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Old May 15, 2014, 01:00 PM   #1
Apple Scruff
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Default John and Eminem

My husband and I were listening to Eminem's last album the other day, probably because all the hype over the Headlights video made me pop the disc in. I love him. There is something so pure, honest, and real about his music that just reminds me SO much of John. And even the aforementioned song, well, I sort of thought of Mother...

I'm throwing out this comparison because I honestly feel that if there were any artist I would compare to John- from his peers all the way to modern times- it would be Marshall. I feel that there is that they have that particular brand of genius that is so unique, yet so very similar.

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Old May 15, 2014, 05:33 PM   #2
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I definitely see the comparison! I'll never forget when I listened to My Name Is one day after it had been on the radio non-stop for about a month or so... I really listened and I thought, "This is good. This dude is for real." And it was weird to me because I was not into popular stuff at all, and only minimally into rap music. I even dragged my ex to a show and we were the only people there over the age of 20!

To me, he's not the most like John... but I definitely get what you're saying. He's truly talented and intelligent like John, and also real. He's got all that effed-up mother stuff also. His first three albums were brilliant, imo... I kinda lost interest after that.

Oh, and another thing they have in common: They're both tight with Elton!

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Old May 15, 2014, 05:56 PM   #3
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Yeah! I forgot about that one. I love his last album. I think it is a masterpiece and stands up neck-in-neck with the first three. I love Marshall's work because there is such depth and honesty in it. Even at his angriest, he could make things funny. And on such a universal scale.

But since you said it, Maia, tell me your most John. Yeah!!! Let's have a little discussion thread...we haven't had once in a while. I'll even do song comparisons if we want to make it fun.
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Old May 15, 2014, 08:51 PM   #4
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Hmmm... well, if you would have asked me that in the '80s, then I would have said Joe Strummer. I had a mad crush on him and just adored him because he said what he said and didn't give a #@!* and he wanted to challenge your thinking. Plus, he had the whole political edge and he was into reggae, like John. But the songwriting style wasn't much like John's... except that he rocked!

Since then it has always been Kurt to me. I know he wasn't exactly like John, but he seemed to be like a modern continuation of the Lennon spirit. I really think that John had a problem with the BS that came with being a rock star just like Kurt did... but John also could get into it more and knew how to play it off better. But I think that the BS did really get to John, which is why he maybe got lost in acid and dope and everything... just like Kurt did. I think Kurt, like John, wanted to create things that were pretty but he had to noise it up to hide something... kinda like John hiding behind his snarkiness. In any case, they were both self-deprecating (which was cool) and self-destructive (which was not cool) and wrote amazing songs that feel genuine (very cool).
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Old May 15, 2014, 09:02 PM   #5
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Oh, I forgot to add the song comparison element.

How about Sliver? When I first heard that, I thought it sounded like Kurt's Plastic Ono Band contribution. It's totally primal and, obviously, is about a childhood pain, just like Mother. But it's also listenable... and compelling. Just like Mother.

Then there's Dumb. It kind of reminds me thematically of Look At Me or Nowhere Man or any of John's 'revealing' songs. And it's also got a nice, pop-friendly melody with a kind of a dreamy I'm Only Sleeping quality.

And I've always thought that the line from Very Ape – "if you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first" – sounded like John had written it.
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Old May 16, 2014, 04:13 AM   #6
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Hmmm... well, if you would have asked me that in the '80s, then I would have said Joe Strummer. I had a mad crush on him and just adored him because he said what he said and didn't give a #@!* and he wanted to challenge your thinking. Plus, he had the whole political edge and he was into reggae, like John. But the songwriting style wasn't much like John's... except that he rocked!
See Maia, this is why we click. I am totally all about this comparison because of Joe's attitude, edgy style, and his charisma. I can see it! Good one.

Quote:
Since then it has always been Kurt to me. I know he wasn't exactly like John, but he seemed to be like a modern continuation of the Lennon spirit. I really think that John had a problem with the BS that came with being a rock star just like Kurt did... but John also could get into it more and knew how to play it off better. But I think that the BS did really get to John, which is why he maybe got lost in acid and dope and everything... just like Kurt did. I think Kurt, like John, wanted to create things that were pretty but he had to noise it up to hide something... kinda like John hiding behind his snarkiness. In any case, they were both self-deprecating (which was cool) and self-destructive (which was not cool) and wrote amazing songs that feel genuine (very cool).
This comparison fits really well. Kurt was also very vulnerable in his music- and in real life. He had an attitude and his music came from a very real- sometimes VERY dark- place. I absolutely see the John spirit in Kurt. I also can see the self-depracating ways, though I do feel that personality-wise there were stark contrasts...John had his set of trials and tribulations, but he never seemed quite as tormented. He also seemed to react with humor a lot more than Kurt tended too. But still...those are minor things.

