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The recent episode of The Crook’s Corner podcast featuring Eminem gave fans a lot of food for thought. One of the topic under discussion was, what is the paramount essence in hip-hop?

We’ve been listening to Eminem for quite an eternity so far, and, you know, there’s no news in his excitement of rhyming the syllables rather than something else. However, being all about lyrics, Marshall doesn’t lose the content line in his songs, so the question Crook asked was about the balance between these to rap aspects. The answer followed:

Eminem: “Sometimes I’m like, “What is content? “What are you talking about? “What do you want me to talk about?” Think about the first time you hear Rakim, right? So when people make these lists, and he’s always on the list, but he’s also always on my list, because to me, greatness is not only how well you do something, but if you were the first to do it, Rakim was the first person that I heard that started using, like, inside rhyme schemes, and coming back at the end and hitting it, you know what I’m saying? So, he did something that hadn’t even been thought of yet”.

KXNG Crooked: “Original”.

Eminem: “Yeah, and he single-handedly pushed the genre forward to be more complex, lyrically. And then birthed fucking Kane and G-Rap, right? […] Every person who’s a fan of hip-hop might feel like hip-hop is about something different, right? “It ain’t about lyrics, it’s about how good you flow, and your cadence,” right? Or it’s just about, “The beat is dope,” and just having a message over it. That could be your opinion of what hip-hop was about. My opinion is hip-hop is about lyricism, and the greats who we put up on the pedestal, right? That’s what they were about, and that was the beauty of us being able to learn how to do it, and learn from them, right?”

Watch the full interview below:

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