A Look At Drug Addiction Through Eminem's Relapse

A Look At Drug Addiction Through Eminem's Relapse

How the famous rapper's 2009 album reflects the dangers of addiction

I am a big fan of Detroit rapper Eminem, so when his new album Revival turned out to be pretty terrible, I decided to look back at his discography to remember all of the great music he has released. Obvious choices include his original three albums, The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP, and The Eminem Show, which propelled him to worldwide fame and established him as one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time.

However, the album that resonated with me the most was Relapse, released in 2009 after a four-year hiatus in which Eminem heavily struggled with drug addiction to prescription drugs like Valium and Vicodin.

Many consider Relapse to be one of Eminem's weaker albums with common criticisms citing his use of strange accents and the inclusion of songs without any real substance. One of these critics includes the rapper himself who stated on the song "Not Afraid" from his follow-up album Recovery, "In fact, let's be honest, that last Relapse CD was—ehh. Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground."

While I do agree that many of Relapse's songs like "We Made You" and "Crack A Bottle," I do not exactly stand with the best of his music, the songs in which Eminem gives an artistic glimpse into the causes and extent of his addiction stand as some of his greatest because of his honesty in presenting the turmoil of drug addiction. The three songs that stood out to me the most are "My Mom," "Deja Vu" and "Beautiful" because of the look they give into the mind of a drug addict who just happens to be one of the most famous rappers of all time.

In the song "My Mom," Eminem adds to the multitude of tracks from his discography in which he accuses his mom of being a terrible parent and the root cause of his problems, in this case, his addiction to drugs.

The song has a comedic tone with exaggerated syllables and funny metaphors, but listening to the lyrics reveals his mom as a person who was more worried about getting high than being present in her son's life. Eminem even claims she used to force him to take drugs like Valium to sedate him, but it may be an exaggeration as the rapper frequently describes fictitious or inflated events in his music to demonstrate his points.

Whatever the case may be, the important point of "My Mom" is that kids tend to do what their parents do, and being exposed to his mother's frequent drug use unsurprisingly led Eminem down the same path. Additionally, Eminem's mother contributed a great deal to his unfavorable childhood in which he was often bullied and felt alone, so he turned to painkillers and other drugs to bury his past in the back of his mind.

While it is ultimately a person's own choice to take drugs, being brought up in a poor situation like Eminem's can still have a great impact on a person's likelihood to take them, especially since they may consider them an ordinary part of life and not understand the dangerous consequences they can have.

"Deja Vu" is one of my favorite Eminem songs because of the way it directly puts you into the rapper's head while he is struggling with addiction, and it shows why drug addiction is a disease that is so hard to crack.

The song begins with medical emergency responders arriving at the home of Eminem after he collapsed from a methadone overdose in 2007, and then recounts the events that led up to this point (if anyone is interested in hearing Eminem's perspective on this overdose a decade later, I would recommend listening to the songs "Castle" and "Arose" from Revival).

In the first verse, he recalls that his addiction started after he started drinking NyQuil in order to fall asleep and he eventually moved on the harder drugs like Valium once it was no longer doing the job.

The second verse involves the rapper recalling his alcohol problem, and how having a single drink would lead him down a slope of drinking more and more until he would collapse on the ground and blackout the next morning.

In the final verse, Eminem finally admits to himself that he has a drug problem and that it was exacerbated by the death of his best friend Proof and his inability to sleep at night, but nonetheless still recalls a relapse three months after his overdose.

The song is so impactful because it shows that drug addiction is not always an immediate thing and that it is often the culmination of many events building on top of one another that causes a person to turn to harder and harder drugs. Furthermore, often times drug addicts do not notice a problem in their lives until it is too late, and even once they have this realization and want to kick their dangerous habits, a relapse can occur at any time.

While many of the songs on Relapse were recorded by Eminem while high on drugs, "Beautiful" is a track he wrote sober during a period when he was working hard to end his addiction.

While the two previous songs I discussed have lighthearted and comedic elements in them which mask their dark underlying tones, "Beautiful" involves a completely serious Eminem inviting his fans to understand perhaps the greatest contributing factor to his, and many others', drug addiction - depression. Eminem offers his listeners a glimpse into his mind and why his depression is facilitating his addiction problems.

