It’s been confirmed that Shady will in fact be performing at this year’s Grammys. Not that any of us should be particularly surprised given that he’s up for a whopping ten awards, I mean – the least he could do is perform a song or two. The question is, what song(s) will he perform?
Well, if I were a betting man (and I once was and um, well, let’s not get into that) – I would put my money on him doing a “Not Afraid” / “Love the Way You Lie” medley. As much as I would personally like him to perform a new single, which he’s himself said there will be (besides “No Love”), as much as I’d like that, I don’t think it will happen.
If another single does come off Recovery, which Em himself has said will, then, I think myself and many fans are all hoping for “Space Bound” or “Cinderella Man”, or “Almost Famous” (though the cursing and imagery makes this very unlikely). I really don’t want (like the majority seem to) another of the realistic, emotional tracks to be the next and probably final single. We’ve already had two of those kind of songs and, although “No Love” is a little more of a hip-hop lyricism showcase for its own sake, it’s still personal in nature and ultimately has that drab, real-world quality to it.
Where as, if he were to release “Space Bound” or “Cinderella Man”, I feel that there’s more possibilities with those visually (for videos).
I think visuals can add a lot to an album’s overall effect, how it’s remembered and also its artistic validity. Which may sound a bit overblown but, think back to Thriller (Michael Jackson). Do you think the album would be as memorable without those legendary, groundbreaking visuals. I don’t. And think back to The Marshall Mathers LP, I bet you find it difficult to try and think back to it without immediately thinking of the three videos associated with it; the madhouse mental hospital backdrop in “The Real Slim Shady”, Eminem diving through the air in “The Way I Am” and the car going off the bridge in “Stan”…
For most artists, videos are pretty useless. And that’s usually because their songs don’t have enough substance or meat on the bones from which to merit a visual need. Most artists’ songs, and… I say most meaning the majority in any genre, not just most people besides Eminem – but, most artists’ songs are just odes or catchy tunes. So the only videos they produce are of themselves dancing or singing to their own song which, whilst mildly satisfying for fans and family of that particular artist – doesn’t really resonate beyond its own sake. There’s no real need for it beyond making the song bigger.
Where as, with “Stan” there’s a NEED for a video, a genuine need. It’s a haunting storytelling track, with very realistic voice acting portraying a very scary state of affairs. So naturally, a decent visual representation of that is only going to amplify it. And, it’s not for its own sake, it ADDS to the art. It’s a new step, a new element. It doesn’t just make the song bigger (although it does do that), it makes the song a more ‘worthy’ and resonant thing by default, as it’s now represented in a new form, a visual form that could be appreciated or understood by people who may not of initially cared for the audio alone.
With all that said, I don’t think “Not Afraid” needed a video although… due to its obvious ‘1st single-ness’, due to it needing to be the album opener then, I of course agree with it having one. For the purposes of the album promotion, but, not artistically. I do think that “Love the Way You Lie” was a valid choice, even though I don’t necesarily love the song that much, a visual creation, was valid there. There was a story to tell. I think “No Love”… they did a pretty good job with creating a little concept relating to the theme(s), though, I think it was a bit of a waste.
But at this point, I think the album should be finalized with a really strong visual. Go out on a high. And a song like “Going Through Changes”, I don’t think will provide that high (visually). I can appreciate the song’s commercial appeal and people’s want for it as a single, but I really think it would be a waste of visual effort. As, aside from showing the basic story of the words he’s saying, there’s not much else to do. I mean I’m sure a smart director could whip up some conceptual gusto but… a song like “Space Bound” or “Cinderella Man”, just on title and theme(s) alone – there’s so much more that could be done. So many interesting representations and directions to go in.
So, what song will Em perform? As I say, it’s very likely it’ll be either or (probably) both of his #1 hits from the album. But, we can always hope for a surprise.
The 2011 Grammy Award ceremony will take place on February 13th. Stay tuned, Shady folk.