Eminem (Marshall Mathers) wrote the song “Mosh” as a protest against President Bush. It was released just prior to the presidential election on October 26, 2004. The song and music video was created to encourage voters to vote President Bush out of office. This song was used to voice and express Eminem’s opinion against President Bush. I think it is a genius way to express an issue he clearly feels strongly about. What a better way to reach a mass amount of people? From my research, this song created so much controversy that it seemed whether people listened to rap or not, they knew of this. When I began my research, I read on Wikipedia that although this song had no noticeable affect on the election, it was still a good attempt and an interesting concept.
The music video for this song is basically fully animated. It expresses his dislikes for Bush in the beginning by showing the news articles regarding Iraq and Bush’s presidency. The black hooded sweatshirts represent people following him, as seen when the soldier comes home, but then has a letter sending him back to Iraq. Then a little later in the video it appears that a mother coming home with groceries to her two kids, opens an eviction letter notice due to Bush’s tax cuts, and she too puts on the hooded sweatshirt and joins. It is almost like Eminem is raising a cult and he is the leader. He is rallying people together to go and vote Bush out of office. At the end of the video, there is a line of all the people he had rallied, extending out the door, and waiting to vote. Then as the song ends, the screen reads “Vote Tuesday November 2.”
The first set of lyrics I found interesting was in verse 1 where he talks about himself.
“If you don’t understand, don’t even bother to ask
A father who has grown up with a fatherless past
Who has blown up now to rap phenomenon that has
Or at least shows no difficulty multi-task
And in juggling both perhaps mastered his craft
Slash entrepreneur who has helped launch a few more rap acts
Who’s had a few obstacles thrown his way through the last half
Of his career typical manure moving past that”
I find it interesting that there is a lot of meaning here within these 8 lines. It’s like he is giving a little background of himself in the beginning of this song. Refer to lyrics above. Line 2 seems pretty self explanatory. In case you didn’t know, he had parental issues with his Dad leaving his mom, him, and little brother. And now he himself is a father. Then line 3-8 describes his career. He has blown up as a rap star. He started doing rap battles at clubs for pride and now he is what he has called a “Rap God” in a recent album. In line 4, 5, and 6 he expresses not only has he made a big name for himself, but he also has discovered and helped launch other careers such as “G-Unit” which includes names like 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks. Then the final 2 lines he talks about the obstacles he has faced and overcame in the last half of his career. Some refer to Eminem as a highly talented lyricist and I cannot disagree.
The next lyrics I would like to show is his chorus.
“Come along follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength
Come with me and I won’t steer you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
To the light at the end of the tunnel
We gonna fight, we gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march
Through the swamp, we gonna mosh through the marsh
Take us right through the doors (c’mon)”
As I described in the breakdown of the music video, he is trying to rally people to follow him. He has a catchy chorus that provides motivation. He is saying just follow him and trust him and he will lead the people where they want to go.
The deep bass and beat of the song is perfect for what he is trying to portray. He is trying to be uplifting and motivating to rally these people together to rebel against the president. He is trying to be the voice to help overthrow President Bush.
When these lyrics are heard in the song, they just don’t have the same meaning. I know every word of this song and many others by Eminem and I have no idea the real meaning behind the lyrics. Until you actually read them as words, I don’t think they have the same impact. Often times we sing along with songs by just saying the words, but don’t really look deeper into what they mean. Until my research for this song, I had never seen the video and didn’t really realize the impact he was trying to have on voters. I have no real connection to the 04′ presidential election or President Bush, however I find the concept of the song very interesting. Using his music, he has the ability to voice his opinions and positions on important political topic such as a presidential election. I chose this song because Eminem is one of my favorite artists and this song carries some cultural meaning.