Firstly, he believes that his music is not as good as it once was and that it may be time for him to retire from rap forever. Secondly, despite his millions of fans and constant media attention, Eminem feels alone in the world because he considers all this attention to be bogus because of his fame. Thirdly, he admits that he has only ever wanted to fit in, possibly because of the lack of a father figure in his life.

The power of the song comes from the realization that Eminem, despite his massive fame and wealth, is still a human and goes through the same emotions and tribulations as anybody else. In the chorus he sings the words, "But don't let 'em say you ain't beautiful / They can all get fucked, just stay true to you," to show anybody struggling with a problem that he understands what they are going through and that they can get past whatever issue is eating at them by loving and believing in themself.

For Eminem, if one positive thing can come out of his addiction and depression, it is to remind the world that everybody is beautiful in their own way. Many depressed people turn to drugs because they do not want to deal with the constant judgement placed upon them by themselves and others. "Beautiful" offers a message of hope in light of darkness by showing the raw thoughts of a man who does not want anybody else to go through what he had to.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.


We all knew "Scorpion" was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint

18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings

23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop

31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me

This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Is The Comedy Gold We Love And Need, And That Has A Lot To Do With The Characters

Every character finds his or her own chemistry with each person in the precinct, and ultimately, that's what makes "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" a big old unique family.


For the past couple of months, I have been unapologetically binge-watching "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," mainly because it's finally available on Netflix where I live. And the more I watch this show, the more I realize its value culturally and comically.

First off, even as an avid watcher of crime shows, I know that the police procedural show has been done one too many times. There are endless tropes it has spawned, with the gruff lead detective falling in love with a snappy partner or the weirdly inventive murders that real cops would be shocked to deal with even once in their careers, let alone every week at 7 p.m. EST.

This is exactly why "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is such a relief to watch. It's fun, it doesn't take itself too seriously and it's smart.

Starting off with the cast, Andy Samberg plays Jake Peralta, one of the best — or if you asked him, the absolute best — detectives in the precinct. The only issue with him is that he's a man-child through and through, still unable to grow up or mature in most areas of his life.

Now, I've seen this stereotype played off time and time again — the goofy and hilarious leading man who really just needs to figure himself out, but requires the rest of the cast to act as only supporting characters in his one-man journey of self-discovery.

Thankfully, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" doesn't fall into that well-trodden trap — Jake's characteristic childlike tendencies, including a passionate love for orange soda, blue flavored drinks and gummy worms, are part of his personality through and through.

But he truly cares for his friends, as seen in the humility he shows when he apologizes to Charles Boyle, his best friend on the force who reveres him, and he owns up to his mistakes whenever he hurts somebody else. He is a layered character who's still figuring himself out — which makes his antics forgivable and sweet because of his true intentions.

And speaking of well-rounded characters, the entire cast is fully developed — aside from Hitchcock and Scully, both of whom mainly stay comfortably in their boxes as the lazy, idiotic detectives. And beyond being fully developed, which is hard enough to juggle in a show of so many characters, they are diverse.

This point has been brought up again and again. The show includes people of different ethnicities, and it gives them dignity as characters that goes beyond their race. Stereotypes have no place on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," not when you have a gay black captain and a sergeant built like a tank who braids his twin daughters' hair and is wholeheartedly dedicated to the farmer's market. There's a scary but kind Rosa, who is revealed to be bisexual, and Amy, who is a Type A personality that melts at the sight of a well-organized binder.

Essentially, all the characters in this show go beyond being entertaining. They are memorable — Gina, especially. The assistant of Captain Holt, her participation in a dance troupe called "Floorgasm," along with her stunning self-confidence, makes her one of the best characters on the show by far.

But the strongest point of this show is the relationships that are carefully crafted between the characters. Each episode has unlikely subplots involving different characters, and each relationship is built so that the show doesn't fall into monotone rhythms of characters who only have chemistry with certain other characters.

Rather, every character finds his or her own chemistry with each person in the precinct, and ultimately, that's what makes "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" a big old unique family.

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