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Nowadays, hip-hop is about drug dealing, cash, and rims. But there was a time, not so long ago, when rapping about raping your mother and strangling people with candy bars was au courant. Eminem brought a truly bizarre persona to mainstream rap, and his new live CD — filmed two years ago on the New York stop of a farewell tour — gives you an idea of just how exhausting it is to be him. His stage show includes costume changes, a multimedia drama of sorts (he considers killing himself), and elaborate set pieces (he muses on Mariah Carey and then proceeds to vomit into a toilet). At the center of it all are Em’s demons, his ex-wife, his mother, and his fans. Has there been a better song this decade than “Stan”? Although he does only one verse of it here, you can hear the creativity and the rage — and you hope they haven’t been extinguished.

Latest Articles


Review: Speech Debelle | Speech Therapy

Big Dada (2009)
It's unfortunate that there's a glass ceiling in the US market for British hip-hop — but for the lovely, clipped London accent that gives truth to Speech Debelle's delivery, this release would be huge stateside.
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  August 03, 2009

Smack downer

Hip-Hop Misogyny: It Ain’t What It Used To Be
I haven’t come hereto academically justify West Coast credos about assimilating hoes into housewives. Instead I’ve come to mourn the commercialization of misogynistic rap lyrics.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 23, 2009

The other white beat

Four random caucasian MCs better than Asher Roth
In the home of Slaine, Esoteric, Sullee, Bomshot, Lyrical, and about 10,000 other pale MCs who can hang with brothers of all shades and styles, the notion of prolific whiteboys is hardly novel.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 07, 2009

Britney Spears and Michael Jackson fight it out

Who's #1?
Cue up track six on the new Britney (Jive) and prepare yourself for the Technicolor disco flash-back of the year, swooning string section, chunky Nile Rodgers guitar riff, and all. The song's called "Anticipating," and it captures the most famous 19-year-old girl in the world at her guileless, sentimental best.
By SEAN RICHARDSON  |  June 30, 2009

The Big Hurt: Wascally wappers

Plus failed massacres and reverse piracy
Lame as Marilyn Manson may be, I wouldn't wish his fans on him if he were my worst enemy.
By DAVID THORPE  |  June 01, 2009

The Big Hurt: Rock in a hard place

The economy makes music its bitch
Fear not, broke American: the music industry feels your pain.
By DAVID THORPE  |  May 18, 2009

He's not a doctor . . .

. . . but he plays with one in LA. As hip-hop's newest secret weapon, Dawaun Parker is helping resuscitate rap's biggest stars.
Around this time four years ago, contemporary hip-hop tastemaker Dawaun Parker faced the same dilemma that most soon-to-be music-school grads negotiate: should he become a performer, a songwriter, or a barista?
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 18, 2009

Bringing the party to the people

A history of our Inaugural West Swingers and White House Hoedowns
Are there any jobs on Earth more virile-sounding than commander in chief?
By KARA BASKIN  |  January 19, 2009

It could be verse

Subtle outdo their story on ExitingARM
Subtle outdo their story on ExitingARM
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  November 17, 2008

13 shots to the dome

The 10 hours and 29 minutes of LL Cool J’s career
What to do with LL Cool J?
By RICHARD BECK  |  September 03, 2008

If you don’t have anything nice to say . . .

Five outrageous Immortal Technique moments
Five outrageous Immortal Technique moments
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 24, 2008

Bigmouth strikes again

Immortal Technique goes on the offensive
The few college students who don’t watch The Daily Show get their news from Immortal Technique.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 24, 2008

Talk the talk

A local hip-hop critic puts his money where his mouth is
Music critics can’t win.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 17, 2008

A night in Guantánamo

Staying in a replica cell, with no waterboarding included
I’d volunteered to spend the night in the replica cell (which is modeled on the ones at Gitmo) because we’ve all heard stories about unlivable conditions at Gitmo but can’t come close to imagining what it must be like.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  June 18, 2008

June 2008

Monthly forecast
Monthly forecast
By SYMBOLINE DAI  |  June 12, 2008

Top 10 questions for Maine voters

The issues that define the primary campaign
Here are the top 10 stories and storylines shaping Maine's primary season.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  May 28, 2008

May 2008

Monthly forecast
Monthly forecast
By SYMBOLINE DAI  |  May 01, 2008

April 2008

Monthly forecast
April's planetary themes are fire and earth and a touch of water, which basically amounts to the conditions needed for pottery.
By SYMBOLINE DAI  |  April 01, 2008

End of an Era

After 29 years, Luke’s Record Exchange prepares to close shop
While the scene might seem a bit disheveled to the untrained eye, Renchan says he knows exactly where to find what he’s looking for.
By IAN DONNIS  |  March 19, 2008

Everyday MC

Masta Ace and eMC fly without a Learjet
Since Masta Ace got his start with the legendary NYC Juice Crew (Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Biz Markie, etc.), he’s had only a few minor hits.
By BEN WESTHOFF  |  March 18, 2008

March 2008

Monthly forecast
Monthly forecast
By SYMBOLINE DAI  |  March 03, 2008

Chicago 10

A motion-capture cartoon with an anachronistic soundtrack
Some of the lead participants in the farce leave lasting impressions, not least the antic prankster Abbie Hoffman, voiced by Hank Azaria.
By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 21, 2008

When Jacko was king

The 25th anniversary of Thriller
Richard Nixon may be the only figure whose decline in popularity eclipsed Michael Jackson’s.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  February 26, 2008

February 2008

Monthly forecast
Monthly forecast
By SYMBOLINE DAI  |  January 31, 2008


Live from New York City | Eagle Vision
There was a time, not so long ago, when rapping about raping your mother and strangling people with candy bars was au courant .
By BEN WESTHOFF  |  December 03, 2007

Crossword: ''Def jam''

It's fresh inside.
It's fresh inside.
By MATT JONES  |  November 20, 2007

Chairmen of the boards

Our critics pick the 14 producers with the fattest, meanest beats
Not unlike Swedish, Tagalog, and Esperanto, music is a language, with its own conjugations and (lewdly) dangling participles.
By PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  October 18, 2007

Crossword: ''In the language''

New Entries from the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Sixth Edition.
New Entries from the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Sixth Edition.
By MATT JONES  |  September 26, 2007

T.I. vs. T.I.P.

T.I. | Atlantic
In 1886, it was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde : dark versus light, yin versus yang.
By DOMINIQUE HENDELMAN  |  August 20, 2007

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