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YMMV / Eminem

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Those for and against him alike can't quite figure out whether he "really means it" or not. He's generally more intelligent and sensitive than his loudest detractors would admit, but still angrier and sicker than his younger fans' parents would like.
    • Some of his more outlandish and outrageous lyrics and songs reach the point of parody, whether they are or not is debatable.
  • Archive Panic: In 2014, Spin ranked all Eminem songs, both as a lead and featured artist, excluding the skits. How many songs were back then? 289, and that number has since been growing.
  • Award Snub:
    • The Marshall Mathers LP got awards left and right and is widely regarded as one of the best rap albums ever. Yet when it came time to award the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, it had two acclaimed rock albums to combat: Steely Dan's Two Against Nature and Radiohead's Kid A. The Academy chose the Steely Dan album, apparently because it was a safer choice than a rap album or an experimental rock album.
    • Inversely, at least early in his mainstream career, he seemed to win awards in rap categories by default.
  • Awesome Ego: "Had a dream, I was king. I woke up, still king."
    • "Long as I have a mike, I'm Godlike / So you and me are not alike / Bitch I wrote Stan "
  • Awesome Music: No doubt about it. His complex lyrical skills aren't the only thing that makes his music great; there's a lot of songs of his with downright remarkable instrumentals and beats. Special mentions go to "Lose Yourself", "'Till I Collapse", "Rap God", "Berzerk", "FACK" (lyrical content aside), and "Bagpipes From Baghdad".
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: "The Kids". The song is all about Eminem turning up as a supply teacher at a school and teaching children about the dangers of drugs... the most dangerous of which is the fact that they poison squirrels.
    • Near the start of "Lose Yourself", he includes the lyric "Mom's Spaghetti" in the midst of describing someone's nervous breakdown. It's meant to connect with the previous line, "There's vomit on his sweater already" as just a way of saying that the rapper in question threw up his mother's spaghetti that he ate earlier. This was lost on many, however, and the perceived randomness of the line has caused it to go memetic.
  • Bile Fascination: This is how he got a lot of his early audience, since he started his career in that transition period where people were getting tired of Gangsta Rap but hadn't fully embraced crunk/glam rap yet. He tended to alternate between Black Comedy and songs about killing women, and stuff you could dance to or was meant to be remixed.
  • Contested Sequel: Encore to The Eminem Show, Revival to Relapse and Recovery. Averted with The Marshall Mathers LP 2, since it is a return to form and on par with MMLP, some saying it is better the first LP.
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  • Crosses the Line Twice: Many of his jokes are of this sort. In fact, he outright admitted he was trying for this with the Christopher Reeve impersonation on "Medicine Ball."
    I guess it's time for you to hate me again
    Let's begin, now hand me the pen
  • Critical Dissonance: Both Encore and Revival are widely considered by critics and fans to be the lowest points of Eminem's career, with both having the worst critical reception of any of his albums. Despite this, both albums debuted at #1 in many countries and the former has went 4x-platinum by the RIAA in the United States.
  • Dork Age: Many agree that he has had one, though it is contested when it started and ended (if it even has ended). Encore and Revival are the most obvious targets for indications of this time period, both being his most reviled albums. Some include Relapse and Recovery in this period, and others even see The Eminem Show as a downplayed example of this, with many regarding it as being OK but a mile away from the glory of The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Despite his rude behavior, his extreme harshness towards others, and his homophobic and sexist lyrics (at least, how a lot of people interpreted them to be), he was still one of the top artists of the '00s and loved by teenage girls. He isn't at all villainous, however he is a controversial figure to most who just can't understand the overlooking.
    • He lampshades this in the lyrics for "The Real Slim Shady":
    Feminist women love Eminem
    Chicka-chicka Slim Shady, I'm sick of him
    Look at him, walking around, grabbing his you-know-what
    Flippin' the you-know-who
    Yeah, but he's so cute though
  • Epileptic Trees: There's an absurd conspiracy theory floating around that he actually died during his three-year absence from the public eye and that the Eminem we see from 2009 onward is actually a clone. Because, you know, the stress of losing your best friend, addiction, and a near-fatal overdose totally doesn't change you.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: There are many people who like Eminem, but can't stand rap in general, making him an Ensemble Darkhorse for the entire rap genre. It's mainly because he's white, and he tends to have a more aggressive and technical approach than most rappers as big as he is, making him positively stand out amongst those new to the genre.
