We as a people decide if Shady's as bad as they say he is
Or is he the latter, a gateway to escape
Since Slim Shady is a whole other person than Eminem, Eminem belongs to “we as a people”. We — society, including Eminem — can judge the alter-ego Slim Shady.
Eminem channels the “We the People” philosophy of direct democracy because representative democracy wasn’t working out for him:
“When you hear the words about raping your mother or killing your mother, I think that the industry should be embarrassed that that’s award-winning entertainment” — Congresswoman Barbara Cubin, (R-Wy.)
Rep. Cubin is refering to the lyrics from “Kill You”:
Shut up slut, you’re causing too much chaos
Just bend over and take it like a slut, OK Ma?
‘Oh, now he’s raping his own mother, abusing a whore,
snorting coke, and we gave him the Rolling Stone cover?
The funny part is — in these lyrics — Eminem is satirizing his critics!!!! (I guess Barbara missed the joke..)
But the best part about this whole line (and the entire idea) is that Slim Shady does not exist. He is the fictional altar ego of Eminem. Therefore, if people (ie. critics, parents, etc.) take him seriously, his influence is just that much greater. But if they realize that what he is saying isn’t real, and take his words with a grain as salt, people wouldn’t view as bad as they do now.
It’s worth adding that in context it means it’s up to us to decide if he’s hurting the youth like “they” say he is, or if he’s really helping the youth by breaking down racial barriers and showing a productive outlet for anger and other feelings through art.
‘Latter’ is also a homophone of ‘ladder’, as he could the latter mentioned option, or he could be ‘the ladder’, a way to escape possibly from a hole one has been forced into.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Renegade” by Jay Z (Ft. Eminem) Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box