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1520 Sedgwick Avenue: February 4th, 2008 Monday, February 4, 2008

Posted by Andy Hutchins in 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Rockabye.
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The Patriots played “Crazy Train” on their entrance last night. They probably should’ve played this from opening tinkle on the piano to end of first chorus.

“Better go capture this moment and hope it don’t pass him.”

If “They Reminisce Over You” is my favorite hip-hop song, this is definitely second. (I think: My top ten is a fluid matrix, so ask again later.)

For sheer force of bravado and skill of rhyme, this is unquestionably Eminem at his greatest; he’s both inhabiting a character and telling his life story, and he does it in vivid detail (“Vomit on his sweater already/Mom’s spaghetti”) and with heart-wrenching tugs (“These goddamn food stamps don’t buy diapers”). It’s exhilarating and enthralling, the shortest five or so minutes you will spend listening to a song.

It’s sad that Em really hasn’t come close to this since, preferring the brand of raunchy pop-rap that pisses off Michael Jackson and myself, him for semi-funny videos and me for half-assing his career post-“8 Mile.” And now that it sounds like Mr. Mathers is as big as one of his childhood double-wides, I doubt highly we get another good album from him; it’s a depressing fate for rap’s best raconteur.

But here’s a question I’ll leave you to consider: If you switched the second and third verses here, would the arc be better?

Hit me in the comments.

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