    • He commonly overshadows other artists such as Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and even Jay-Z (whether Em was actually better on Renegade than Hov can be debated, but the reviews said Em's verse was superior) when collaborating with them. Hell, he outshone Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Drake all on one song, "Forever", showing that Shady was indeed back.
    • "Like Toy Soldiers", "Mockingbird", "Yellow Brick Road", and "Mosh" are the only tracks on Encore that most people like to remember.
    • Among rap fans, he was the Ensemble Darkhorse of mainstream hip hop. He's one of, if not the only "mainstream" rappers you can consider a favorite in certain circles without losing credibility as a rap fan. This largely died out in recent years due to his aforementioned Dork Age and the rise of new rappers that recently surpassed him critically and lyrically like Kendrick Lamar, though he's still respected in several circles.
  • Epic Riff: "Lose Yourself"'s simple but catchy and expressive guitar riff became somewhat of a staple for beginner guitar players.
  • Face of the Band: He's the only recognizable member of D12 (though new fans might come to remember Bizarre, who stands out for being The Fat One and having the most out there lyrics). Lampshaded with the D12 song "My Band", in which the other D12 members bitch about the situation (and Em brags about it).
    • Similarly, to many people the hip-hop duo Bad Meets Evil consists of Eminem, and that black dude who hangs out with Eminem (Royce da 5'9").
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Eminem fans vs. the fans of pretty much anyone who has ever feuded with Eminem, including Juggalos, Cage fans, Everlast fans, Esham fans, etc.
    • Thanks to Kamikaze, you can now say there's one between his fans and those of Trap Music.
    • There is also one with Imagine Dragons fans after Dan Reynolds slammed Eminem for using a gay slur.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some of his fans prefer to forget anything that he did after Encore.
  • Fountain of Memes: Lots of his lyrics and songs are very memeable, even the less ridiculous ones.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment
    • Encore's "One Shot 2 Shot" has Em and D12 rapping about a shooting at a D12 concert. Proof's death two years later made this song even scarier than it already was. Even scarier is that despite Proof being alive at the time, he wasn't even on the song, which could mean that in the song's story, he did get shot.
    • A lesser, more humorous example: "My Band" by D12 revolves entirely around how they're only known by the general public as "Eminem's group." It ended up being their biggest hit. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy much?
    • During the first verse of "Without Me", Eminem raps, "A little bit of weed mixed with some hard liquor/Some vodka that'll jump start my heart quicker/Than a shock when I get shocked at the hospital/By the doctor when I'm not co-operating." Five years later, he wound up in the hospital from a near-fatal overdose.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The video for "Like Toy Soldiers" (released in early 2005 as a single), which re-enacts the death of former D12 member Bugz in 1999, has fellow member Proof taking the former's role in the video. Like Bugz, he was also shot to death about a year later.
    • As mentioned above in "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, "One Shot 2 Shot" became this when Proof of D12 was killed in a shooting at a nightclub in 2006.
    • Not to mention "Kim", an already disturbing song about Eminem murdering his then wife Kim, is made a bit more disturbing when in "Love The Way You Lie" he reveals they were both mutually abusive towards each other.
      BBC Radio 1: "This is not an autobiographical lyric [...] It's one of Eminem's flights of fancy, albeit one into a very real situation. Clearly he understands the psychology well, and can express the feelings with enormous clarity. Rihanna's role in all of this is interesting though."
    • Most of his songs about partying and drugs, especially "Drug Ballad", become this in light of his overdose.
    • In "Fast Lane", Royce Da 5'9" says "You let me take a shovel, dig up the corpse of Jack Kevorkian". Jack died exactly one month later.
    • There are several nods to Amy Winehouse in "We Made You" that are really hard to listen to after the latter's death.
    • In "Cleanin' Out My Closet", Eminem raps about how his father had walked out on him and his mother when he was little, with such lyrics as "Wonder if he even kissed me goodbye? / No, I don't. On second thought, I just fuckin' wish he would die!" On June 26, 2019, Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. (Eminem's dad) died of a heart attack at age 67. He pretty much confirmed that he still thinks this way on the song "Leaving Heaven" from Music to Be Murdered By, where Em reveals that he didn't feel sorry for his dad's death, since he was never there for him. On a more positive note, he also says that if it weren't for his father's neglect, he wouldn't be the man he is today.
