In the tradition of most of Eminem’s follow-up singles, “The Way I Am” features a much darker and emotionally driven sound than the album’s lead single, “The Real Slim Shady”. However, “The Way I Am” was actually recorded before “The Real Slim Shady”, as a direct result of the record company putting pressure on Em to create a poppy first single for the album.
It’s worth noting somewhere that this is one of the only rap songs to rely heavily on anapestic tetrameter— four anapestic feet (da da DUM) per line. In fact, the entire track except the hook uses this meter.
Anapestic tetrameter is more familiar from comic poetry, as in Twas the night before Christmas, Yertle the Turtle, and other Doctor Seuss stories–meaning that this form is not suited for the anger Em expresses in this rap, but being controversial is what he does best.
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