Eminem opens "Guts Over Fear" with a moment of self-awareness: "Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is/ Find different ways to word the same old song," he raps, before launching into the sort of inspirational, beat-the-odds anthem that has become his forte.
To end the song, though, he remembers why he keeps rehashing those themes. "So this is for every kid who all they ever did was dreamt of one day just getting accepted/ I represent him or her, anyone similar/ You are the reason that I made this song/ And everything you're scared to say don't be afraid to say no more/ From this day forward, just let them a-holes talk/ Take it with a grain of salt and eat their f--king faces off."
If he needed another reminder of the positive impact his music can have, he got one recently thanks to Teejay Stainer. The 10-year-old was born without a calf bone in his right leg, and had that lower leg amputated when he was 14 months old.
But Em's music has helped inspire him to overcome some of the hardships he's faced. He even has a prosthetic leg with a picture of Em, which he hoped the rapper would one day see. And, thanks to a picture his father, George Stainer, uploaded to Facebook, the unlikely scenario came true: Eminem sent Teejay a signed CD, writing, "To Teejay, I saw your pic and read your message! Thanks for the support!"
"I was amazed when I saw the CD," he told the Daily Echo. "I just wanted to thank him for getting me through the difficult times and show him how dedicated I am. I think he sent me that album [Recovery] in particular because of the recovery that I've made."
The leg was made by Steeper Prosthetics' Stephen Cox, which laminated an Eminem shirt onto the prosthetic. When Teejay's parents uploaded the picture, they didn't expect the world famous rapper to respond.
"We warned him Eminem might never see it as we didn't want him to be disappointed, but we were amazed by the reaction," his mother, Georgina, said.
"His father and I are both hip hop fans, so he's been listening to Eminem nearly all his life. We have always taught him to listen to the lyrics and their meanings and as Eminem raps about surviving difficult times, it makes him feel brave."