The Faze - "The Black Slim Shady"

This is an incredibly fucking stupid concept that, somehow, really works. This is a Cali struggle rapper doing an Eminem impersonation over the instrumental track for "Duel of the Iron Mic." All of this is gimmick blasphemy on paper, but yet The Faze pulled it off.

Which is good and bad, of course. To his credit, everything I dislike about this song is everything I dislike about Eminem.

Predictable punchlines about celebrities, a worldview shaped entirely by cable TV, the cadence that emphasizes the rhyme patterns with the same subtle touch Hulk Hogan brought to acting. He definitely nailed it. Wisely, he cuts closer to early, indie Mathers than the past decade of Muppet Screamo Rap that has defined Eminem's second act.

And for what, though? This video has racked up fewer views than that Gark Mavigan creampuff.

The Faze never deviates much from the same four patterns he starts with, but shit, neither did Em. This is the kind of gimmick that should work -- should raise attention, should get casual listeners curious about what else he's released. There is chaos under heaven, comrades. Rap music, as a culture and a business, is broken on a structural level, even as the talent pool grows bigger than ever.

I'm fine with The Faze desecrating some classic RZA shit, whatever, everything crumbles. I'm less accepting of the naked cultural appropriation. Eminem is an abusive, sexually dysfunctional, opiate-addicted white man, and I don't think that a black guy from California can really understand that life. His caricature cheapens the history of my people.

I forgive him, though. I forgive him and I wish him the best. Two dickies for execution and props to Foreign Shooter on the video itself.

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