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I didn't understand the violence of rap lyrics - until I heard my son playing Eminem. There was a wit to the insults that made me think of Elizabethan poetry.

By Elena Lappin   March 2003

Eminem aka slim shady aka Marshall Mathers invaded my life in 1999, when my middle son, then 12 years old, discovered the white rapper and blasted his first hit, “My Name Is,” everywhere. At home, it sounded like a lot of noise, but in the confines of the car one day, I suddenly caught both the rhythm and some of the lyrics. The language was filthy; that was nothing new for rap. Eminem, though, had something different: a verbal violence which didn’t sound serious enough to be frightening, a wit which cut through everything and everyone like, well, a chainsaw…

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