Tom MacDonald v Eminem

by: Ty Reynolds

Independent rap sensation Tom MacDonald has spent the better part of the first half of 2021 living up to his reputation for controversy by publicly attaching his name to one of the all-time greats, Eminem, through a 1-2 combination of references in two of his biggest hits yet. Early year singles “Fake Woke” and “Cancelled” shared the theme of brutally honest social commentary with lines either aimed at or dedicated to Slim Shady, depending on who you ask.

Both have shared incredible levels of popularity.  While many have accused the politically incorrect lyricist of clout chasing due to those perceived shots, it cannot be denied that MacDonald has turned all of the attention (negative or otherwise) into bona fide success.

The Canadian white boy has garnered a combined 24 million YouTube views, multiple Billboard #1’s, and numerous other accolades with just those recent releases alone, so it’s hard to argue with at least the sentiment that he is right when he raps about being a modern version of Biggie, Shady, or Pac.  

It’s no surprise that a Canuck Caucasian rapping about American pop culture and society has a large army of naysayers tracking his every movement and offering up only the most malignant of comparisons to Eminem, but the talent is clear and the numbers prove that he is at least well on his way to being worthy of enjoying the company of the titans he raps about.

He may have taken his largest leap towards cementing that status with his latest release “Dear Slim”.

Sticking with his recent habits, MacDonald has exponentially amplified the connections to Marshall Mathers in his work by composing what amounts to being a love letter to a childhood hero and role model. MacDonald succeeds brilliantly in giving full credit to Eminem for his very presence on the scene, while simultaneously claiming that it is MacDonald that now holds his hero’s former position as the abrasive and unfiltered artist, immediately ostracized and dismissed by some due to his complexion, but ultimately unstoppable due to talent and drive.

Laid over a rather dark and intense beat produced by Mather’s himself and purchased for $100,000 by MacDonald, a fact that he is brazen enough to mention unashamedly in the lyrics of the song itself. It is an obvious jab at those accusing him of merely relying on the creations of others to rise to fame.

MacDonald leaves no doubt that he believes he is the heir to Eminem’s throne in the very first verse.  Immediately describing the influence Mather’s had over his unknown protégé’s early years and how he grew to mimic him in manhood, MacDonald leads into the chorus with lyrics stating

“People claim that you hate me, but Marshall, that can’t be right dude.  You’d have to hate yourself, as well, because Marshall, I’m you.”

The chorus builds on the notion with the words

“Marshall, remember back when, you became Eminem, you changed the world with a pen?  Well, now I’m just like you.”

MacDonald provides further evidence that he is the next step in the evolution of White rapper savants with Eminem-esque lines like

“Call me culture vulture, garbage, those are ignorant words. I kill the vulture, cook the poultry in the pan till it’s burned. See, Marshall? I’m just like you, I’m flippin’ the bird.”

The success of the music video, a clear reproduction of the 2000 video for Eminem’s megahit “Stan” shows a dreaded-out MacDonald frantically attempting to explain his true position and admiration for Slim Shady in a “Dear Slim” letter, shows everybody that Tom MacDonald’s efforts have once again met the standard.  The song is coming up on 7 million YouTube views along with hitting Top 5 and Top 10 status on numerous digital charts since its release. “Dear Slim” is on track to surpass MacDonald’s most recent headline-grabbing releases that had already expanded his exposure and is likely to go down as another signature artistic moment. 

Overall, the beat is obviously world-class, considering its producer, and the flow and content of the lyrics compliment its brooding tone.  Mixed with the visual homage of the video, MacDonald’s “Dear Slim” is a worthy tribute to the man who inspired it and yet another independently manufactured gem for the man who created it.  In this instance, any comparisons to Eminem are well-earned and well-deserved for MacDonald.