The foremost Pick Me in hip-hop today has finally given up asking 50 Cent to reignite their mid-aughts feud. “Because 50 can’t rap, so I’ve gotta go a level up and challenge the better rapper,” he rationalized in an April interview on Fresh Pair, leaving out the part where 50 Cent was too busy building a TV empire to respond. “Nobody really takes shots at Eminem off this pre-conceived notion that he’s better than everybody. Well I want action, and I want it today.”
You’d be forgiven for wondering what kind of “action” he’s looking for, especially after he added, “If you’re a ‘rap god,’ control me. Put me down. Put me in my place.” Is that clear? He just wants rap daddy to hold him down and tell him he’s been a very naughty boy.
A student of hip-hop history — he didn’t call himself The Game for nothing — the 42-year-old wants to recreate the era-defining beefs of the past. “I’m talkin’ about Hov and Nas, I’m talkin’ about ‘Takeover’ and ‘Ether.’ Because one of them has to feel like they won. I’m just sayin’ let’s have our moment, or I’m gonna have it by myself.”
Except that he hasn’t figured out how to have it by himself, which is how we landed at “The Black Slim Shady,” 10-minutes of Grade-D beef that finds The Game slinging a few lazy insults in Marshall Mathers’ direction while dropping so many references to Em’s discography it’s a surprise the track doesn’t end with him rubbing his hero’s feet.
The track is framed around Matthew, an Uber driver who happens to be Stan’s younger brother, and who picks up a gun-toting Game on his way to Marshall Mathers’ house. The Game’s idea of one-upmanship is as literal is it gets; he raps about being, “Shadier than him/ Crazier than Kim,” because apparently adding the letters “e-r” is the extent of his wit.