Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Headlights Shining, Dark Night I Drive On"


I've been known be effusive in my praise for Drake's ability to vent on the mic about deeply personal issue. The amount of courage it takes to reflect on your most personal feelings about life and family to millions of listeners can never be understated. It's always been something I've admired in some Hip Hop artists and, to a large extent, has determined what I post on this blog.

Drake may be great at being emotionally accessible, but nobody...and I mean nobody will ever be able to touch Eminem's ability to craft a deeply personal story. If anybody has any qualms with Eminem, I invite you to listen to two of his songs. First, listen to Cleaning Out My Closet, which is regarded as a classic because of the way he describes his turbulent upbringing in a brutally honest portrayal (below)...

Now, twelve years later, listen to Headlights. Take note of the guilt he lives with on a daily basis because he admits to writing Cleaning Out My Closet out of vengeance. It takes a lot to come clean about intentionally inflicting pain on your mom. Having matured over the years, he's able to reflect and appreciate his mom (Debbie Mathers)'s ability to be both a mom and dad.

Anybody who has witnessed Eminem's growth over the years should get choked up when listening to Headlights. It all comes to a culmination on the last verse of the track where he imagines dying in plane crash. As the plane is going down he thinks back to the last interaction he had with his mom as her headlights drove away. They haven't spoken since and he feels really sad that he can't tell her how much he loves her before the plane comes down.

It's a tough story to listen to, but it's hard not to really appreciate how far Em has evolved as a person over the years. Going from lashing out as a young kid growing up to really understanding and appreciating the people who he ultimately owes gratitude and wishes he had a better relationship with. I'll say this too, Nate Ruess was the perfect vocalist for the hook. Just a great overall collaboration and it will ultimately rank in my top 10 favorite Eminem songs when all is said and done...#Headlights

Eminem feat Nate Ruess - Headlights

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