Remember when Dr. Dre Used To Rap?.

Remember when Eminem was entertaining? Remember when Eminem rapped about shit that wasn't his daughter, his fucked up mother, his fucked up wife/ex-wife, or how much it sucks sometimes to be famous and white? Remember when Eminem didn't take himself so fucking seriously?

Remember when Eminem used to make good music?

He did make good music, make no mistake about that. Of course, you gotta be a fan of rap music and you gotta be able to hear the word "faggot" and not cringe and you just have to take the opening single for granted that it's GOING to be shitty and poppy and annoying after the 5 millionth listen. The Slim Shady LP gave you a taste of the potential, The Marshall Mathers LP was nearly stone cold perfect, and the three songs he did solo on the 8 Mile soundtrack are the pinnacle of his ability as a rapper.

Since then, it's been an endless run of annoying, suckass music. D-12 should really be called "Eminem and Five Assholes Who Can't Rap." You'd think going in, "OK, so this is gonna be something like Wu-Tang, only D-12 have the advantage because they have Eminem, sweet!" And then you listen to the album and all you do is look at your watch, waiting around for the Eminem parts, wishing some enterprising DJ out there would remix the whole thing, cutting out every non-Shady voice in the bunch.

I've learned to just ignore the impulse to even offer a listen to anything by D-12, instead opting to wait for the full-length solo Eminem albums. But, starting with The Eminem Show and continuing through Encore, he's lost what it was that made him any damn good.

Eminem ain't hungry no mo'.

The dude is one of the best-selling (if not THE best-selling) rappers of all time. He's white, and he's doing more than damn near every black guy who's come before or since. He single-handedly turns any ass clown off the street into a platinum rapper (50 Cent, Obie Trice, D-12) by simply guest-starring on a track or by doing nothing more than producing the album. MTV is in his pocket in spite of all the bullshit controversy surrounding his act, ditto Rolling Stone and damn near every other media outlet. What's he got to rap about? How tough it is to keep your accountant from dipping his hands in your pockets? How much it sucks when the French Maid is on her period and she's forced to just clean your mansion? Well, I guess he could always write his 15th love song to his daughter full of wistful longing for a universe where she doesn't come from a "broken home" that excludes her mom from swimming in the Marhsall Mathers Moneybin.

Eminem ain't funny no mo'.

Eminem wrote a song called "Cum On Everybody." He's written multiple songs where he imagines killing his ex wife. "Guilty Conscience" is one of the most entertaining rap songs ever made. And, say what you will about the music videos to his leadoff pop singles, at least it wasn't Eminem Taking Himself So Damn Seriously. He built his reputation on being the quirky, skinny, slightly crazy rapper with a unique style nobody had heard before; it was never REALLY about him being white. His whiteness only made it stand out when Dr. Dre signed him and brought him out of the Detroit ghetto; but it was always his ability and his sense of humor that endeared him to all his fans. Now, he's trying to build a legacy - like almost all rappers do - as the Greatest Of All Time; so he's incorporating serious, melancholy anecdotes about his personal life, hoping that Music Historians will look back at Eminem as the whole package: Crazy funny rapper with a serious, soft side. News Flash: nobody gives a shit about what Marshall Mathers reads in the New York Times; we could care less about his Readers Digest songs about his drug-abusing mother. Stick with what you know and what you're good at; or is it too late?

Eminem ain't hard no mo'.

Eminem retired the Slim Shady persona at the conclusion of his fourth album, but I'm not gonna lie to you, Slim Shady been dead long before. He was murdered by Corporate Eminem right after he started up Shady Records in memoriam. Corporate Eminem isn't controversial anymore; he fabricates BS controversy. He's not homophobic anymore, he's the product of his traumatic upbringing. He doesn't hate his ex-wife anymore, he's keeping his opinions to himself for the sake of his daughter. He doesn't pop pills or snort coke anymore, he's a responsible dad and a reputable businessman. But, he knows that without fabricated controversy, that last 3 million records will go unsold. So ... he has rivalries with Moby and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog? He brings out the Michael Jackson jokes 15 years after they stopped being funny? He wouldn't let Weird Al Yankovic make a music video in his honor? I just wish he'd listen to "Criminal" and remember what it was like to be the most hated entertainer in music.

Apparently, Eminem is in the studio working on another album. Just like Dr. Dre is working on HIS album and Axl Rose is working on HIS album. I'm sure we'll see it any day now. I'd like to be optimistic, I'd like to look forward to whatever he comes up with because I know the potential is there. But, I'm sure I'll be as disappointed as ever as we get more of Adult Eminem with painfully desperate stabs at being shocking. Maybe he'll pull out some solid Lewinski jabs or start some beef with Judge Lance Ito.

I can only hope his new album will make me laugh like his first albums; NOT like his last albums