Eminem is back in the rap game with Tuesday's release of The Marshall Mathers LP 2, but there's one game he never left: the being-a-huge-nerd game. The rapper has long been a fan of geeky pursuits, from starring (and co-writing) his own Punisher comic book with XXL magazine and Marvel, to dressing up as Robin in the "Real Slim Shady" video. And his new album continues the trend, with a wealth of geek-friendly references that show Eminem wouldn't be out of place at your local comic store.
Em's latest album has received a lot of backlash for what some consider to be homophobic and misogynistic lyrics — backlash he addressed head-on in an interview with MTV News following a townhall-style radio interview on Tuesday — but the references below probably won't get critics too riled up.
For those Eminem fans not as geek friendly, here's a rundown of every nerdy reference on the album:
"Rhyme or Reason"
» "Back with the Yoda of rap in a spasm"
Little green creature from the "Star Wars" movies who lives on the planet Dagobah, and trains Luke Skywalker in the ways of The Force.
» "(Follow you must, Rick Rubin my little Padawan)"
A trainee Jedi, from the prequel "Star Wars" trilogy. Eminem is also employing the "backwards" speech Yoda uses in this lyric.
» "A Jedi in training, colossal brain and, thoughts of entertaining"
Any one of the semi-mystical knights who patrol the galaxy in the "Star Wars" movies.
» "Puke Skywalker, but sound like Chewbacca when I talk"
Luke Skywalker is the hero of the "Star Wars" movies, a young kid who eventually becomes a Jedi. Chewbacca is a Wookie, a giant, hairy warrior who only talks in grunts, shouts, and growls.
» "Kryptonite to a hypocrite"
A small green chunk of rock that became irradiated when Superman's home planet exploded. It's the only substance able to harm the superhero.
"So Much Better"
» "Go smurf yourself you make me wanna smurfin' puke blue Kool Aid"
Small, blue creatures approximately as tall as three apples, originally created for Belgian comics, and later spun off into a popular animated TV show. They often replace parts of their sentences with the word "smurf."
» "Bitch I'm a droid, I void cupid stupid wasn't for blow jobs you'd be unemployed"
Possibly short for the word "android," but most likely referring to the word used for robots in the "Star Wars" movies.
» "Just to go out watch Batman/ Who needs a test to test the testicles, not that man."
A DC Comics superhero who dresses up as a giant bat to fight crime, and avenge the deaths of his parents.
» "So get lost, Waldo"
The star of a popular series of children's books, the red-and-white-stripe-wearing Waldo is often lost in a huge crowd of similarly dressed people and things, challenging the reader to find him.
» "And it ain't never gonna stop. A pessimist who transforms you to Optimus in his prime, so even if I'm half dead, I'm half alive"
From the "Transformers" movies and toys, a giant, sentient robot from the planet Cybertron who has the ability to change into a big old truck.
» "The art of MCing mixed with da Vinci and MC Ren And I don't mean Stimpy's friend, bitch"
"The Ren and Stimpy" show aired on Nickelodeon from 1991-1996, depicting the adventures of two best friends, one a dog, the other a cat.
» "Kneel before General Zod this planet's Krypton, no Asgard, Asgard"
General Zod is the arch-enemy of Superman, played by Michael Shannon in "Man of Steel." In other appearances, he was fond of saying, "Kneel before Zod!" Krypton is Superman's home planet. Asgard is the home of Thor, both in Norse mythology, and the Marvel Comics.
» "So you'll be Thor and I'll be Odin/ You rodent, I'm omnipotent"
Thor is the Norse god of thunder, and a member of The Avengers in the Marvel comics and movies. Odin is his father, who has the power of omnipotence (being able to see everything at once).
» "I'm the walking dead/ But I'm just a talking head, a zombie floating"
A popular TV show (and comic book series) about what happens after the zombie apocalypse has started. On the show, there was a scene featuring aquarium tanks full of floating, chattering zombie heads.
» "Morphed into an immortal coming through the portal"
No specific reference here, but Eminem may be talking about Thor's method of transport in the film series, where he and other Asgardian gods travel through portals to their home, and other planets.
» "I'd rather be an encyclopedia Britannica, hell with a Playstation/ I'm still on my first manual from Zelda/ Nintendo, bitch: run, jump, punch, stab"
The "Legend of Zelda" series of games for Nintendo depict a young hero named Link who must save the kingdom of Hyrule from an evil being named Ganon, and rescue a princess named Zelda. In the first game, at least initially, all you can do is run, punch and stab.
» "Bedroom ever again like the legend of Heather Ledger/ My suicide notes, barely legible / Read the bottom, it's signed by The Joker"
Batman's arch-enemy, an insane clown who has no morals and constantly terrorizes Gotham City. He was played by Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight," who reportedly wrote a whole diary in character as The Joker... And may or may not have contributed to the actor's eventual demise.
» "Superman tried to f--- me over, it won't hurt"
The first true superhero, Superman has the power to fly, super-strength, heat vision, freezing breathe, and can make you forget things if he kisses you, at least according to "Superman II".
"One thousand different houses and munchausen"
Baron Munchausen is based on a real Baron known for his outrageous storytelling. He was later the basis for a Terry Gilliam movie called "The Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen," as well as an actual syndrome where patients pretend to be sick to get attention.
» "Bitch gave me an extra life like take this/ Now get your ass back in that game"
In video games, characters often get an "extra life," a chance to restart the game after their character has already died.
» "A mixture of Whitey Ford and mighty Thor"
See above. A norse god, and character prominent in Marvel Comics and movies.
» "Lex Luthor, bitch, her rules are kryptonite/ To the walls and I've lost my power to see through them bitches/ But I run into them, running through the kitchen/ Pretending to be blind, Superman/ 'Cause I had no supervision"
Lex Luthor is Superman's arch-enemy, a billionaire who believes humans don't need help from an alien. For Kryptonite and Superman, see above.