The song Eminem used to share his drug issues
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The song Eminem used to share his drug issues

Eminem has long been seen as one of hip-hop’s greatest, delivering songs that transcended genre and delivered mainstream success where nobody thought possible. But while many of his tracks are littered with goofy skits, he can also be serious, much like on ‘Déjà Vu’.

Eminem’s song ‘Déjà Vu’ is a haunting and introspective track from his 2009 album Relapse. Clocking in at over four minutes, the song takes listeners on a gripping journey through the rapper’s struggles with addiction and the demons that have haunted him throughout his life.

Speaking about the track to Observer Music Monthly in 2014, Em noted: “Honestly, I never really put the mic down. The problem was, as I’m going to be explaining over and over again for a while, is that I had a pretty bad drug problem. I was messing with Valium, Vicodin, Ambien and anything to [help me to] sleep. Basically, I’d take Vicodin to get me through my day.”

The title ‘Déjà Vu’ immediately sets the tone for the song, suggesting a sense of repetition and déjà vu in Eminem’s life, particularly in his battles with substance abuse. The lyrics vividly recount his drug experiences, painting a raw and unfiltered picture of the chaos and despair that addiction can bring. Eminem’s powerful storytelling skills shine as he describes the downward spiral of his addiction, from the initial euphoria to the painful consequences.

The song’s production, helmed by Eminem himself and Dr. Dre, complements the lyrical content perfectly. The haunting piano melody and melancholic beat create a sense of foreboding, mirroring the darkness of Eminem’s addiction. As the song progresses, the instrumental becomes increasingly chaotic, mirroring the chaos of addiction itself. It’s a brilliant sonic representation of Eminem’s emotional turmoil.

Throughout ‘Déjà Vu’, Eminem’s delivery is raw and emotionally charged. His flow is impeccable, weaving intricate rhyme schemes while maintaining a conversational tone that draws the listener in. This authenticity is a hallmark of Eminem’s style, and it’s on full display here.

One of the most poignant aspects of the track is Eminem’s self-awareness. He doesn’t shy away from acknowledging his own mistakes and the harm he’s caused to himself and others. He confronts his demons head-on, offering a glimpse into the internal struggle he faced during his darkest moments. This vulnerability level sets Eminem apart as a lyricist and artist.

As the song reaches its climax, Eminem reflects on his near-death experience and the impact it had on him. He raps about the realisation that he had come dangerously close to losing his life to addiction. This moment of clarity serves as a turning point in the song and in Eminem’s life, marking the beginning of his journey toward recovery.

‘Déjà Vu’ stands as a testament to Eminem’s ability to use music as a cathartic outlet for his inner demons. It’s a powerful and deeply personal track that resonates with anyone who has grappled with addiction or faced their own demons. Eminem’s unflinching honesty and exceptional storytelling make ‘Déjà Vu’ a standout in his extensive discography, reminding us of the power of music to heal and connect on a profound level.