Whether you love him or you hate him, one cannot ignore Eminem’s success and lyrical expertise. Since hitting stardom in the late ‘90s, Eminem’s continual success can now be neurologically explained thanks to a group of researchers.
The answer lies in one of his latest hits.
According to psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, the brains of creative geniuses and people with schizophrenia are much too similar to shrug it off as coincidence.
Is Eminem a creative genius?
Is he schizophrenic or bipolar? According to Eminem and those who study his music, there are two sides to him:
1. Marshall Mathers: the kid from a broken home, abandoned by his father, neglected by his mother, and misunderstood as an artist who is constantly discriminated against.
2. Slim Shady: a demented, psychotic freak who never apologizes for his views on the world.
Both sides can easily be seen through his lyrics.
Eminem is a creative genius with problematic psychological tendencies. According to Kaufman, creative geniuses and people with schizophrenia both have extremely active precuneus, the area that facilitates daydreaming and free association (making stuff up, basically). The only difference is that unlike people with psychological problems, creative geniuses can distinguish between fantasy and reality.
According to interviews and data collected from people with bipolar disorder, the biggest struggle is the anguish the disorder causes, but there is the
silver lining of the euphoric highs it also brings, along with the boosts of confidence and the creativity it sometimes sparks. Kaufman states that it is a great myth that creative geniuses are always consistently geniuses, which supports the before claims by people with a bipolar disorder and Eminem’s lyrics.
Many of Eminem’s “flops” or failed projects only back-up the claim of him being a creative genius. Comparing him to another creative genius, Thomas Edison, we see that most of his [Edison’s] stuff is bad. Many even say he had some of the worst ideas of the time; he just managed to get it together for a few things. Through these few things, just like Eminem, Edison was able to show his more advanced cognitive skills. According to Heather Berlin, a partner researcher of Kaufman, Eminem probably has more advanced connections in his brain (despite the psychological problems) in terms of his language areas. This is easily seen in his new song, Rap God, where he slips 100 words into 20 seconds (Guinness World Record for most words in a hit single) averaging more than four words a second. Furthermore, both researchers would predict that his area of the brain that filters curse words might be smaller than average. This, though, can also be attributed to a bipolar disorder since Eminem does not use curse words around kids; hence, he has control on when and how to give in to Slim Shady, the “bad” side of him.
Last, these psychologists have also found a decreased rate of fired neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which has to do with your sense of self, within creative people. This means that “The Monster” inside Eminem’s head may be more real to him than it is to us.
Without this Monster, Eminem would not be the creative genius that he is. If he was to entertain his creative side more, as he did in 2009 with his album “Relapse,” which is filled with unsettling and to a point disturbing songs, he would become [more] schizophrenic and a [more] permanent Slim Shady. If he were not to delve into his creative side as much, the result is his 2010 album “Recovery,” which is filled with songs of redemption.
Only when Eminem balances his two personas does his creative genius skyrocket as it did when he won an Oscar, sold over 100M albums worldwide, and received the praise of everyone from Dr. Dre to Elton John.
Eminem would not be Eminem if it were not for The Monster.