Eminem and Snoop Dogg released their first collaboration in years, prompting the overwhelming response: just how deep in the ponzi is Paul Rosenberg anyway?
JK, JK. In all truth, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and rightfully so. It’s a return to form for the formerly beefing Dre proteges, the sort of ravenously hungry rapping over lavishly laid back beats you might’ve found on The Chronic 2001. (Or like, Compton, at the very least.) It’s a formidable effort from two artists who I’d assumed had stopped giving a damn a decade ago. Which makes the other element to the release all the more confusing.
Rather than focusing on the late career comeback or beef squashing of it all, the entire rollout seems centered around Snoop and Em’s newfound NFT patronage. Namely, the Bored Apes they purchased during the height of the craze last year and have since endorsed very publicly. Indeed, the single premiered at ApeFest, BAYC’s marquis NFT.NYC event. The timing is strange, considering the crypto market freefall, waning enthusiasm for NFTs in the culture at large, and the renewed coverage of Yuga Labs’ Nazi-adjacent stylistic impulses after a documentary titled BORED APE NAZI CLUB dropped on the first day of NFT.NYC.
Nevertheless, it’s racked up almost 25M views in just under two weeks, so NFTs clearly aren’t the cultural cyanide they’re made out to be by most critics. (Including, often, me.) Indeed, the avatars and accompanying animation are integrated rather tactfully, all things considered, with the end result far more comparable to an average Gorillaz video than other god awful uses of the BAYC IP like The Red Ape Family. They’ve even worked it into a narrative arc. Em gets such a raging contact high from returning to the studio with the Doggfather that he sees himself transforming into what he once loathed. Namely, a pale, algorithmically generated imitation of the real Slim Shady.
Citizen Kane it is not. And hearing a famously sober guy call himself a ‘walking motherfucking marijuana leaf’ is almost as cringe as the bar about bouncing his balls off Paula Dean’s tonsils. But no need to beat a dead horse to death. After all, we’re talking about mid-40s Eminem here. I’m just happy the totally-not-a-role-model of my youth found his groove again. Or, at the very least, found a new niche. Which, based off my brief impressions of the Bored Ape crowd IRL in NYC, checks out. Totally the type to drop a couple grand on a Paula Dean themed pinball machine.