I see it, Maia, I do. But I'm sticking with my Em argument still.
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Old May 16, 2014, 04:06 PM   #7
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See Maia, this is why we click. I am totally all about this comparison because of Joe's attitude, edgy style, and his charisma. I can see it! Good one.
I met Joe once and he was so non-rock star in his attitude (believe it or not). Totally real, just like John. (And hot! )

Yeah, Kurt was way more tormented than John, but John was more angry... which lends support to your argument for Em. But I think Em is even angrier than John. Well, he definitely holds a grudge more than John ever did! (I know he hugs his mom in his new video, but why does he just drive off and leave her alone in her beat up old Honda?!)

Something else John and Kurt had in common was that they both could write beautiful music that came from that place of vulnerability and they both could make great pop melodies. But they both thought they needed to portray that harder, edgier side more. I think they both sometimes felt a bit guilty when they'd show their soft sides... even though it came so naturally to them both.
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Old May 17, 2014, 05:07 PM   #8
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Something else John and Kurt had in common was that they both could write beautiful music that came from that place of vulnerability and they both could make great pop melodies. But they both thought they needed to portray that harder, edgier side more. I think they both sometimes felt a bit guilty when they'd show their soft sides... even though it came so naturally to them both.
I agree with this completely! I think John and Kurt both embraced vulnerability in their lyrics so beautifully. They also had that edge to their music that made them so cool. Like John, Kurt was really very turned off by phoniness he saw in people and some of the popular music that was very mainstream. He was pretty vocal about it- particularly in emphasizing that this was why he preferred John over Paul (I'm just saying what Kurt was saying).

Something else they had in common was the way they used their music as a therapeutic form of self-expression. And so well.

See Maia? I'm totally giving your theory some major love...now let me explain a little of why I stick with Em...
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Old May 17, 2014, 05:35 PM   #9
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John was more angry... which lends support to your argument for Em. But I think Em is even angrier than John. Well, he definitely holds a grudge more than John ever did! (I know he hugs his mom in his new video, but why does he just drive off and leave her alone in her beat up old Honda?!)
lol, I think that John and Marshall both had some traumatic events take place at a young age. However, while John had an Aunt Mimi who raised him in a more calm, middle-class existence with a proper, upper-class set of values...Marshall grew up in a pretty ****ing tough neighborhood with a very troubled mother and a host of men who came and went through their home. I think he was shifted around a lot- at one point staying with his grandmother- and his mother dated (or married) several different men...so there was a great deal of instability there. Both men had absentee fathers, though Alf Lennon was probably a saint in comparison to the violent brute that was Marshall's dad.

So I think, possibly, Marshall had a lot more anger because- unlike John- his mother IS still around. So the point where their relationship could have/has transitioned from "estranged" to "forgiving" probably would take more time. Even with Julia, it took John a while to come to terms with the pain. Nowadays, I don't think Marshall is that angry. Although Debbie and he are estranged, he seems to care about righting wrongs. Apparently, he has been providing for her care through her illness(es). I think he is letting go of the anger, as Headlights is sort of him saying "I now see that you were both a mom AND dad to me and I now realize how hard you had it. I can't play those old songs anymore because I don't feel this way. I love you..."

Just like John, Marshall is incredibly vulnerable in his music. I will go so far as to say that he is likely the only rapper/hip-hop artist who has comfortably expressed his more vulnerable and sensitive side successfully for that particular genre. Others in hip-hop have done it, but just not as well. Sorry not sorry.*** There are too many examples to name. What reminds me so much about John is that mercurial quality that they share. Marshall is quite shy and suffers from stage fright, shockingly, as John did. But he has such a strong, powerful presence. It's just interesting. I'm totally inundating myself with his work- going all the way in- and I'm just amazed at how AMAZING he is. Yes I'll be redundant because, wow, he's such a singular talent.

As was Kurt. And John, well, John will always be in his own league.

