When Slim Shady returned from a prescription-pill-induced absence back in May of 2009, the Hip-Hop world welcomed the always outspoken icon back with open arms. Then, when he donned the infamous accent and proceeded to bludgeon his way back into people’s hearts with Relapse, those same folk slowly retracted their steps and then sprinted the other way.
Whether it was because they were disgusted or terrified, the fact remains that the conceptual platform Marshall manipulated upon his return was on purpose and chosen specifically to showcase his talents, which were no more evident than on “Stay Wide Awake.” Infected with a haunting chorus and Dr. Dre’s striking keys, this definitive album gash lashes out at listeners with the irrefutable wordplay and intricate, inter-syllabic rhyming our favorite 313 refugee is revered for. Yet, because of the Hannibal Lecter-esque character and sheer vulgarity he used as the medium, many fans couldn’t even see passed the schtick.
But, for those that did, this lyrical exercise stands as the epitome of why rap’s most practical use is entertainment, where imagination always trumps personality.