(Warning this may be hard to Read and Watch due to its Graphic nature! But it hits home for us here at Guerilla Cross due to the fact that Las Vegas is our home base and we’ve dealt with a lot of the aftermath of the 1 October Shooting. Viewer and Reader Discretion Advised!)
WATCH THE VIDEO:
Does negative reinforment actually work? Eminem would like to think so, and with his Newly Release Single “Darkness” off his Surprise Album entitled, Music to be Murdered By…he Definitely takes a shot at it. Pun Intended! (And there’ll be many more so Strap in)
When I first got the news, Em had Drop a New Album, I immediately had to listen to it. I’m a huge fan of his Creativity and word play and when it come to pushing myself as an MC, Em is the Bars. And you came either clear it or just play Limbo, like most artist have to do. But this new single “Darkness” struck me as a little different. While listening to the album it follows the song GodZilla, clearly and follow up to the style of his hit record “Rap God” off the “MMLP2”. First impression, I thought Darkness was kinda boring until around 2 minutes and 55 seconds in, when he rapped the Time “10:05pm” then for me it all clicked. If you live in Las Vegas, as I have been for the last 7 years, you know that time to Be a bit of a Trigger Word. The tragedy of the 1 October shooting in Las Vegas was literally the shots heard around the world! 58 lives where lost. thousands of people effected, and countless family still have to deal with the memory of that horrific night in 2017. The night when a single Gunmen opened fire from the 35th floor of (2) Mandalay Bay suite windows. Using thousands of bullet to rain down terror, on a Crowd of concert goers, at the Route 91 Harvest Music festival. And here I am thinking that this song was just another filler record, about his being depressed before a show. Another song about his anxiety with being famous and hoping people will be there for a show that he want to kill. Little did I know that when he stated that Time of 10:05pm it would all come crashing down.
Eminem’s Lyrical genius and masterful wordplay is at its best in this new Single. You might need more that just one listen to digest it all. (So Spoiler Alert here comes a lyrical break down from Darkness ) when his says “I can see the Whole f@&xing venue From my Windows” It’s a misdirection making you think he’s at one of his shows, but then he goes on. “You can’t murder a show no bodies at”, once again it sounds like he’s talking about a performance that is coming up that’s he’s anxious about! After a bunch of Gun metaphors and bullets sound effects. I still didn’t get it, even when he said “I reached for the Scope” it still didn’t click for me. Because it literally sound like an nervous artist preparing for an event, that the media will definitely be covering tomorrow! So many hints! “Magazines all on the floor!” How could I not See what was coming? And them all of a sudden it was clear. He wasn’t reminiscing, he was Reenacting. Line after line was a step by Step look into the mind of the shooter, Stephen Paddock.. All of his ; could be Mixed feelings, his Possible doubts, even the evil Justifications of his horrible actions. Eminem was also cleaver to throw in the fact that he was a fully Licensed Gun owner! Smh.
On the same day he dropped this surprise album, he dropped a video for Darkness that seemingly put the viewer through the same emotional Rollercoaster that I went through. Revealing little by little until it’s too late and then, BANG!!! You’re in the middle of the action, forced to relive this nightmare. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I woke up to take my daughter to her bus stop early that Monday morning,only to realize that I had over 30 missed calls and a bunch of Social media messages from family members and friends. All trying to figure out if I was Okay. You see, I was a Taxi Driver in Las Vegas for about 6 years and my shift started hours after the last shot was taking. if I worked the night shift, which was possible back then, I could have been caught in the line of fire. Plus being around Mandalay Bay and that whole area of the strip was a high traffic Cab-Stand for Drivers. When I went into work that day, the stories I heard from victims and family members of victims just trying get in touch with there love ones. I even drove someone around that even had Bloodstains on her shirt. So this Song brought it all back to my remembrance. Which bring me back to my first question does Negative reinforcement Work?
For Eminem, this well written reenactment of the 1 October events doesn’t just put you in an emotion state. It causes anger. And this overly offended Society were living I’m sure Em’s offices will receive some letter… But my anger comes from the fact that this keeps happening over and over again. After the song’s lyrics had finished, Eminem had added a hand full of News clips, telling the same type of story that we hear all to often in the Country.. And after watching the Video (link above) my concern were confirmed. Eminem made a plea to Stop Mass Shooting Gun Violence all together by urging people to go out and vote.
Is it a good Song? Yes! I believe it’s a great song. It’s well structured and leaves you with a twist ending, that only some of these major Hollywood movie could pull of. It took me back to the first time I Heard “Stan” from the “MMLP” the shock from that changed the way we listened to his Music.
So Bravo Em, for making us think, for making us Listen, and making us feel.