Thursday, December 13, 2018

M&M Poet Turned Wrapper

"Cleanin' Out My Closet" by Eminem was released on May 26th, 2002 in Marshall's album, The Eminem Show. This album is highly respected as one of Eminem's best with classics in "Till I Collapse" and "Without Me." Eminem's beautiful artistry and manipulation of words adds incredible new levels to "Cleanin' Out My Closet." This song tells the story of a young Marshall Mathers and his distaste for his own mother and the press. The song starts off with Em's troubles with the press and the people, stemming from his controversial rhymes and white demographic. He continues on to call out his mother for being a terrible mother even after Em's dad left both of them. Eminem tells a story with his music, every single lyric he produces is thought about long and hard until completely perfected.

     Now, I would never diss my own mama just to get recognition
     Take a second to listen 'fore you think this record is dissin'
     But put yourself in my position, just try to envision
     Witnessin' your mama poppin' prescription pills in the kitchen
     Bitchin' that someone's always goin' through her purse and shit's missin'
     Goin' through public housing systems, victim of Münchausen's Syndrome
     My whole life I was made to believe I was sick when I wasn't
     'Til I grew up, now I blew up, it makes you sick to your stomach, doesn't it?

Eminem's use of internal rhymes is especially apparent in these first eight bars of his third verse. (Ln 2), listen & dissin', (Ln 3), position & envision, (Ln 4), witnessin' & prescription & kitchen. Almost every single line in the first eight bars of this verse contains an internal rhyme or more. He also goes on to mention Münchausen's Syndrome which is a mental disorder where a caregiver, usually a mother, harms their child or describes non-existent symptoms of a sickness in order to get sympathy and attention. He uses Münchausen's Syndrome as an extended metaphor for the rest of this snippet, mentioning being made "to believe he was sick when he wasn't" and "it makes you sick to your stomach." In addition to extended metaphors and internal rhymes, in these eight bars alone Em also uses multiple slant rhymes in the form of recognition & dissin, envision & kitchen, and housing systems & Münchausen's Syndrome. Although this is only eight lines from a five minute song, these lines alone show Eminem's poetic prowess. The song as a whole is one of the best made in this century, giving a complete and entertaining story of Eminem's life. The way Em's rhymes work, along with his overall flow and poetic strategies implemented throughout the song, prove that Eminem is not only a wrapper, but a poet.


  1. While listening to Eminem's song, I heard internal rhymes like you described in the verse, throughout the entire song. The hook to the song is Eminem saying that he never meant to hurt his mom, but he had to get it off his chest, and used rhymes to describe his hatred towards her. Although this song was good, I do disagree that this is the best made song of this century.

  2. I think this is a great way to dig down and truly accept Eminem's writing abilty, and the extended metaphors he is able to utilize

  3. All of his poetic devices and amazing rhyming abilities allow for him to make the story he presents, and meaning you mentions, in this song succinct.