Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kim: Most Violent Rap Song Ever?

Perhaps this is one of the greatest examples of pure hatred towards women (or perhaps just one woman?) in modern rap music. Eminem's "Kim" reads more like a movie script than a song, and is filled with expletives and threats directed at his wife, the aptly named Kim. The song starts with a clearly drunk Marshall Mathers mocking his wife and cursing at her. At the end of the first verse he forces her into a car, and the next two verses express his pure hatred towards his wife due to her cheating ways. This song is impossible to listen to as mainstream rap, as the song is so expletive-filled and intense. No psychologically stable human being puts "Kim" onto their iPod and blares it while pregaming for a party or while running on the treadmill at a gym. Rather, Kim is a song that Eminem created to truly show his hatred for his wife. I'm sure he knew this song would never be a mainstream success, but I believe he wanted to get something off his chest and try to scare his wife a bit. To truly solidify how fu**ed up this song really is, Eminem closes with the following four lines (as you hear "Kim" choking to death in the background):
"Now shut the f*ck up and get what's coming to you
You were supposed to love me
Now bleed bit**, bleed.
Bleed! Bit** bleed, Bleed!"


  1. I think the interesting thing about Eminem is the transformation he's undergone since his early rap years. Yeah, he was violent, he had his problems, and he hated his wife. At the same time, he's human too. I think each of us have our problems and we have to deal with them. Eminem had years of struggling with his alcoholism and I'm sure even some recreational drugs. His wife left him for another guy and he had was left heartbroken with him taking care of his daughter. If you've watched "8 Mile," you probably understand the amount of suffering (mentally and physically) Marshall Mathers has had to go through before he was ready to face the world with his rap music.

    The song is in a lot of ways sad more than just simply violent. Eminem was that heartbroken by the leaving of his wife that it has turned to pure loathing and hatred (and his wife also had problems with drugs). I don't know if I would say this is one of the most violent songs ever, but definitely one of the most hateful. But hey, at least he didn't really kill his wife. In fact, he's evolved as an artist and capable father who really cares about his daughter Hailey.

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  3. I agree with Kevin Kim that the song is sad as well as being violent. Unlike many of Eminem's songs, which kind of have a sing-a-long kind of playful quality to them (like The Real Slim Shady, Without Me, My Name Is, or even a few of his dark songs too like Kill You or Cleanin' Out my Closet), Kim definitely stands out to me from the rest of Eminem's music. I've listened to it maybe once, and haven't ever listened to it again. There's none of Eminem's usual winking and tongue in cheek attitude, but instead just pure depression and pain and rage.

    I think what makes this song so powerful is that Eminem's ability to be completely honest, naked, and vulnerable with his emotions. I can see some rappers doing this kind of song (a hate-filled song about a woman who cheated on them) in kind of a macho sort of way and come off looking as some tough guy who is just angry and violent. But instead, Eminem is completely hysterical throughout the song, not just screaming but also sounding like he is about to burst out crying in parts of it as well. Even despite his rage in the song, he can't help but admit that he still loves Kim in the song too. Like Kevin said, the song is sad in addition to being very violent. Eminem completely lets all of his insecurities and heartbreak pour out in this song, especially in this part where he very audibly chokes back tears, (at 2:30)

    Why don't you like me?
    You think I'm ugly don't you
    Kim: (It's not that!)
    No you think I'm ugly
    Kim: (Baby)
    Get the f*** away from me, don't touch me

  4. I think Eminem's tone in this song is indicative of how messed up Eminem's personal life was, and might even suggest some sort of psychological damage. In "Kim", he is essentially venting about a terrrible relationship, something that most people in bad relationships do upon breaking up. However, the scary reality that surfaces in this song is that Eminem quickly turned to violence (or at least some sort of violent fantasy) in the face of emotional adversity. I think that modern rap can provide a medium for the artist to portray violent fantasies if he or she so chooses. Thus, when people hear a song like this, violence seems to be a viable way to overcome life's struggles

    That being said, I don't think that this song is necessarily the most violent rap song ever (Some Army of the Pharoahs songs are pretty brutal), but it does show a connection between Eminem's presonal struggles and his violent lyrical tendencies.

  5. The theme of dating violence is echoed in a lot of Eminem's songs, including the recent hit Love The Way You Lie featuring Rihanna. Featuring Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox, the music video gives "Kim" a voice. It tells the story of a passionate love affair that becomes increasingly violent, mirroring Eminem's own experiences.

    In an article on about the controversial video, Monaghan says, "The concept of 'Love the Way You Lie' was essentially a look at the relationship that Eminem was in with his wife, Kim, so I kind of felt like I was playing Eminem a little bit, and Megan Fox was kind of playing Kim. It's the story of them getting to know each other, and it's the story of their tumultuous relationship, and it was the story of the breakdown of their relationship."

    In essence, these two songs are telling the same story. Love The Way You Lie is no less violent than Kim.

    "And I love it the more that I suffer
    I suffocate
    And right before I'm about to drown
    She resuscitates me
    She f*cking hates me
    And I love it"
    as well as
    "If she ever tries to f*cking leave again
    I'mma tie her to the bed
    And set the house on fire"

    If Love The Way You Lie is entirely about dating violence, why is it such a commercial success? It's played on the radio, in bars, in the gym... and a lot of people sing along to it. Do we like this song because we know about and sympathize with Eminem and Rihanna's respective experiences with violence (Kim and Chris Brown)? Is it because we all, on some level, understand how impossible it is to tear ourselves away from destructive situations?

  6. Another thing to consider when looking at rap albums is the artistic component of the album artwork. Eminem is huddled, perhaps chained, held back, almost scared in this picture. Depicting his overall mental and psychological states. Interesting thing to note.


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