Have you heard Eminem's song "Headlights" off his new-ish album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2? It's about his dysfunctional relationship with his mother, Debbie Mathers, but unlike most of the other songs in his discography that have ripped her a new one (one example lyric of many: "But how dare you try to take what you didn't help me to get / You selfish b***; I hope you f***king burn in hell for this s***"), this one's essentially an open apology … and the Spike Lee-directed video takes things even further with a story that seems to take a major step towards reconciliation. (Or at least forgiveness.)
It's a powerful video, really. Raw and honest and the sort of thing that delivers a gut-punch to anyone with family issues, however different they may be. Oh, and here's something interesting: Eminem released it on Mother's Day.
Spike Lee is the creative mind behind the visuals in this clip, which is mostly shot from the first-person perspective of a character representing Eminem’s mother. The four-minute video delves into their troubled relationship, while Eminem raps and fun. frontman Nate Ruess delivers the hook. Here are some of the lyrics:
I went in headfirst
Never thinking about who what I said hurt, in what verse
My mom probably got it the worst
The brunt of it, but as stubborn as we are
Did I take it too far?
"Cleaning Out My Closet" and all them other songs
But regardless I don't hate you 'cause, Ma,
You're still beautiful to me, 'cause you're my mom
He tells her he forgives her, and talks about the absence of his father and the devastating impact that had on them both. He says he doesn't perform "Cleaning Out My Closet" any more at shows, and "I cringe every time it's on the radio."
Towards the end he says,
But I love you, Debbie Mathers, oh, what a tangled web we have
It's the last 40 seconds or so of the video that really get me, when he posts the lyrics like the open letter it is, and his mom picks it up and a tear drops onto the paper, and Ruess sings the final line: I want a new life.
Check it out:
Well, I'm crying. What did you think of this video?
Image via Vevo/YouTube