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Without Me

It feels so empty without all the Eminem clones

By Todd Inoue

SINCE EMINEM blew up, labels were quick to capitalize on Slim Shadyness—signing up light-skinned rappers and hyping them as the Next Eminem. That was five years ago; many have dropped off (Tow Down, Genovese, Hot Karl), and others have emerged. Here's a rundown of candidates that blew up in a good or bad way.

Hyped as: "The Homeless Eminem"
Credentials: His bio revolves around his experience living on the streets for nine years before hip-hop saved him. Sound familiar?
Where is he now?: On the shelf. His 2002 record was never released, and he's played the back since. And to confuse things even more, there's another rapper named Poverty on the scene with a record out. Though still recording mixtapes, Poverty missed the boat.
Em factor: 3 out of 5, making Poverty history.

Princess Superstar
Hyped as: "The Female Eminem"
Credentials: Writes her own extremely salty rhymes, produces own tracks, plays instruments. 2002's Princess Superstar Is laid down her foundation: rap like hell, drop pop-culture references, sing openly about sex, collaborate with Kool Keith.
Where is she now?: Diversifying her portfolio by appearing as a coach on MTV's Made show, allowing "We Got Panache" entry in "Project Gotham Racing" XBOX video game, mashing up tracks on tour. Fifth record comes out in September 2005.
Em factor: 2 and dropping. Definitely following own path.

Jin Tha MC
Hyped as: "The Asian Eminem"
Credentials: Won the BET 106 and Park Freestyle Friday battle contest, signed with Ruff Ryders, released The Rest is History after interminable wait.
Where is he now?: For a while, his Freestyle Friday win became his sole accomplishment. After constant delays and lack of promotion killed Jin's momentum, he quit the rap game to do movies. "No more studio for me," he said in an interview. His retirement was short-lived, as Jin recorded a blazing attack record in 2005 against Hot 97 after the station aired an offensive tsunami parody.
Em factor: 3, if he's devotes more time to movies.

Hyped as: "The Electroclash Eminem"
Credentials: Both Eminem and Peaches have records bumping in strip clubs coast to coast and openly court controversy with provocative lyrics and performances.
Where is she now?: Touring, DJing, jamming with Iggy Pop.
Em factor: 1. Eminem shaves his armpits; Peaches doesn't.

MC Paul Barman
Hyped as: "The Ivy League Eminem"
Credentials: Thoughtful perfectionist minus the shoulder chip. Barman applies propeller head theories to rhyming: he's incorporated the Fibonacci sequence and palindromes into "Enter Pan Man" and "Bleeding Brain Grow," respectively.
Where is he now?: Working on new record for the past three years.
Em factor: 3. If Eminem applied himself and went to Brown University, he'd be MC Paul Barman.

Bill Maher
Hyped as: "The Libertarian Eminem"
Credentials: Spouts political rhetoric and comedy, enrages Republicans and ABC network executives, paranoid (meat and high-fructose corn syrup are frequent source of tirades), hates rap music, dates video model Karrine Steffans, hangs out at the Playboy mansion, reviled as blowhard and elevated as voice of reason.
Where is he now?: On tour, coming to Mountain Winery Aug. 20
Em factor: 5. Bill Maher, take off the mask. You are Eminem.

The Anger Management Tour, starring Eminem, 50 Cent, Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz, G-Unit, D-12, Obie Trice and Stat Quo, comes to the HP Pavilion on Tuesday, July 19. Tickets are $65-$85, and the show starts at 7:30pm.

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From the July 13-19, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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