News: Eminem's "Saturday Night Live" Lip-Sync Performance Explained

Monday, Nov 4, 2013 7:05PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Days after sparking backlash for an alleged lip-sync "Saturday Night Live" performance, rap star Eminem's representative has stepped up to set the record straight on what really went down.

According to reports, Em did orally perform during "SNL" but used a vocal track to enhance his set.

Eminem is claiming he didn't pull an Ashlee Simpson on "Saturday Night Live?" this weekend ... TMZ has learned. A rep for the rapper tells us Em was not lip-syncing during his performance of "Berzerk" ... but does admit he was using a vocal track underneath his live vocals. Translation: live mic+vocal track = vocal help. Yes, technically ...it's not lip-syncing, but it's pretty damn close. The rep adds, "He just likes this sound and if you listen to his albums they are done the same way." Guilty conscience? (TMZ)

In most music critics' opinions, Em provided viewers a lackluster performance just days away from his Marshall Mathers LP 2 album hitting store shelves.

Eminem was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live to give us performances of his singles off of the upcoming album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which releases on Tuesday, November 5. Eminem was lazy with his performance and lip-synced the entire song, which left plenty of people on social media calling him out. To add to the social media intrigue, Eminem was joined on stage by hip hop legend Rick Rubin, who was sporting his iconic beard, along with sunglasses and a parka that made him look like a character on Duck Dynasty. The good news is that Eminem's lackluster performance won't keep anyone from buying his album, so he gets a free pass for going out and going through the motions. Still, you would like to see a little more effort on such a public platform. Regardless, it's all over now and Eminem can now sit back and watch his record sales soar through the roof. (Fansided)

Other bloggers questioned why Marshall Mathers would hide his greatest ability and cop out to lip-syncing.

Despite Eminem's career-long ability to stir up controversy, virtually everybody agrees on his mic-slaughtering verbal agility. As SPIN's must-read review of this week's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 puts it, "If rapping were a purely athletic competition, Eminem would be Michael Phelps and Mary Lou Retton combined: pure agility and flexibility, like an unstoppable bullet with only white-hot hate in his wake." But there's not really an athletic equivalent to the way the Detroit MC deprived himself of his greatest gift on SNL. Twitter was full of commenters pointing out it sure looked like Eminem was lip-syncing, and whether he was or not, that's the real crime: Here's the guy who wins every rap Olympic gold medal, and he couldn't even convincingly appear to be swimming. (SPIN)

Along with "Berzerk," Shady performed his Call of Duty: Ghosts video game anthem "Survival" last night.

At least Eminem applied his disconnectedness to two MMLP2 rap-rock songs that knock hard on record. Pioneering producer Rubin joined him and a hard-hitting live band as a DJ on lead single "Berzerk," a punk-rap throwback that despite its un-punk lack of brevity makes a run for Killer Mike and El-P's jewels. And if Slim Shady couldn't convincingly replicate rapping, the blond, parka-coated figure still carried considerable stage presence; at one point, he made a Berzerk Face™ reminiscent of his oddball ESPN college football interview. For the anthem-aspiring "Survival," Eminem brought out frequent collaborator Skylar Grey rather than the album's guest Liz Rodrigues, and the switch-up only emphasized the hook's interchangeability. (SPIN)

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