Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP: you will roll your eyes when you read the review, and if you wish to laugh like a dog when you see the accompanying photo, I cannot stop you. Ken Tucker drops in a Genet reference to show he’s a clever guy, then proves he isn’t for the next 500 words. Nobody’s saying Enimem’s stuff is poetry, they’re saying his rhyming is superb performance-wise, a marriage of pop-eyed stand-up and rap braggadocio: it’s no coincidence his weakest tracks are the ones where he tones it down the most. Emily Dickinson, in other words, can piss off.

As for the ‘white’ thing – it wasn’t a white guy who heard Eminem’s demos and signed him to Aftermath: there’s no conspiracy here. The fact is that while Em is white, he’s also the first white rapper in 20 years to have achieved stardom while maintaining any form of hip-hop cred: it seems to me that previously white rappers have been out-and-out pop, or have relied on the rock and alternative audience for success. Yes, I do think there’s an element of racial bias in the way Eminem is seen as funny and the humourous elements of Jay-Z, say, get lost, but that’s also something both artists play along with themselves.

Saying Eminem is successful simply because he’s white is a cop-out, a neat bit of liberal gamesmanship which lets writers play at being ‘real’ hip-hop headz and also get off without bothering to consider the records too much. (Link via Fred, again)