From ‘Space Bound’ and beyond…
In the aftermath of Eminem being branded as “evil” after the release of his latest video ‘Space Bound’, Gigwise takes a look at the rapper’s Top 10 most controversial music videos.
The video for ‘Space Bound’, a track taken from the rapper’s critically-acclaimed 2010 album ‘Recovery’, features Eminem fantasising about choking and killing a woman, before gorily turning a gun on himself.
The rapper has come under fire for depicting scenes of domestic and self-inflicted violence. Yet this isn’t the first time that Eminem has been caught in the centre of controversy when it comes to both the celebrity impressions and shocking scenarios he interprets in his music videos.
Gigwise takes a look at 10 of Eminem’s most controversial music videos to date, including ‘Stan’ and ‘Without Me’.
‘Love The Way You Lie’, 2010 – Last year’s music video for ‘Love The Way You Lie’ features acting from Eminem, Rihanna and Megan Fox. The video was criticised for depicting extreme domestic violence and rape, yet not offering a solution to victims within the video. The video broke YouTube’s record for most views in 24 hours.
‘Space Bound’, 2011 – Eminem’s latest video, featuring an appearance from former porn star Sasha Grey, follows on from 2010’s ‘Love The Way You Lie’ by showing extreme scenes of domestic violence. The video, which shows Eminem fantasise about killing Grey’s character and then graphically shooting himself in the head has received complaints from Mothers Against Violence for its ‘Evil’ content.
‘Stan’, 2000 – Perhaps Marshall Mathers’ most controversial track to date, both the song and the video had to be heavily censored for depicting the violent actions of a fictional deranged fan. Images of Stan’s pregnant wife being tied up in the boot of a car are some of the most notorious cuts in Eminem’s career.
‘Without Me’, 2002 – The video begins with Em waking up in bed with porn star Jenna Jameson before ‘Without Me’ makes celebrity digs at Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Moby, and ends with a more controversial scene parodying Osama bin Laden. This video received MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year, Best Male Video and Best Rap Video.
‘Mockingbird’, 2007 – Although on the surface the video may not seem divisive, ‘Mockingbird’ sees Eminem watching home footage of his daughters and wife Kim Mathers – quite shocking considering the very public sentiments that the rapper has expressed towards Kim in the past. The video’s juxtapositon of footage of his wife playing with his children with scenes of her returning from jail makes for rather disturbing viewing.
‘Like Toy Soldiers’, 2005 – The video begins with shots of Eminem covered in blood watching a friend die in hospital in the rapper’s own bid to end violence between rap gang wars. Despite being a truce between the gangs, it was only later that the video became all the more shocking when a scene in which rapper Proof is seen dying later became a reality when Proof was killed during a nightclub argument.
‘We Made You’, 2009 – Eminem took yet another side-sweep at celebrity culture during the lyrics and video for ‘We Made You’, upsetting a slew of celebs in the process. Of those to be featured included Jessica Simpson, Lindsey Lohan, Sarah Palin, Amy Winehouse and Kim Kardashian.
‘Just Lose It’, 2004 – Eminem came under fire in 2004 when his video for ‘Just Lose It’ was taken down from BET after complaints made by Michael Jackson. As well as scenes showing MJ with his hair on fire and the rapper being sick on the ‘Thriller’ star, the song also featured the lyrics, ‘I’ve touched on everything but little boys/ That’s not a stab at Michael/ It’s a just a metaphor, I’m just a psycho.’ Despite the controversy, the video went on to be nominated for Best Rap Video at the MTV Awards.
‘Mosh’, 2004 – Eminem released ‘Mosh’, his own anti-Bush campaign just before the 2004 Presidential Election. Featuring the lyrics ‘Look in his eyes it’s all lies / The stars and stripes, they’ve been swiped, washed out and wiped,’ the animated video shows scenes portraying Eminem as Bush and anti-Iraq newspaper headlines.
‘My Name Is’, 1999 – Eminem’s first official single quickly affirmed the rapper’s ability to attract attention, as his mother soon sued him for slander for the use of the lyric ‘I just found out my mom does more dope than I do.’ The song gained further attention when its video featured scenes of S&M, full-on male nudity and Eminem preaching to his viewers as President.