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"3 a.m." (CD single)
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this song is full of grotesque, unapologetically violent lyrics about murderous, sociopathic impulses. The video is full of ultra-violent scenes of blood, gore, and murder -- Eminem is seen in a bathtub filled with "blood" and standing over the bloodied corpses of dead (mostly female) victims.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
On the single "3 a.m.," from Eminem's latest album Relapse, the rapper portrays a serial killer recounting his violent and twisted history. The single is quite darker than the album's other releases up to this point, with quotes from the Silence of the Lambs even incorporated into the lyrical confessions. The single definitely qualifies itself for a place in the "horrorcore" genre of hip-hop, where rappers attempt to create a musical version of horror fiction.
Is it any good?
It's easy to bash Eminem for glorifying heinous, brutal acts on this single. But the real problem here is: What's the point of this song? If it's intended as an examination of the criminal mind, it misses. It just comes off a violent song whose imagery is played only for shock value. The song loses all hope for redemption with its weak writing, exhibited in such unoriginal, repetitive lines as "...there is the coroner, waiting for you to turn the corner so he could corner ya, you're a goner, he's on to ya, out the corner of his cornea."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Eminem uses his alter-ego, Slim Shady as a mechanism for bad, down-right deplorable behavior. Do you think the rapper is playing a character when he celebrates killing people? What effect do you think this single will have on listeners? Talk to kids about the messages in the music.