Happy Birthday, Eminem

It's revisionist history to classify Eminem as the first successful white rapper. Debbie Harry, Mc Search, and every member of the Beastie Boys would probably all call foul over such a claim. However, it's impossible to deny that Eminem's name will forever be synonymous with every white rapper until the heat death of the universe.

There was always going to be an Eminem. Not in the sense that just any rapper could replicate his level of lyrical craftsmanship, but rather that corporate America was always bound to discover a marketable white rapper to sell to suburbia. Eminem was just at the right place at the right time. The only wrinkle in the origin story of his success was that he wasn't just the "right guy"; he was basically "the preordained by the universe guy."

Mr. Mathers possessed two key components that his white-rapping predecessors lacked that allowed him to become a megastar. First of all, Eminem's lyrical acumen- including, but not limited to, intense syllable stacking, internal rhyme schemes, and clever punchlines- wasn't just passable; the Detriot-born emcee is arguably one of the greatest wordsmiths the rap genre has ever produced. In addition to his talent, Eminem possessed a unique variant of trailer park street cred that provided him a layer of authenticity in hip-hop.

Anyway, I could gush about Eminem's lyrical ability all day, but I thought that it'd be cool to post one of his best freestyles to celebrate his 50th birthday.