“Book of Rhymes” is the 5th track on Eminem’s second 2020 album ‘Music to Be Murdered By: Side B.’ As the title suggests, the song is about Eminem dropping some heavy bars and rhymes, and proving to us that he is not even close to being ‘washed out’ in his career.
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.
On “Book of Rhymes,” Eminem addresses his haters who complain about Eminem sounding angry all the time and the fact that we rarely see Slim Shady persona coming out. However, Eminem has brought up the fact that the world has gone too ‘soft’ for his unfiltered rhymes.
Listen to “Book of Rhymes” by Eminem
Buy ‘Music to Be Murdered By: Side B’ Album on Apple Music & Amazon
“Book of Rhymes” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
At one point in his career, not too long ago, it seemed like Eminem can do nothing right. He was getting blamed for the eternal frown on his face. He was getting hate for the ruthless lyrics on some songs and too-soft lyrics on some. Eminem got critiqued about his new mustache, and the list goes on. But the reality of the matter is that Eminem started his music career before all these critics and outlived them too. So, at the end of the day, the haters’ opinions don’t matter.
Although Eminem says that he is emptying his book of rhymes on this song, let’s face it, Eminem ain’t done with music anytime soon!
At the start of the first verse, Eminem says that he spends too much time on the Internet. The bad thing about too much time on the Internet is that he would tend to go down the rabbit hole of reading stuff written by critics. The fact of the matter is, reviewing a song and someone’s personality based on that is easy! Writing the song, rhyming sentences, producing it, and releasing it is way more difficult. So, Eminem tends to let himself down reading all these “gurus” of music on the Internet. Eminem says that he needs to get off the Internet and all these critics need to get a life too!
Next, Eminem asks these critics not to compare him with other rappers who don’t even write their own music.
Now comes the topic of Slim Shady, the manic persona of Eminem. Slim Shady persona is one that received a lot of criticism for ruthless lyrics. But, now everyone keeps asking for Slim. On the contrary, the personas of Eminem and Marshall Mathers are more aggressive in tone. This is also another criticism received by Eminem saying that he is just angry at everything for no reason.
Eminem also jabs at Bon Iver, an indie-folk band founded by Justin Vernon. Justin spoke about Eminem’s song “Fall” from the ‘Kamikaze‘ album. Eminem says Justin can swallow a Ja-Rule bobblehead, reminding of one career Em ended.
In the second verse of “Book of Rhymes,” Eminem suggests that writing music is his therapy. He admits that he gets triggered more often than not. But he pours his anger into his lyrics and outcomes are nuclear of lyricism annihilating his targets.
Eminem welcomes other rappers who have the nerve to go against him. Eminem says he doesn’t mind if they bring their whole squads to go against him. He still has fuel in him to take anyone in a rap battle.
The beauty of these lyrics is that it’s not all talk. Eminem has proven from time to time that nobody survives a rap feud with him. The latest feud being in 2018 with Machine Gun Kelly, who changed his genres from hip hop to pop-punk, coming out of the war.
Eminem also seemingly addresses the modern class of rappers who have nothing but to rap about booze, drugs, money, and women. We have seen more and more songs of the same topics recurring. All they have for themselves are some pointless lyrics, gold chains, diamond-studded teeth, and a gang affiliation. This is barely music at this point!
A final note to Eminem by himself; you have to make it on your own. Eminem is a lone wolf at this point in the industry. But, he is stronger than ever and wittier than ever!
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.