Yet another deeply personal rap written by Eminem’s Mockingbird is without a doubt one of his more “grown up” releases. After the in your face antics of of the Slim Shady LP and the anger driven tracks of Marshall Mathers LP, Mockingbird is the sign of a rapper who is finally becoming a man.

The track opens with Em addressing his daughter Hailey, and her cousin Lainie, who are obviously troubled from the turbulent relationship of Eminem and his wife, Kim. He acknowledges their feelings “I can see you’re sad, even when you smile…deep inside you want to cry” and tries to explain how things came to be this way “daddy’s on the move, mommy’s on the news” though it won’t change anything.

For Eminem, Mockingbird is a way to speak to a child on their own terms; the song lacks the profanity found in so many other Eminem tracks (e.g. “Kim” or “97 Bonnie and Clyde” in which he murders his wife).

Marshall Mathers also credits Kim for her role when they were new parents. He doesn’t shy from the fact that he was too poor to pay for presents, and that Kim actually bought some for Hailey, telling her it was Eminem who paid for it. It takes a lot of guts to admit to something like that, and is yet another telling feature that Em is growing up.

Encore as a whole can’t hold a candle to his previous releases, yet for Eminem, Mockingbird is a throwback -in terms of quality- to tracks such as “Stan.” It demonstrates a lyricist who is able to dig beneath the surface and find the emotions most people refuse to admit. The fact that he admits these emotions to millions of people on a platinum album makes the emotional intensity that much more impressive.

Despite the problems brought on by Marshall and Kim’s relationship “Poppa was a rolling stone, Mama developed a habit” Eminem’s love for his daughter and niece remains strong, even as their world fell apart around them. The song concludes with Em realizing that his two girls are growing up fast, and from someone who has lived life in the fast lane, he can appreciate what is in store for both of them.

For long term fans of Eminem Mockingbird may be one of the best tracks on Encore. For new fans, it serves an introduction to one of hip hop’s most legendary rappers at the top of his game, even if the album as a whole lacks the sparkle of earlier releases.

Source by Andrew Tucker