    • His video for "Mosh" (a song that was a swipe at the, then, George Bush Jr. administration) essentially had people storming the Capitol to voice their displeasure, though at the least that ended on peaceful terms. A decade later, in 2021, Donald Trump, having lost to Joe Biden in the presidential elections, tries to rally his supporters to get congress to overturn the election results, which ended with them storming the Capitol and didn't go quite as peacefully.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: In his earlier years on a major label, he would regularly trash the notion of himself as a positive role model. Later in life, he would go on to adopt three children, kick a drug habit that had its grip on him for longer than he'd been signed, and found a charity for disadvantaged youth.
  • He Really Can Act: A lot of critics were impressed by Em's acting skills in 8 Mile.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: During the third verse in "Without Me", Eminem takes a shot at Moby, claiming "Nobody listens to Techno!" Several years later, Kesha, Lady Gaga and other techno-based artists take over the charts, though techno was popular in the 1990s too, as Moby's Play (1999) was a gigantic success even then. Just as hilariously, the year "Without Me" came out (2002), Kylie Minogue and her electro-poppy "Cant Get You Out of My Head" take over the charts worldwide, as — of course — does Moby with "We Are All Made of Stars."
    • Also, Eminem is dressed up like Robin in the music video for "Without Me". 13 years later, the Robin of Batman: Arkham Knight has a Comic-Book Fantasy Casting when he looks like Eminem in the similar look and feel.
    • Becomes equally hilarious as the "Rapmobile" in the Without Me video is a Lamborghini Murcielago (Spanish for "bat"). In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne himself would drive a Murcielago.
    • In "My 1st Single," Eminem suggests The Source would be so low as to find journalistic merit in child pornography. In 2004, this was a horrible accusation to make of anyone. In 2016... not so much.
    • In Skylar Grey’s “C’mon Let Me Ride”, Eminem says “I’m the cousin of Godzilla”. Skip to 2020, now he has a song called Godzilla!
    • All of his songs that mention weird beards, such as "Business" ("‘Til we grow beards, get weird and disappear / Into the mountains, nothin’ but clowns down here"), "Deja Vu" ("He’s acting weird again, he’s really beginning to scare me / Won’t shave his beard again and he pretends he doesn’t hear me"), and "Berzerk" ("Grow your beard out, just weird out") became this as of June 2017, when Eminem himself started growing a beard to the surprise of many people. As of 2020, he still sports it, so it's safe to say many are used to it now.
  • Ho Yay: Memorably in the Dr. Dre song "What's the Difference", "I love you dawg." Though he did mean it in a father-son sort of way. Him and 50 Cent though...
    • Also in "My Dad's Gone Crazy", "All this time me and Dre have been fuckin' with hats off!" a song in which he unfavorably compares retiring as a musician to a lifetime of performing cunnilingus.
    • Retroactively taken to new levels with Proof in several songs on Recovery, most notably "You're Never Over". Apparently they had pet names for each other...
    • "Just Lose It" is full of Accidental Public Confessions.
    Now I'm gonna make you dance
    It's your chance
    Yeah, boy; shake that ass
    Oops, I mean girl
    Girl, girl, girl...
    • Both "Stan" and its follow up "Bad Guy" has this with both Stan and Matthew's obsession with Eminem. Also cross with Foe Yay considering their subject matter. What worse is that Matthew starts off in "Stan" as a 6 years old.
    • Not to mention "Lighters":
    And pardon me if I'm a cocky prick but you cocks are slick
    Who you dicks try to kid, flipped dick, you did the opposite
    You stayed the same, cause cock backwards is still cock you pricks
    I love it when I tell em shove it
  • Hype Aversion: More cynical listeners believe Eminem's success is 30% talent and 70% because he's white, and that critics (initially) treat him as if he single-handedly invented hip-hop.
    • In some interviews (and stated in "White America") he kinda agrees with that cynical opinion.
    • Even today, he still seems to hold this opinion. In a 2020 interview with fellow emcee Crooked I, Em stated that despite both his high sales and respect amongst rap fanatics, he still "feels like a guest" in the hip-hop scene. He implies that he thinks this because he believes his popularity makes him more prone to being a Gateway Series to the genre than anything, and that not many people take the time to understand his craft because the reason he loves what he does is different from the reason surface-level rap listeners check him out, that reason being his respect for the genre. He even goes as far as saying that whenever he looks up a list of someone's favorite rappers, he thinks the authors "don't know what they're talking about" if artists far lesser-known than him aren't listed.
  • It Was His Sled: Everyone knows the the twist from Stan.
    • And by now, the reveal of whose perspective "Bad Guy" is from has shown up in every review of The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many of Eminem's guest verses on songs have helped make them more popular, such as "I Need A Doctor" by Dr. Dre or "Smack That" by Akon. Inversely, two of his songs ("Love The Way You Lie" and "The Monster") only became hits because of Rihanna.
