Eminem Impersonates Max Headroom in the Video for “Rap God”

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 27 2013 2:53 PM

Eminem Impersonates Max Headroom in the Video for “Rap God”

In his recent interview with Zane Lowe, Eminem described how he wanted a retro aesthetic for his Marshall Mathers LP 2 (which is the No. 1 album in the country once again this week). Many critics have said Eminem is just out of touch, but he wanted to “make the record sound nostalgic… subliminally,” he said, “so that it reminded you of 13 years ago, when you first heard me.”

Like the Beastie Boys-inspired video for “Berzerk,” Eminem’s new video for the jaw-dropping showcase “Rap God” is heavily nostalgic, but there’s nothing subliminal about it. Dressed alternately as Pinhead and Max Headroom and others (including a “rapbot”), while rapping and levitating his way by artifacts including Pong, Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots, and Bill Clinton, the video is liable to remind you of 13 years ago—and, for some reason, 26 years ago, too. Like the song, it’s all over the place, frequently nonsensical, and at least a litte bit of a rush.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. Email him at Forrest.Wickman@slate.com.