Eminem ft. Lil Wayne - 'No Love'
It seems a shame that they've decided to go with the school bully video to this song, don't you think? I mean sure, it's a clear metaphor for the brutal way people can treat each other at times, and if you showed the more grown-up version, well no-one would be allowed to watch it.
But still: this isn't really a song about being bullied at school, and it makes it look like Em, who has rapped about that stuff since his first album, can't quite let go. This is not what 'No Love' is about. It's about accepting the bad things that happened during his wilderness years as a grown up. The time after fame and notoriety hit, after the endless intrusion stopped being fun, and after the harsh media spotlight started to burn.
Never mind school bullies, once you've been betrayed by people you consider to be close friends, once everyone you know appears to see you as a revenue stream first and a person second, that's when you know you're in trouble.
(No video link. The ad which came with it, when I watched it at least, is one of those flash-mob ones where actors abruptly shout songs into the faces of unsuspecting travellers in a train station or airport, in the name of spontaneous fun. Not even remotely annoying.)
So naturally Lil Wayne is going to be along for the ride. He's the guy Marshall was a few years previously. A huge star, with great plans for world domination, which have been held up by the bad things going on in his life. Not the least of which is the prison sentence he has only just finished. No wonder the two of them feel bonded by bad luck. Or as Wayne himself puts it "been to hell and back, I can show you vouchers."
For his part, Eminem is coming back fighting. Yes he's been down, yes he knows he let things slip, but he will be JIGGERED if he's about to let the people who made it all worse get away with it. And OK, the way he chooses to express this is to once again go back to childhood principles:
"I'm standing on the top of my Monopoly board,
That means I'm on the top of my game and it don't stop until my hip don't hop no more"
Now, the only problem with all of this heartfelt anger and retribution is, unless it is 100% compelling, it can occasionally be a little dull. And Marshall's singing doesn't really get any better with time. A point which is proven when Haddaway's original vocal - taken from his sole hit 'What Is Love' fact fans - beats all in the chorus. So when this thing sags, it really sags.
But the good bits - most of Em's rap bit, bits of Wayne's rap bit - are astonishing. So y'know, bully for them.
Suite 101 says: "When compared to most rappers in the game, his bravado is justified." "
Planet Ill says: "Perhaps his most motivated delivery on the album, castigating those who left him when he was down"