Eminem Is NOT A Top-5 All-Time Rapper

Eminem Is NOT A Top-5 All-Time Rapper

From formulaic album patterns to a "meh" body of work, Eminem is definitely great, but he should NOT be top-five in my opinion.
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So, here's the thing; I like Eminem. I do think he has some great/iconic songs, and even some great albums (especially "The Eminem Show" and "The Marshall Mathers LP").

However, I have some issues with individuals acting as if he is the greatest lyricist to have ever lived, or as if he is a "top-five" rapper.

My opinion? Not really, on both accounts.

For one, his body of work is not consistently great. Yes, he has "The Eminem Show" and "The Marshall Mathers LP." Both of those were great albums where he demonstrated some of his best traits; his pushing of boundaries, his indifference for them, and his introspection. However, we tend to gloss over the rest of his work.

"Recovery"? Meh. "Relapse"? Nah. "Revival"? NOOOOO (For what it's worth, those three have Metacritic ratings of 63, 59, and 50, respectively). Especially on that last one. It needs to be burned.

Back to the point — despite some great albums, they do not help him sit atop the pile. I mean, none of them were groundbreaking albums, either, just capitalizing on popularity and infatuation with his style. Nas had "Illmatic," which changed the game. Kanye had an entire string of albums that inserted him into the discussion.

Look, I won't disagree that Eminem does discuss some serious issues in his lyrics. Drug addiction, contemplation over the past, the dynamic between him and Kim, his mother, the media, etc. He has even helped create those songs that inspire you ("Lose Yourself" still the best song he has ever made).

However, can we talk about the rest of his discography? The songs "Just Lose It" and "Big Weenie" ("You're just a big weenie")? Uhh? Alright. Anything off of "Revival" is just... Bad. Really bad.

There really is not much to say about it. "I'm swimmin' in that Egyptian river, 'cause I'm in denial."

Hell, "Encore" in general as an album is bad and simplistic (He even admits that the album could have been better if he hadn't been intoxicated during its production).

Even beyond that, his topics became kind of... banal. There always seemed to be the same types of songs. A song meant to make you laugh, a song meant to make you cry, consider your relationship with your mothers, the press, etc.

Eminem's music is also formulaic. Definitely not the only artist this could apply to, but it is an issue.

There is usually that song that demonstrates his quickness, the song about his mother/Kim/someone else, the one that is meant to make the listener laugh, and maybe it includes a political track (or, like "Revival," most of them).

It just... does not seem to vary as much. Maybe that's just a preference thing, I don't know.

Now, again, Eminem is still a great artist. He is definitely top 10. I just have some struggles with accepting him as a top-five rapper of all time.

He is definitely creative, and he can rhyme whatever words he is given. Plus, his freestyles simply cannot be surpassed.

However, his albums aren't consistently great, his lyrics vary, and his albums do seem too formulaic.

End of the day, it's my opinion, but everyone is certainly entitled to believe otherwise. :)

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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