    • Just for Pun, some would simply listen to the aptly-titled "Godzilla", for Eminem's last-30-second, rapid-fire verses that arguably topped the one he did on "Rap God."
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Eminem is this to his fans, who consider him untouchable and relish every instance of Em ending a beef with a savage diss track. This consequently has also led to a meme where Eminem is portrayed as being afraid of dissing fictional musicians as a way of illustrating how hardcore those musicians are (mostly from Anime & Manga and Western Animation).
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Where the fuck is Kanye when you need him? Snatch the mike from 'em, bitch, Imma let you finish..."
    • In some corners of the internet, 'stan' and 'stanning' are terms for hardcore fanning. Mostly used in jest.
      • A lot of those places have been using it so long that the original meaning/origin is often completely unknown to people.
      • Many rappers have referred to Eminem's "Stan", like Nas on "Ether" (you a fake, a phony, a pussy, a Stan) and Lupe Fiasco on "Lu Myself" (Like Stan, I'mma stand till it answers me).
    • Rearranging the lyrics of "Lose Yourself"; in particular, spamming the line "Mom's spaghetti".
      • "Snap back to reality" Explanation 
    • Guess who's back...back again? [X] is back. Tell a friend.
    • Two to the one to the one to the three, I like good pussy and I like good trees...
      • "Now this looks like a job for me." Explanation 
    • "Still waiting for 'My Salsa'."Explanation 
    • "One of the few rappers Eminem was too afraid to diss" / "Top 10 rappers Eminem was too afraid to diss" Explanation 
    • "Your booty is heavy duty like diarrhea" Explanation  Became an Ascended Meme when he spoke about it in his now-famous 2020 interview with Crooked I, acknowledging the mockery he received for the line.
      • "At the crib playing Fortnite with your Grandma."Explanation 
    • "Rap God" is probably the single most common background song for clips showcasing someone with a Motor Mouth. This has since been eclipsed in 2020 by the "#GodzillaChallenge".
    • "Something's wrong. I can feel it." Explanation 
    • "That's an awfully hot coffee pot." Explanation 
  • Memetic Troll: Eminem is legendary for gleefully and effortlessly taking the piss out of anyone and everyone who gets in his way. His entire "Slim Shady" persona is a testament to his ability to piss off personal enemies and Moral Guardians alike with zero fucks given.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In The New '10s, the title of "Stan" became a barely-tongue-in-cheek badge of honor, if not something to brag about among the exact kind of sick, obsessed fans that the song is criticizing, if not people who just exaggerate their greater-than-average interest in a certain celebrity, similarly misunderstanding that what Stan does is much worse than what any of them have done.
  • Narm:
    • "Mom's spaghetti".
    • "Have you ever been hated or discriminated against? I have. I've been protested and demonstrated against". It's arguably made worse by his pouty tone while he raps those lines.
  • Older Than They Think: People who got pissed at Eminem's political position against Donald Trump in Revival seemed to have forgotten Trump is not the first President Em dissed in his tracks; "Square Dance" from The Eminem Show and "Mosh" and "We As Americans" from Encore are jabs quite dedicated to George W. Bush.
    • The deep-throated angry delivery he used all throughout Recovery has often been cited as "the Recovery voice". However, he actually first rapped like this a few years prior on The Re-Up, which was recorded in 2005-2006.
    • One of the main issues of Relapse is the constant overuse of accents, but those actually started near the end of 2004's Encore, when the songs such as "Rain Man", "Big Weenie", and "Ass Like That" started getting really goofy. Em stated on a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone that every day he had a pocketful of pills, and he would just go into the studio and fuck around.
  • One-Scene Wonder: His guest appearances have a habit of outshining the host artist, like in Drake's song "Forever".
    • Or on "Drop the World" from the Lil Wayne rock album Rebirth. Most people, including Wayne's die-hard fans, weren't fans of the album, except for the song Em was on.
      • His appearance in "That's All She Wrote" on T.I.'s "No Mercy" album was viewed the same way do to the huge online sales for that track alone compared to the rest of the album.
    • His duet with Jay-Z, "Renegade", is the most literal example of this trope: Em's the only guest on the whole album. This was even lampshaded by Nas during his feud with Jay, saying "Eminem murdered you on your own shit!" The ironic thing is that his verses were prerecorded before Jay-Z got a hold of the track. It was originally supposed to be a Royce da 5'9" songnote .