Thoughts?


*** I would say that, if I had to choose some rappers who have tugged at my emotions other than Eminem, it would be either Tupac, Nas or Biggie. And even they haven't done to such an extent or as high a level as he has.***
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Old May 18, 2014, 10:11 AM   #10
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Post Definitively yes

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I'm throwing out this comparison because I honestly feel that if there were any artist I would compare to John- from his peers all the way to modern times- it would be Marshall. I feel that there is that they have that particular brand of genius that is so unique, yet so very similar.

Thoughts?
I really do like some songs by Eminem and I enjoyed his movie as well. It's true that there are some similarities between Eminem and John; both have got strong lyrics in their songs. Though I think that John's music is more multifaceted than Eminem's.

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Old May 18, 2014, 10:21 AM   #11
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Since then it has always been Kurt to me. I know he wasn't exactly like John, but he seemed to be like a modern continuation of the Lennon spirit. I really think that John had a problem with the BS that came with being a rock star just like Kurt did... but John also could get into it more and knew how to play it off better. But I think that the BS did really get to John, which is why he maybe got lost in acid and dope and everything... just like Kurt did. I think Kurt, like John, wanted to create things that were pretty but he had to noise it up to hide something... kinda like John hiding behind his snarkiness. In any case, they were both self-deprecating (which was cool) and self-destructive (which was not cool) and wrote amazing songs that feel genuine (very cool).
I don't agree at all with that statement, sorry. Kurt had some talent for sure, but comparing his obviously disturbed personality with John's is crap.

And what does BS stands for ? Let me guess: Biopolar-Shit, right ? Oh well, "here we go again"... Hurrah !! No worry, I'm off that discussion

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Old May 18, 2014, 12:05 PM   #12
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I really do like some songs by Eminem and I enjoyed his movie as well. It's true that there are some similarities between Eminem and John; both have got strong lyrics in their songs. Though I think that John's music is more multifaceted than Eminem's.

Snoopy
Great one Snoopy! You mention 8 Mile, which proves that Eminem- like JOHN- has a lot of presence on the big screen, or in front of the camera in general.
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Old May 18, 2014, 12:07 PM   #13
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I don't agree at all with that statement, sorry. Kurt had some talent for sure, but comparing his obviously disturbed personality with John's is crap.

And what does BS stands for ? Let me guess: Biopolar-Shit, right ? Oh well, "here we go again"... Hurrah !! No worry, I'm off that discussion

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BS stands for Bulls**t Snoopy!
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Old May 18, 2014, 01:25 PM   #14
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Hard for me to even want to see similarities since I can't stand Eminem, while John... well, that's kinda obvious, isn't it? Frankly, we all know John didn't have an easy early life but he sure managed to behaved more like an adult than rage man E here. I find E stuck on himself, also stuck in an angry young man mode (at 41 the guy should be over it by now) and with little humor, especially of the self-deprecating kind. He might be talented (although not in a way I can appreciate) but in the essentials he's not much like John far as I can see. They're both musicians, is all.
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Old May 18, 2014, 03:45 PM   #15
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Hard for me to even want to see similarities since I can't stand Eminem, while John... well, that's kinda obvious, isn't it? Frankly, we all know John didn't have an easy early life but he sure managed to behaved more like an adult than rage man E here. I find E stuck on himself, also stuck in an angry young man mode (at 41 the guy should be over it by now) and with little humor, especially of the self-deprecating kind. He might be talented (although not in a way I can appreciate) but in the essentials he's not much like John far as I can see. They're both musicians, is all.
I understand what you're saying, hib, but since you aren't really a fan of his you can't see the very obvious transition Em has made from a very angry, cynical (yet hilarious in so many ways) young man to a very mature, level-headed (for him) person.

He's a contradiction, really. So many people are quick to judge that he's hard and bitter and forever angry, but he's actually more hard on himself than anything. He also is very humble and devoted to his daughters (one biological, two others he adopted from his ex-wife and her sister), whom he raised. I mean, yeah, his art has a lot of angry moments- but there are also tender and sensitive moments...like Headlights, Beautiful, Difficult...if one were to just base Eminem on his mainstream hits they'd be missing a MASSIVE chunk of what his art is. Part of the reason why he is so beloved and revered is because of all the range in his work.
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Old May 18, 2014, 04:33 PM   #16
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I understand what you're saying, hib, but since you aren't really a fan of his you can't see the very obvious transition Em has made from a very angry, cynical (yet hilarious in so many ways) young man to a very mature, level-headed (for him) person.
WHAT???? I have to be a fan of both for my opinion to even be considered? That's preposterous! Hey, if the transformation was so very OBVIOUS then OBVIOUSLY I would've noticed it, fan or no fan.

