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
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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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9 Eligible Princes You Need To Know About Now That Prince Harry Is Off The Market

You too could have a Meghan Markle fairytale
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Prince Harry's royal wedding is officially over and there won't be another British royal wedding for quite some time now, as Prince George is way too young to start thinking about that. Fortunately, there are plenty of other countries with plenty of other princes that are still eligible bachelors at the moment. Lucky for you, I did my research and compiled a list of all the eligible princes you need to know about know that Prince Harry has tied the knot with Meghan Markle.

1. Prince Louis of Luxembourg (31)

Prince Louis is the third son of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg. He has recently become a bachelor again after his separation with his wife of 10 years, Princess Tessy.

Fun Fact: He graduated from Richmond, The American International University of London with a BA in Communications. He can also speak Luxembourgish (the fact that's even a language is fun fact by itself), French, German, and English fluently.

2. Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg (26)

Prince Sebastien is the youngest child of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg, so if you marry him, you'll probably never actually be queen because he's pretty far removed from the throne. However, he's relatively young and single, so best of luck.

Fun Fact: For some bizarre reason, this prince actually went to college in Ohio. He played rugby and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2015. Now, he is back in his home country and is an officer in the Luxembourg Army.

3. Prince Phillipos of Greece and Denmark (34)

You read that correctly, Prince Phillipos is the prince of not one, but two countries. He is the youngest son of King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece and Denmark. Unfortunately, Greece abolished their monarchy, so he's a prince in name only there.

Fun Fact: Like Prince Sebastien, Prince Phillipos also went to college in the United States. He earned his B.A. in foreign relations from Georgetown University in 2008. Fortunately, for us American girls, he is actually still living in the US and he works in New York City as an analyst at Ortelius Capital.

4. Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis (34)

Ever heard of Thurn and Taxis? No? Me neither. Anyways, Prince Albert is from the House of Thurn and Taxis, which is essentially a very old German aristocratic family. He is the son of Prince Johannes XI of Thurn and Taxis and Countess Gloria of Schonburg Glauchau. His family is well known for their breweries and castles, so unless you're gluten-free, you can't really complain.

Fun Fact: He's not just a prince. He's also a racecar driver and 10 years ago he was ranked 11th on Forbes Magazine's List of The 20 Hottest Young Royals.

5. Prince Mateen of Brunei (26)

Prince Mateen is basically like all the guys you already know, except he's royalty. He's the prince of Brunei, which is a small country on the island of Borneo, south of Vietnam. He is one of the five sons of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and he also has seven sisters. Maybe that's a little different than the guys you know, but one thing he takes very seriously, just like most frat guys, is his Instagram.

Fun Fact: Mateen enjoys playing polo, flying in his private plane, cuddling cute wild animals, and keeping up his Insta game with 890k followers. You can follow him @tmski.

6. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (35)

Sheikh Hamdan also has a killer Instagram with 6.3 million followers. Anyways, Sheikh Hamdan is the billionaire crown prince of Dubai and the second son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and essentially the king of Dubai (Emir). He's actually next in line for the throne because his older brother died in 2015.

Fun Fact: Hamdan's hobbies include skydiving, zip lining, and diving, just to name a few, so if you're an adrenaline junkie, Sheikh Hamdan is the prince for you.

7. Prince Hussein of Jordan (23)

Prince Hussain is the son of the extremely beautiful, Queen Rania and Abdullah II of Jordan and next in line for the Jordanian throne. At 23, he's already a second lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces and he was the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council Meeting


Fun Fact: Like Prince Phillippos, Prince Hussain also graduated from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. Also, like Prince Mateen and Prince Hamdan, he's Insta famous with 1.3 million followers and you can follow him @alhusseinjo.

8. Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark (19)

Like Prince Phillipos, Prince Constantine-Alexios also has two countries. Lucky for us though, he is also living in the US right now attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (like pretty much every other prince, amirite?) He is the oldest son of Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

Fun Fact: He's Prince William's godson, so that's pretty neat. However, if that wasn't cool enough, you might like to know that this Greek/Danish prince was actually born in New York. Oh yeah, you can also follow him on Instagram @alexiosgreece where he has 88.7k followers.

9. Prince Joachim of Belgium (26)

Prince Joachim of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este is the third child of Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium. Although he bears the title, "Prince of Belgium," he is also Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and Prince of Modena. Unfortunately, he'll probably never actually be king in any of these countries as he is ninth in line to the Belgian throne.

Fun Fact: Prince Joachim has degrees in economics, management, and finance, but he decided to join the Nautical School in Brugge after completing college and is currently an officer in the Belgian Navy.

Hope is not lost for all you girls dreaming of finding a Prince Charming that's literally a prince. After reviewing the data, my best advice is to transfer to Georgetown where princes are basically around every corner.

Cover Image Credit: @meghantheduchessofsussexstyle/Instagram

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Poetry On Odyssey: The Room

It is difficult to let go of childhood traumas, but if you don't, you will never be able to move on to a healthy life.

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Can you hear it?

The Sound of Silence.

I can. There I am.

Back in the little, old cube.

It's bland;

Only a single light bulb decorates the Room.

Shush….

It takes me back to When.

I close my eyes.

There it is again.

The Silence.

It echoes.

It aches.

I open my eyes to a small child.

He hunches his body in a corner.

With his little shuttering voice, he speaks,

They're coming.\n\nThey're coming.

Who's coming?

I ask.

The Monsters,The Monsters,"

He replies.

Over and over he repeats:

They're coming.

They're coming.

The Monsters are coming.

Each time, his whisper grows louder.

Each time, his voice grows firmer.

Then, he stops.

I slowly approach the corner where the child sits.

His figure is so small and meek.

He is probably no more than five.

I grab his shoulder.

I turn his face my way.

What I discover is…

Appalling.

His eye sockets are shallow.

They are deprived of a soul.

Yet

They cry blood.

His face is sickly pale.

His dry lips part.

Then he speaks:

They're here.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/alone-black-and-white-boy-child-551590/

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