Last June, rapper Eminem released his first single of 2015, titled “Phenomenal.” This song is featured on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams, which was released on in July of 2015.
Eminem is a lyrical genius and this clearly shows, yet again, in this record. With clever lyrics such as “There ain’t no situation that you ever had to respond to that’s adverse / The messiest thing you’ve ever gone through was your purse” and “You’re gonna have non-believers / But when you’re beyond belief, you probably shouldn’t wonder how,” Eminem tells an excellent story about perseverance and paints an excellent picture of this story for the listener. Eminem also includes fun-sounding words in his lyrics that engage the listener such as “Unstoppable, unpoppable thought bubbles / Untoppable thoughts.” The quick speed at which Eminem raps in this song is notable and very impressive as well.
This track has a very angry tone to it, which is surprisingly enjoyable and adds to the song’s overall depth. As soon as the chorus begins and I hear Eminem scream “I am phenomenal,” I feel as if I am transported into the middle of a mosh pit at one of his concerts. In addition, this track also has a rock feel to it, which matches the angsty lyrics perfectly.
However, overall, this song pales in comparison to many of Eminem’s biggest hits such as “Lose Yourself,” “Not Afraid,” and “Love The Way You Lie.” While the hook of this track is still quite memorable, it lacks the iconic melody that the hooks in his other tracks have. After Eminem chants “I am phenomenal,” the rest of the chorus is lost to the listener as it gets swallowed up by the instrumental sounds behind it.
Furthermore, there is not much of an instrumental track backing Eminem as he raps. The same synthesized sounds appear repeatedly throughout the track and are not incredibly interesting or fun to listen to. I expected more diversity in the instrumental of this track and for it to include a mix of drums, piano, and synthesized beats like most of Eminem’s tracks do.
All in all, Eminem’s new song “Phenomenal” only ranks slightly above average in my book. However, I am excited to see it in Southpaw because I believe that it fits the theme of the movie perfectly.