    • His cameo in The Interview is one of the more memorable scenes in the film.
  • Sampled Up: Results tend to be Awesome, as shown by:
  • Seasonal Rot: Apparently, there are some who think Eminem's music was better before he kicked the drug habit.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Eminem was responsible for making white-rappers to be taken seriously after Vanilla Ice and other one-hit-wonders made them into a joke, as he was also praised for his technical ability and highly offensive and disturbing lyrics. Far too many rappers, both white and non-white rappers, have taken a cue from Eminem even since, such as Macklemore, Tyler, the Creator, Hopsin, Logic, Tech N9ne, and the equally-as-influential Lil Wayne. Despite all this, Eminem still remains the best-selling rapper of all-time.
  • Sequel Displacement: Go ask someone what Eminem's first album was.note 
  • Signature Song: "My Name Is" (and possibly "The Real Slim Shady") for the post-Infinite period, "Lose Yourself" for the post-The Eminem Show period.
    • As for signature song parts: Rap God and Godzilla for their respective sections where Em raps over 10 syllables per second, becoming very popular internet challenges (the former even netted him an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records).
  • So Okay, It's Average: Most of his work after the extremely divisive Encore is this with the possible exception of his early-2010's period besides the overwhelmingly negative reception of Revival and generally positive reception of The Marshall Mathers LP 2. While they're very lyrical and competently produced, most music critics agreed that Eminem's novelty and shock-value has long worn-off and aren't as special or as boundary-pushing as they were decades prior.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: For the fans who were disappointed in Encore and Relapse, Recovery was a significant step forward in quality. Given how poorly Eminem thought of the albums himself in some Recovery tracks, he feels the same.
    • Kamikaze is generally considered a big improvement over the very controversial Revival. Bonus points for being a literal surprise, in that it was suddenly dropped with no hype or marketing leading up to its release.
    • Even those who weren't won over by Kamikaze generally agree that Music to Be Murdered By was pretty solid. For reference, Anthony Fantano, who has been very critical of Em's late 2010s efforts, agreed that it was a decent listen and a step in the right direction....which was then followed by him giving Side B a lower score.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Cracked notes here that "As [Eminem] gets his life together his songs sound more and more like remixes and covers of the old ones. He'll never do 'Bonnie & Clyde' again."
    • Averted in the case of his more humorous songs, if one looks mainly at the songs themselves and not at Em's state of mind when he composed them.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • "Murder, Murder" off The Slim Shady EP. The second stanza sees him looting a house for, among other things, a Nintendo 64 (to sell it at triple the price once shops run out) and some Beanie Babies.
    • "The Real Slim Shady" is quite obviously a product of its time, with references to Pamela Anderson, Tom Green, Fred Durst, and Will Smith's musical career.
    • "Mosh" is a protest song that was released as a single prior to the 2004 US Presidential election, and its lyrics heavily reflect that. Mention is made of Bin Laden still being considered a terrorist threat, Em voices frustrations about the Bush administration by saying that then-president George W. Bush should go fight in the Iraq War as a way to "impress daddy" (George Bush Sr.), and the final lyrics are of Em saying "Mr. President! Mr Senator!", referencing the candidates of the 2004 US election (the aforementioned Bush, and Senator John Kerry). The music video even had two versions made (mainly just with different endings) and both are also equally as dated. The first one, released before the election, shows people showing up to vote between Bush and Kerry, and then the second version, released after the election, shows protesters breaking into the US Capitol Building while Congress is in session, with signs saying stuff like "Down with Bush!"
    • "White America" references Total Request Live in its chorus, firmly planting it in the early 2000s.
    • "Without Me" references Dick Cheney, how the FCC tried to take him off MTV (which has long since died out due to Network Decay and the internet), and then makes a series of Take Thats to artists who haven't been relevant in years, specifically Chris Kirkpatrick, Limp Bizkit, and Moby (even stating the latter as being 36-years-old). All of this screams 2002, the year "Without Me" was released.
      • Moreover, one of the pot-shots issued at Moby was the lyric "Nobody listens to techno". It was pretty accurate in 2002, when Electronic Music was a very niche thing in America (to the point that American DJs and electronic musicians had to go abroad to find success). Come The New '10s, where EDM has become the sound of youth and has permeated several different genres, DJs are hailed as the new rock stars, and EDM festivals can pull in crowds numbering at over hundred-thousand. Moby himself later noted in a 2016 interview how that particular lyric would be Hilarious in Hindsight later on.
