The Problem With... "Not Afraid" by Eminem

Guess what, folks. Slim Shady is back on the charts.

Eminem appeared on a few tracks in the last few months; he was featured in the single "Airplanes" by B.O.B (where his lost me by playing the mom card once again) and laid a on top of "Over" by Drake. It's a vast improvement on the original, I'll say.

So, how about his fresh new single?

Eminem latest, "Not Afraid" heralds his upcoming album Recovery. There is a bit of refreshing self-criticism in this track--although I thought Relapse was worse than "ehhh".

Let's face it: This is just another song from the artist that's telling us "I'm back, and I'm not holding back." Here, Eminem also declares that "It's time to exorcise these demons" and "I ain't going back to that now / All I'm tryin' a say is get back, click-clack blaow."

I respect what Eminem does. His writing is often sharp--even when he takes risks like throwing out cultural references with a half-life of weeks. Take it from someone who writes like that, Em--keeping things fresh is harder than Family Guy makes it look.

So, what's the problem here? Well, Em's been down this road before with older tracks--like on "Cleaning Out My Closet", where he promises to vanquish the past and unpacks attacks that will make Patton slap himself with an attache case and crap himself.

The follow-up tracks, though, while avid, reach a standstill when the emotional baggage he's rapped about ad nauseam comes back. Hearing Eminem boasting about a coming smack-down, then seeing him relapsing and blaming it on his mom, success, or whatever, is aggravating. The disappointment just lingers with everything else he does, and it's shameful to bring up.

I get the feeling it might happen again.

The new album Recovery is a few weeks away, so we'll see if Em cleans out his closet this time around. If he takes a trite path and brings up his mom or Mariah Carey again, then I'm gonna simply abstain from Slim Shady's stagnant act.

I'll really do it, I swear.

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