I’m not really a fan of Marshall Mathers and I’m definitely not usually checking for Wayne so it’ll come as a surprise to those that know me that I’m doing a post on a song and video featuring both! Warning: the lyrics ain’t clean, so don’t click “play” if you or anyone around you is easily offended by profanity.
With stories in the news recently about state employees harassing students, pre-teen male cheerleaders getting their arm broken, and college kids committing suicide over cyber-outings, Em & Weezy’s take on bullying seems (probably unintentionally) right on time. And while I doubt either set out to say, “What’s poppin’ disenfranchised gay youth?—- Slim Shady & Weezy Baby are here to let you know that we feel yo’ pain, son…”, the timing of the video’s release pretty much guarantees that it’ll be re-imagined as topical headlines commentary, regardless of original intent.
Much like his recent domestic abuse campfire sing-a-long “Love The Way You Lie”, Mr. ‘Nem manages to address a serious topic with compelling visuals and thought-provoking “run that by me again” lyrics that can’t be fully absorbed with just one listen/viewing. “No Love” tells the story of a mop top skater kid whose bullying at school gets progressively worse until he literally takes matters into his own hands. Does Lil’ Curly go all Pearl Jam/“Jeremy” on those suckas? Well, I won’t ruin it for ya; sacrifice five minutes of your time and see for yourself. While the high school drama plays out, we also get Monsieur Mathers and hip hop’s other Mr. Carter pacing around an empty soundstage enhanced with digital smoke while delivering verses in which intricate wordplay and clever puns make the guest list while sellin’ drugs, bangin’ h*s or coppin’ sh*t thankfully do not.
Aside from the topical bullying angle, the other reason this video caught my attention is cuz the backing track to all this fire spitting about triumphing over “the haters” is… 90’s eurocheese dance classic “What Is Love” (video below for your throwback/flashback viewing pleasure) by Haddaway??? Sure, OK. I guess for those times when you feel like the world is against you and you need to channel your frustrations into song, one should look no further than… A Night At The Roxbury. Grade: B+
Haddaway - “What Is Love”
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