    • "Ass Like That" mentions Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen who haven't been very mainstream in several years, plus they're mentioned to be young adults, and even more noticeably mentions Hilary Duff is underage.
  • Values Resonance: For better or worse, a song like "Stan," about a person who religiously obsesses over the personal life of a celebrity only to lash out when he doesn't get what he wants out of it, works very well in the age of social media, which not only allows but encourages people to virtually stalk, communicate with or even slander their favorite celebrities, as well as collectively hang onto literally every word they say as either gospel or leverage against them. It's even worse for the new generation of self-established internet personalities and web-based content creators who have even less of a buffer between themselves and their audience and are therefore even less equipped to deal with fame and the toxic people it attracts, resulting in many of suffering from irreparable damage to their mental health. And none of this is helped by the songs massive Misaimed Fandom of people who call themselves "Stans" as a form of pride in their obsession over their favorite celebrities.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • While it was mocked for its heavy inspiration from Nas' style and its sales were non-existent, people who listen to Infinite nowadays find it… really not that bad at all. While Marshall himself still views it as a Old Shame, he did celebrate the album's 20th anniversary by releasing a remixed version of the title track.
    • Opinions on Relapse have become less negative over the years, and today many consider it better than Recovery and MMLP2 (and obviously, better than Encore). Ironic as the album was subject to Creator Backlash soon after it came out. As of 2020, however, Eminem himself changed his opinion towards the album, as he looked back positively on the album for the 11th anniversary of its release, and also emulated his Relapse rap style in Music to be Murdered By: Side B (Deluxe Edition) on the song "Discombobulated".
    • Recovery is an inversion. When it was first released, it was seen as a solid comeback and an improvement over both Encore and Relapse. However, it has garnered criticism overtime for its commercial-sounding production and lack of variation. It's not at all hard to find people who view it as his worst album. This holds true for a handful of people even after the release of Revival, which is generally considered to be his weakest record since Encore.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?" is actually derived from the 1960s/70s game show To Tell the Truth's catchphrase "Will the real [person's name] please stand up?", used to reveal the true mystery guest. The song itself contains a few lines that parody a couple of contemporary songs like "The Bum Bum Song" and "The Bad Touch", which have largely been forgotten today.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Recovery was designed to be one after the poor reception to Encore and Relapse. Whether he succeeded is up for debate.
    • The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was this to those who were unsatisfied with Recovery's more somber tone and sometimes heavy-handed lyrics, instead opting to go back to the more slightly more wicked and slick tone of The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP, while still retaining the lightning-fast flow he showcased in Hell: The Sequel and parts of Recovery.
    • Within only hours of its release, Kamikaze was praised near-universally as a drastic improvement over Revival.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: The sudden 180 he did on his public persona during the campaign and release for Revival smacks of this. In particular, he went back on many of the most controversial themes of his work, from his feelings about his failed marriage to his pride in his success.
    • His collaborative work with many pop artists and moving away from collaborations with other rappers, which entered full force with Recovery, has elements of this too - see WTH, Casting Agency? above.
    • The usual criticism from detractors of Kamikaze. While basically everyone will cite it as a huge improvement over Revival, it wasn't a high bar to begin with, and the people who weren't won back by it panned it as a tired, over-the-hill artist desperately trying to be relevant by trying to sound like a C-list Strange Music artist. However, Music to Be Murdered By has thankfully avoided this criticism, even among those who didn't care much for it.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: He has been criticized over and over for his vulgarity in music, and how it reaches to children, but the fact of the matter is no matter how colorful and cheery his voice may sound (although not so much anymore, though his later songs have him using a more cheerful voice) his songs ARE NOT for them. He even talks about it in his songs.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Anybody else thinks it's a little strange to hear him on the same song as Hayley Williams?
    • Considering the popularity of "Airplanes," maybe not.
    • On that note, a song featuring Bruno Mars? As shown on the song itself ("Lighters"), it's quite a big contrast.
    • Most examples of this (him working with Fun., with P!nk!, with Akon) etc. are proof that Tropes Are Not Bad.
    • The general fan consensus regarding Revival is more or less this. While people such as Skylar Grey and X Ambassadors are familiar collaborators to most, fans were particularly shocked to see the likes of Alicia Keys, P!nk, Kehlani, and especially Ed Sheeran on the tracklist, with not a single rap artist appearing as a guest star. Aside from Phresher, although he doesn't actually rap. Many people have also said the fact him and Ed Sheeran worked twice again after that is also quite strange.


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