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Role Model (song)

"Role Model"
File:Eminem - Role Model single CD cover.jpg
Single by Eminem
from the album The Slim Shady LP
Released May 26, 1999
Format 12" single, CD single
Recorded 1998
Genre Hardcore hip hop, horrorcore
Length 3:25 (album version)
3:22 (radio version)
Label Aftermath, Interscope
Writer(s) M. Mathers, A. Young, M. Bradford
Producer(s) Dr. Dre, Mel-Man
Eminem singles chronology

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"Role Model" is a song by American rapper Eminem, that features on his major label debut album The Slim Shady LP. The song also appears on the deluxe edition of his compilation album, Curtain Call: The Hits. Released as a single in 1999, following "Guilty Conscience", a music video was made, using the heavily censored radio edit. It became a minor hit on US charts.


Eminem claimed the song is essentially about suicide, which may be mocking his own experiences in 1996. During the song, he also mocks unsuitable role models, who people will mimic regardless of the things they do. Eminem makes fun of Canibus' claim that he ghost writes LL Cool J's raps by jokingly accusing Canibus of not writing his own raps. The radio edit goes further into this situation with the line "Six mics in The Source - they borrowed one from LL's arm." In the song, Eminem raps "Some people only see that I'm white, ignorin' skill, 'cause I stand out like a green hat with an orange bill. But I don't get pissed, y'all don't even see through the mist. How the fuck can I be white? I don't even exist" mentioning early controversy as he struggled to gain notice in a predominantly African American industry that, among most in the industry, spend most of their time smoking blunts according to their raps. The idea behind it is that if they smoke that much weed, then they couldn't see him because he camouflages in with the smoke. "Role Model" also addresses controversy against Hillary Clinton, who Eminem claims "tried to slap me and call me a pervert/I ripped her fucking tonsils out and fed her sherbet", and Cage, who is referenced in the line "Cause when I drop this solo shit, it's over with/I bought Cage's tape, opened it and dubbed over it".

Critical reception

David Browne described this: "In Role Model, he gleefully debunks the idea of rappers as heroes (So if I said I never do drugs, that would mean I lie and get f ---ed more than the President does)."[1] RapReviews highlighted following lyrics: "I get a clean shave, bathe, go to a rave/ Die from an overdose and dig myself up out of my grave/ My middle finger won't go down, how do I wave?/ And this is how I'm supposed to teach kids how to behave?"[2]

Music video

The video is a darker comedic offering than "My Name Is," directed by Dr. Dre and Phillip G. Atwell. The opening of the song, where Eminem announces he's going to attempt to drown himself and the audience should follow him, is left out, but is acted out in a silent movie style. After someone introduces Eminem, he proceeds to attempt a Houdini-like escape trick from being held under water. After that there are scenes of Eminem performing live at a concert, acting as a priest (who sits awkwardly with a young churchgoer in a bedroom and later with a prostitute), a police officer arresting someone for cannabis possession (though the cigarettes are blurred out), a Norman Bates-like man and a cartoon superhero-type character beating up Foghorn Leghorn. At the end of the video, the escape trick fails and Eminem drowns. The video edit is edited differently from the edited version of The Slim Shady LP. The edited version on The Slim Shady LP just backmasks, while the video edit changes the lyrics at some points, while replacing others with sound effects. A director's cut also exists, which is edited to the uncensored version of the song. Changes include the blood being added to Eminem as he confesses to killing Nicole Brown Simpson, adding certain segments of Eminem as a priest with the child, editing the scene where Eminem disappears differently, and Eminem with a shovel while saying "I never meant to hit you over the head with the shovel". The Foghorn Leghorn-inspired character is also now flipping Eminem the bird with his tail feathers, and the cannabis cigarettes are shown.

Track listing

Promotional CD single[3]
No. Title Length
1. "Role Model" (Radio Version) 3:22
2. "Role Model" (Album Version) 3:25
12" vinyl[4]
No. Title Length
1. "Role Model" (Radio Version) 3:22
2. "Role Model" (Album Version) 3:25
3. "Role Model" (Instrumental) 3:17
4. "Cum On Everybody" (Club Edit) 3:13
5. "Cum On Everybody" (Album Version) 3:40
6. "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" (Club Edit) 3:49


Chart (1999) Peak
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)[5] 11

External links