Eminem - Beautiful
Much of the Booth discussion leading up to the release of Relapse revolved around one question: will the “serious Eminem” make an appearance? Lead single We Made You, follow-up 3 AM, and leaked cut Old Time’s Sake showcased Shady’s celeb-baiting, bloodthirsty, and blunted personae (respectively), but where was Marshall Mathers, the earnest, tortured artist who brought us cuts like The Way I Am? As it turns out, he’s right here on track 17, which has now been chosen as the LP’s third single. Over his own downtempo, guitar-driven beat (sampled from Rock Therapy’s Reaching Out), Em spits three cathartic verses centered around his quest to stay true to himself, entreating listeners, “Don’t let ‘em say you ain’t Beautiful.” Brimming with heartfelt pathos, this might not be the most intensely personal track on Relapse (Deja Vu gets my vote), but it’s the perfect record to remind mainstream listeners that behind all the cartoonish humor and maniacal rape/murder fantasies exists a human being with a downright sentimental side—and that divide is what made Em so fascinating to begin with, right?