Hailed in the underground as an incredibly gifted battle rhymer at a time when commercial success still eluded him, Eminem appears to be returning to his roots with a biting attack on onetime House Of Pain leader Everlast called "I Remember."
The track (a blues infused hip-hop number over which Eminem mostly sings, mocking Everlast's more recent solo output) has surfaced as the B-side to the "S**t On You" single Em released with his group D-12 earlier this month.
In the song, Eminem takes the Irish-American rapper/singer to task for his switch in styles over the years, going all the way back to Everlast's pre-House of Pain days as a member of Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate.
Em hits far below the belt with comments on low-points in Everlast's career ("Back in '94/ Like right before Miss Everlast was Whitey Ford/ when House Of Pain was out of fame/ destined to never jump around again"), his age ("Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit came along/ Now nobody wants to hear your old ass sing no more") and even his heart troubles ("I was right there laughing when I heard the news/ I just wish the cardiac would have murdered you").
Em actually censored himself (somewhat) in one line, singing, "I wasn't trying to steal your light or nothin'/ But you're a homosexual white rappin' Irish..." offering a "beep" over what may have originally been a swipe at Everlast's conversion to Islam.
In the song, Em seems to suggest that he was once a fan of Everlast, singing, "I went to get your s**t/ Man, I was into it/ But then you went and took your style and switched the s**t/ Now you sound ridiculous."
Everlast isn't too damaged by the barbs, at least according to his record label, Tommy Boy Records. A statement issued by the label on behalf of Everlast said, "He is amused. He thinks that the song is quite funny."
The drama, or at least a good chunk of it, may be attributable to a verse that Everlast (using the alias White E. Ford) contributed to a remix of the Dilated Peoples song "Ear Drums Pop," which appears as the last track on the group's latest album, "The Platform."
In the verse, Everlast (whose own "Eat At Whitey's" album is set to drop this week) took an old-school style swipe at America's latest chart-topping white rap sensation. Mentioning no names, he said simply, "I buck a 380 on ones that act shady You know you ain't the one that repped peckerwood status," adding, "let's take it back to the House/ Slide off your blouse/ Lift up your skirt/ And expose your panties/ For the world to see/ You can't rep it like me."
"Why would you diss me?" Em snarls back in "I Remember," boasting, "...I could rap circles around you/ Plus I can sing better than you/ And I don't sing/ And probably play guitar better/ And I ain't never touched a string."In other Eminem related news, Em and his D-12 counterparts (rappers KonArtis, Bizarre, Proof, Swifty and Kuniva) shot a video in August for "S**t On You," re-titling it "Shhh On You" for commercial airplay. According to the fan web site D12world.com, the Detroit crew's long-awaited debut album, "Devils Night," will hit stores next spring.