You didn't have to dig through John's material to know he was funny - it was right there in your face all the time. John was known far and wide for his incredible sense of humor. Even establishment figures of the time couldn't help being amused by John, often while deploring that 'awful modern noise they call music'. Em is known first for his ungovernable temper and everything else second. If you have to go through his more obscure material to find stuff of his that reminds you of John, then let me remind You that with John there is no need to dig through lesser known stuff! His wit always shines through, even in his most mediocre efforts.
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Old May 18, 2014, 04:47 PM   #17
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WHAT???? I have to be a fan of both for my opinion to even be considered? That's preposterous! Hey, if the transformation was so very OBVIOUS then OBVIOUSLY I would've noticed it, fan or no fan.

You didn't have to dig through John's material to know he was funny - it was right there in your face all the time. John was known far and wide for his incredible sense of humor. Even establishment figures of the time couldn't help being amused by John, often while deploring that 'awful modern noise they call music'. Em is known first for his ungovernable temper and everything else second. If you have to go through his more obscure material to find stuff of his that reminds you of John, then let me remind You that with John there is no need to dig through lesser known stuff! His wit always shines through, even in his most mediocre efforts.
Hmm...I'm not sure if you understand what I meant here. Those songs I listed by Eminem are not obscure. I don't really have to dig through any obscure tracks to find songs of his that remind me of John. He exposes his vulnerability in plenty of his lyrics that are well known. But I do think that his public image is harder, more aggressive, and angrier than John's ever was- obviously. However, I'm not saying that everything about these two men in similar. What I have been implying about John and Em is that they are artists who successfully have been able to reveal themselves in their music, showcasing a range of emotions, on a VERY powerful level.

Your feelings about Eminem are completely understandable. But I think that the generalization that he is just an angry man-child is false. That's how I feel and yeah maybe because I've been a fan of his since I was 18 I know his work very well. But I also think he reveals what he wants to about himself in his art, and recently I found the Headlights song to be revelatory. It's a beautiful song, imo, and kind of spine-tingling...but that's my opinion.

And BTW everyone: I am seriously hoping that people aren't concluding that I am saying Em is on John's level of greatness in my heart or anywhere else. I'm drawing similarities between John and an artist I consider to be a great, but no one- NO ONE can possibly hold the place, or share the same quality of singular amazingness for me, as John. I'm just saying before people confuse this thread's purpose.
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Old May 18, 2014, 05:15 PM   #18
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I don't agree at all with that statement, sorry. Kurt had some talent for sure, but comparing his obviously disturbed personality with John's is crap.

And what does BS stands for ? Let me guess: Biopolar-Shit, right ? Oh well, "here we go again"... Hurrah !! No worry, I'm off that discussion
Wow, that is some uncalled-for nastiness, Snoopy. And let me point out exactly where you crossed the line:
Quote:
but comparing his obviously disturbed personality with John's is crap.
Perhaps because English is not your first language, you may not realize that it is offensive to tell someone that something they did is "crap"... especially if they did nothing to provoke you.

Oh, and BS stands for "bull$#!*".
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Old May 18, 2014, 05:34 PM   #19
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To address the discussion with Scruffie and hib:

I think what turned me off Eminem after his third album was something that hib mentioned that "angry young man" thing did get a little tiresome for me. As a fan of Marshall's, I really sense an underlying decency in him, and a profound natural intelligence. And I suppose I was always hoping for him to mature and squash some of those beefs of his. But he just goes over the top, doesn't he? I guess we could say that young John was similarly angry, but Em was 27 when he hit it big... and he seemed to get angrier with each passing year.

The John/Eminem comparison occurred to me before, naturally, but I always tended to fit him more into my punk rock aesthetic. He's got that hard-hitting aggressiveness with no let up. I loved punk in my teens and early 20s... and I still dig the attitude. But when the really aggressive Black Flag kind of stuff was getting big, I left the scene.
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Old May 19, 2014, 10:22 AM   #20
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Look at this I found

(Observe the right hand column!)
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