“HOUDINI” (2024) | Music Video Review

“HOUDINI” (2024) | Music Video Review

6. June 2024 Off By Thorsten Boose

Reference to Jackie Chan: none available

“And for my last trick…”

Harry Houdini was born on Halloween in October and died in Detroit at the age of 52. Eminem is from Detroit and will be 52 years old this October. Just one reason why his new single is entitled ‘HOUDINI’.

I watched the music video straight after it came out and wanted to let it all sink in. To be honest, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I felt nostalgic because of the countless references, on the other hand, I felt embarrassed. ‘Cringe’ how the kids use to say…

So the story is about Slim Shady, who steps through a portal from 2002 into the year 2024 and wonders what the hell is going on here. Honestly, doesn’t he speak for all of us somehow? While Shady wants to destroy the woke madness of 2024, the world is trying to cancel him, threatening Eminem’s existence after 2002, so today’s Rapboy has to compete against his old self in order to survive.

The story alone has more content than most superhero stories these days, and makes a mockery of them as well. Just Slim Shady, King of Mockery. So Dr. Dre picks Em up in his yellow Lambo and drives Rapboy to the final battle. And that’s when it happens, Slim Shady and Eminem merge. But before that, old Slim steals the microphone from the babbling podcasters – what a diss.

"They created a monster!"

‘They created a monster,’ we read as the hybrid gets back in the car and his shit-eating attitude gets so on Dre’s nerves that he unceremoniously gets out. We hear Eminem say ‘you’ll never see me again’. Is he really announcing his retirement from the music business?

Eminem’s next album is planned for this summer and is entitled ‘The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce)’. But if you know Eminem and his alter ego, you know that there is still a lot to read between the lines. We don’t know what exactly he’s up to. Maybe he just wants to decide for himself when he cancels Slim Shady. Or has he really grown up at 52 and accepted Slim as part of himself, so that he’ll give them both up and only be known as Marshall Mathers?

If I had to bet, I’d put money on Eminem’s new concept album being an exploration of the social differences between then and now and how they’ve evolved in a worrying way. Em will probably send Slim Shady back to his time and have to admit that this character doesn’t work today, despite the nostalgia factor of Gen X and millennials. In my opinion, however, the death of Slim Shady will be prevented by Em himself by banishing him to the past. He’ll stage it like Sherri Papini. That’s my theory.

After thinking about it for a few days and watching the video again and again, I came to my own personal conclusion: I have to make an effort to hate the song rather than like it. So I just accept the old Slim Shady as part of my growing up. Then the beat, the sample and the bars are still fun today.

Not everything used to be better, but you can tell Eminem is having fun here. It’s a fun song and it’s fun to listen to. 20 years ago it would have been played on the radio (is that still a thing?). Back then the parents wanted to cancel it, today the kids moan about his statements without ever having heard the real Slim Shady madness.

2002 Slim Shady vs 2024 Eminem

Could we now complain about CGI and AI? All the name-dropping, which many still want to misinterpret as a diss? Yes. But wait and see. Megan Thee Stallion might have a feature on the album. Why? Because all the haters who are now blowing the same horn and screaming for cancelling Eminem would look stupid. That’s exactly what Slim Shady would do in his coup de grâce if he cancelled the cancel culture! Sometimes a hero has to sacrifice himself for something greater.

You can think what you want about Em. I myself am neither a stan nor a hater, I still listen to some of his music today, but I steer clear of some of it. However, he has worked hard to earn his place in the upper echelons of the rap game.

He has emerged victorious from what feels like every battle. If you can’t beat Em, you should join him. He is virtually untouchable. His image is almost flawless and Em has caused many scandals in 30 years. But he knows how to use them and, like the escape artist Houdini – watch out: he unleashes someone/somewhat – he is on the pulse of time.

The single was a calculated move and the plan seems to be working. Who else other than himself should he be able to battling? And the question of all questions remains: How did the portal through which Slim Shady was able to step in 2002 come about in the first place?

Nostalgic 7.2 out of 10 stars

Music video | “HOUDINI” (2024)

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