This 2002 single is one of Eminem's most successful and award-winning - the video for the song even won a Grammy. It is the typical boastful song you expect from Marshall Mathers. But there's a few things about this song you don't know.
The song opens with the line "Two trailer park girls go 'round the outside." This is a direct reference to the 1982 single "Buffalo Gals" by Malcolm McLaren, which was an early hip-hop song and a clear influence on Eminem's music. First, it was great that he included a reference to an obscure old-school song that most of the music world had forgotten. Second, because of this, the writers of "Buffalo Gals" - Malcolm McLaren, Trevor Horn, and, believe it or not, Oscar-winning composer and Art of Noise founder Anne Dudley - got a songwriting credit on "Without Me".
The rapid-fire song and comic-inspired video bring the early 2000's pop culture references, from Dick Cheney's heart attack to his mom's lawsuit against him. One that I wanted to highlight was his diss of Moby - specifically, "You can get stomped by Obie", a reference to Obie Trice (his real name), a artist that Eminem signed to his own label and was promoting. This was also a response to Moby's very pointed criticism of Em's lyrics - specifically, Moby called him, "a misogynist, a homophobe, a racist, and an anti-Semite." In the end, there was no personal beef either way.
Anyway, this is one of Eminem's best received and most critically acclaimed songs. Enjoy it.
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