Notes From Quarantine: Who Else Apart From Alfred Hitchcock Can Inspire Eminem to Create His Twelfth Album?

Read our new exclusive article on what historic figures can inspire Marshall to create his twelfth studio album in the same way Alfred Hitchcock inspired his eleventh.

Written by Katerina Malik.

Inspired By Master

In a career that has spanned nearly 25 years , Marshal Mathers more than once mentioned those who inspired him and served him as an example. The list of names is impressive: his own uncle Ronnie, who introduced him to hip-hop, the pioneers of the genre, social rights activists. While this list is diverse, the name of the person who had influenced his latest album came as a surprise for many. Indeed, at first glance, it seems like there is not much in common between Em and Uncle Alfred. But come closer and you will see that there are multiple intersections between them, and suddenly Eminem’s creative design appears, as always, multifaceted, intricate and complex. So, what do they have in common, Marshal Mathers, a Detroit kid who turned out to be a rap legend, and Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire?

The most obvious is that both of them symbolise the genres they work in. Even people who do not like hip-hop or suspense know their names. Both of them were pioneers and to some extent set the standards in their field. Also, both of them are extremely productive creators with impressive artistic longevity. Hitchcock is one of the most influential directors in history, who released over 50 films in the 60 years of his career, 46 of which were nominated for an Oscar and were awarded 6 times. In his turn, Eminem over 25 years in business has got so many awards and accolades that even the most patient of our readers will be exhausted to read the full list. There are record sales, a Guinness record for the most words in a hit single, the first Oscar for a rapper, fifteen Grammy awards and many many more. However, it is most likely that not these overlaps inspired Marshall but rather some resemblance in their personal traits. Here is how actress Ingrid Bergman described Alfred Hitchcock:

His humour and his sharp wit are a delight. He likes, I think, very real people. If someone on the set was a phoney, he was liable to start a sort of a double-talk, which sounded like an absolutely normal conversation but turned out to be nonsense. That is how he got rid of visitors”.

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This description fits Eminem nicely: the wit, the twisted humour, infinite interpretations. Marlene Dietrich recalled Hitchcock as a man who was charming and shy at the same time. Does it ring any bells? The more you learn about Alfred Hitchcock, the more you realise that he is a perfect role model for Eminem. A person with multiple anxieties (Hitchcock was scared of the police, his own films and round objects) put fear in generations. Maybe Hitchcock’s life and legacy helped Eminem with his own self-discovery. “Music To Be Murdered By” is a perfect fusion of two Marshall’s alter-egos: Eminem and Slim Shady. It’s like the war is over, daddy doesn’t have to choose who is his favourite child, apparently, both sides of his personality can peacefully co-exist presenting a new strong and complex artist to the fans. Em is inspired by giants, only it seems that he is not interested in perfection, while such figures as Hitchcock provide him with a standing point for his constant creative growth and attempts to understand and, who knows, heal himself.

The unlikely collaboration of the geniuses made the album interesting, sincere and stylistically striking. Having listened to it many times I ask myself, what else Eminem can do to surprise us? Where else can Marshall find inspiration? Here is Top 5 of my suggestions:

1. Nero, “the bloody poet”. This Roman emperor doesn’t seem to be a good example, but the bloodthirsty ruler who murdered half of his family in a very sophisticated manner can show Slim Shady s a trick or two. Nero ordered his teacher, philosopher Seneca, to commit suicide, and while his was slowly bleeding his life out, slaves were documenting his last words. It is believed that Nero set Rome on fire to admire the view and that his garden was illuminated with the burning bodies of slaves who disobeyed his orders. At the same time, the arts, theatre, music, architecture were his true passion. Nero loved reciting his own poems from stage, and his performances were obligatory to watch with a death penalty to anyone who decided to leave early. A treasure trove of pinspiration for Slim, is it not?

2. Oscar Wilde, the most controversial English writer. Flamboyant, defiant, he once proclaimed at customs control: “I have nothing to declare but my genius”. Wilde was an easy target for journalists who pulled no punches attacking the writer. Not once did he have to stand up to his critics, many of his writings were banned from publishing or production because of their alleged immorality and cynicism. A smart dandy with lethally sharp wit might provide inspiration to Em, don’t you think?

3. Were he alive today, Russian poet Sergei Yesenin, a rowdy reveller, would look very organic in Eminem’s friends circle. He was stubborn, tough, hot-blooded. He was perceived as intolerant – the same way as Eminem was. He constantly got involved in brawls, he did not like neither fellow poets nor authority figures, and they reciprocated. Add to the mix his complicated relationship with alcohol and toxic relationships with women. The resemblance is obvious. I don’t even have to mention that he was a poetic genius and insanely popular with a fairer sex.

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4. This list would not be complete without Salvador Dali, a genius madman, master of controversy, the symbol of surrealism. In his early years, his multiple anxieties made him a loner, he could not fit with other kids and chose the role of a jester, a freak, weird and eccentric. The misunderstood and excluded kid had grown up to be an epically productive artist with over 1500 creations in his catalogue. There are paintings, sculptures, stage designs, marketing design (for instance, he designed Chupa Chups logo), jewellery, films and even an animated film for Disney Studios. Dali was industrious and indisputably talented. His biography, his legacy, his diaries, the story of his complicated relationship with his wife are inspiring, especially for the talented artist with an equally difficult childhood.

5. Marshall’s compatriot O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) deserves special mention. The short story writer, who made plot twist endings his signature feature, was not too boring himself. He was a good storyteller, had a knack for music and theatre. He eloped his first wife, flew to South America to escape the charges of embezzlement and years after surrendered himself to authorities to reunite with his beloved wife who was dying from tuberculosis. His writing career took off when he was imprisoned. This charming trickster became one of the favourite American writers but despite his popularity he did not like publicity and was very private. The self-deprecating genius did not trust public praise and deemed himself a failure who was still to write his main book.

I choose to finish this list with his name because I believe that Eminem’s main work is still to come. It does not matter whether it will be inspired by someone or will reflect Marshall’s psyche, fans around the world are eagerly waiting for it. And who else do you think can inspire Em?

This description fits Eminem nicely: the wit, the twisted humour, infinite interpretations. Marlene Dietrich recalled Hitchcock as a man who was charming and shy at the same time. Does it ring any bells? The more you learn about Alfred Hitchcock, the more you realise that he is a perfect role model for Eminem. A person with multiple anxieties (Hitchcock was scared of the police, his own films and round objects) put fear in generations. Maybe Hitchcock’s life and legacy helped Eminem with his own self-discovery. “Music To Be Murdered By” is a perfect fusion of two Marshall’s alter-egos: Eminem and Slim Shady. It’s like the war is over, daddy doesn’t have to choose who is his favourite child, apparently, both sides of his personality can peacefully co-exist presenting a new strong and complex artist to the fans. Em is inspired by giants, only it seems that he is not interested in perfection, while such figures as Hitchcock provide him with a standing point for his constant creative growth and attempts to understand and, who knows, heal himself.

EJ Magazine 35