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Eminem “Crack A Bottle (Number 1)”

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: .

“Crack A Bottle” was first dropped on Big Mike & DJ Neptune’s 4th Quarter Pressure Part 2 mixtape last month as “Number 1,” but a few days ago a cleaned-up version of the track leaked, sans mixtape shout-outs.

Presuming that Relapse comes out before October, Shady is going to be 36 when it drops. Oh, how time passes… I remember when “My Name Is” was first getting heavy rotation, and I couldn’t help but think that Eminem was a passing gimmick. He was an angry white kidspitting aggressive, taboo-ridden lyrics in a time when aggressive white kids were getting behind white bands with aggressive lyrics. But not only has he outlasted the Fred Dursts of the world, he now plays the role of a generational elder, not too distant from the role Dre held when he first helped break Eminem… but hell, Shady passed that years ago when he broke 50 Cent. This year is going to be big for both men, with both Relapse and Detox (theme?) expected to finally see release. With this version of “Crack A Bottle” Shady changes tones between rapping his verses and those expected to be filled in by Dr. Dre on the final version… whose album it’ll end up appearing on, I don’t know (can someone enlighten me here?) – but it’s solid enough in its unfinished state to lead me to believe that Shady is going to bring some bounce to his lyrics this year.

Since “Crack A Bottle” is a completely unfinished track though, and will probably end up sounding far from the original, it’s a little out of line to judge it. I will say this however, if you’re listening to it and are really getting into the beat, it’s coming directly from Aesop Rock & Del The Funky Homosapien’s contribution to 2005’s Wu-Tang Meets The Indie Culture. If it’s been a while since you’ve revisited that album, or worse, if you’ve never heard the album at all – you’ve got to do something to change that. Aesop’s verse here is one of my favorites of his, and the beat explodes, generating far more energy than in Eminem’s track. This leads me to the believe that “Crack A Bottle” is just using it as a stand-in for something else, just as Shady stands in for Dre’s verses, because with the combined production talent of the two MCs, there’s no reason to dig so deep into someone else’s pockets.