and repair the damage. There's no reason to feel sorry for our city. She is who she is and is beautiful in her own way. It's just up to the viewer to choose to see the beauty among the harsh realities seen on the surface.

"Don't let 'em say you ain't beautiful
They can all get f*cked, just say true to you."

Amen, Em.

If you're curious, check out the video here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i have to do a presentation on a song and i chose to do beautiful and your response to his song is just "beautiful" ahaha