By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
It's me, Brendan. I thought since Stan hasn't been around for a few years now, you might appreciate hearing some feedback from a fan about your new album, Encore. Don't worry, I'm not really pissed off that you haven't answered any of my previous correspondence. I just figure that Paul Rosenberg isn't passing them on to you since the whole Stan debacle, so maybe running this one in the newspaper will catch your attention.
First, I wanna say that I was really surprised that Bush got elected despite your releasing the single and video for "Mosh" right before the election. When you bust out with "Maybe this is God just saying we're responsible for this monster, this coward that we have empowered" over that dirty little bass line that Dre busted out, it gives me patriotic li'l goose bumps. Now, I think you're reaching a little bit when you say, "Maybe we can reach al-Qaeda through my speech," but I appreciate your optimism. I'm sure that I speak for the whole country when I tell you we're all hoping you make a run for the White House yourself in '08. (I'm thinking we run 50 Cent for VP and immediately make Dre Secretary of State after the inauguration; lemme run that by Carville and get back to you.) I'll cc this to MoveOn.org and see if we can get some fund raising started early.
But back to the new record -- I gotta say I was a little taken aback when I first heard "Just Lose It" on the radio, not because of the cheesy and predictable stabs at Michael Jackson, but because you're finally talking about your homosexuality (which hard-core fans like myself have long suspected, blondie). The whole "Yeah boy shake that ass/Ooops I mean girl, girl, girl, girl" might have been just a funny little aside if your album wasn't overflowing with sophomoric homoeroticism.
You seem a little confused by your new sexual awareness, which is understandable -- even to a breeder like me. Let's revisit what you rap on "Rain Man": "Dr. Dre, I've got a question if I may -- is it gay to play Putt-Putt golf with a friend and watch his butt-butt when he tees off? . . . In football the quarterback yells out hut-hut while he reaches in another grown man's ass/Grabs on his nuts, but just what if, it was never meant, it was just an accident/But he tripped, fell, slipped and his penis went in his teeny-tiny little round hiney, but he didn't mean it/But his little weenie flinched just a little bit, and I don't need to go into any more details/But what if he pictured it as a female's butt, is that gay?"
Um, yeah, all that shit is gay, dude. Ask Elton next time you guys do a "duet" together. But it's cool; the world needs a platinum-selling gay rapper. And none of us fans failed to notice that the next song after "Rain Man" is called "Big Weenie."
Now, I understand that Kim's really put you through the wringer over the years, and that your excessive misogyny is probably what led you to switch teams. Coming out seems to have really mellowed you on the Kim tip, though. Shit, my favorite Slim Shady joint of all time is "Kim" off The Marshall Mathers LP -- "You loved him, didn't you? . . . Bullshit you bitch don't fuckin' lie to me . . . Kim! Why don't you like me? You think I'm ugly, don't you? . . . You think I'm ugly, get the fuck away from me, don't touch me! I hate you!"
But on this record, instead of killing Kim ("now it's double homicide, and suicide, with no note"), she's just making you sick, on "Puke." I mean, sure, you say, "You're a fuckin' cokehead slut, I hope you fuckin' die," but that's pretty mild compared to, say, "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" off The Slim Shady LP. Then, on the very next track after "Puke" -- "My First Single" -- you're rapping, "Suck a dick and lick a dick and eat a dick and stick a dick in your mouth." Not subtle at all, buddy.
Another thing -- I read your Rolling Stone interview with Tour, where you talked about how you won't say the n-word, but think it's okay to say "faggot." People might take that the wrong way -- you should've explained that, since you're not black, you don't get to say the n-word, but since you're gay, its perfectly okay for you to use the word "faggot."
That's enough about the gay shit. Encore has its profound moments outside the sexual realm, too. "Like Toy Soldiers," which you produced, is hands down the sickest song on the record. That martial snare beat paired with the rousing Martika sample is fuckin' heavy, man, especially with the firsthand knowledge you're dropping over the top. "There used to be a time when you could just say a rhyme and wouldn't have to worry about one of your people dyin'. . . ." I totally fuckin' agree that these hip-hop beefs are out of hand, and I and all of your fans are deeply proud that you're mature enough to address the beefs with Ja Rule, Murder Inc., and The Source, and try to drop that shit before anybody gets hurt.
In closing, I've got to admit to you that Encore isn't my favorite album you've kicked out; it just doesn't have the fire in it that The Marshall Mathers LP has. For that matter, The Eminem Show was a little lackluster, too -- but don't sweat it, dog. I understand Encore is expected to be the biggest selling album worldwide, and that's really saying something for a bleached-blond gay kid from 8 Mile.
-- Your biggest fan since Stan