Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Eminem "Soul Intent" (1995)

Although labeled here as an Eminem record, this cassette EP was a self titled release from the Detroit group known as Soul Intent, consisting of Eminem, Proof from D12, plus few others, although on the microphone it is only Em we hear rapping on the two tracks "Fuckin' backstabber" and "Biterphobia". Back in the Napster days this was a godsend to get your hands on this, the earliest recordings known at the time however doing a little research reveals now you can hear recordings of Em rapping as far back as 1988. Astonishing! I thought this was the final piece to cover on Ems roots and although there is more uncovered I will probably not return to writing about them for now...

Comprising of two sets of raps over muddy, dingy beats at cassette quality there may not be much to get excited over here and that is certainly true of the first track. Em still finding his feet shows off his pronunciations skills as he doubles up the consonants of his words in true Das EFX style. The higher pitched voice and vocal inflections are strangely distracting from the flow and strength of his rhymes as they divert attention from the songs narrative. Its a reasonable song but the low fidelity sucks the wind from its sails.

"Biterphobia" is where things get interesting, the beat musters up a lot of atmosphere and urgency in its intro before Em steps to the mic and drops in on a prolific flow. Fast swift and effortless Em breezes through a crafty assemble of tight rhymes that land like knockout blows. Its a moment where his talent comes to fruition in a raw and energetic form as Em raps about spraying spiders with aerosol and lighters. The two songs encapsulate his roots in learning to rap via imitation and where he is heading, finding a voice of his own and defining himself with a brilliant set of rhymes on the second song.

Favorite Track: Biterphobia
Rating: 3/10