“Tone Deaf” is the fourth track on Eminem’s second 2020 album ‘Music to Be Murdered By: Side B.’ In the song, Eminem addresses his haters and displays his lyrical genius yet again.
Eminem released his second surprise album ‘Music to Be Murdered By: Side B’ on December 18, 2020, a sequel to his January 2020 album ‘Music to Be Murdered By.’ The brand new album, 12th in his career, consists of 16 new tracks and carries on Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller theme from the former album.
In the song, Eminem seems to fade in and out of his notorious alter-ego Slim Shady. Hence, naturally, the song treads into topics of drugs and violence and explicit lyrics.
Listen to “Tone Deaf” by Eminem
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“Tone Deaf” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
Eminem slips into his alter-ego Slim Shady and confesses that dark thoughts are overtaking him. Infused with a drugged brain and haunted by dark thoughts, Eminem goes on to rap about his success in the rap game.
Eminem is a veteran in the rap game at this point. He has lived through literal bloodsheds and metaphorical deaths of artists in the industry, some of which he is responsible for too. So, one has to think twice or thrice before going up against Eminem. Em can very well dig your grave for you!
Eminem also plays on the classic stigma that ‘nothing rhymes with the word orange.’ Em has completely disagreed with this and proven that there are plenty of words rhyming with orange. In these lyrics, Eminem makes a joke by rhyming orange with banana and calling it ‘oranana’ which is not the right way for rhyming words. Em might be jabbing at the modern-day Lil-class of mumble rappers and their rhyming skills with this.
Despite Eminem getting attacked from different fronts all the time, Eminem says that they cannot bring him down. Eminem says these haters can keep trying to make him slip, but he won’t. One famous tactic to make artists fall is to take jabs at them from different angles and let the artist act out and create his own downfall. So, Eminem knows better than to react to every stone thrown at him.
Eminem brings in the example of the rapper King Von, who passed away in November 2020, caught in the middle of gunfire. Be it a personal grudge or a professional hazard, Eminem tries to avoid getting himself into situations like these.
So, Eminem used his alter-ego ‘Slim Shady’ as his scapegoat. Whatever smack he talks about anyone in the industry is credited to Slim Shady and not Eminem or Marshall Mathers. So, Eminem neither can be canceled nor caught in the middle of unfortunate gunfire.
Some of the drug references throughout the song are Zoloft, Paxil, Molly, and Xanax. These might be drugs Eminem is familiar with back in the day. Namedrops throughout the song are rapper Rico Suave, rapper D-Nice, Henry Heimlich, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kris Kristofferson, Paul Rosenberg (Em’s manager), Dr. Dre, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and late rapper King Von.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.
Eminem released the official animated lyric video for “Tone Deaf” done by Randy Chris who was also responsible for the “Godzilla” animated music video. In this animated lyric video, one of Eminem’s biggest fans ‘NoLifeShaq’ also makes a cameo.