Looking Back on ‘The Way I Am’ – in conversation with Emminemmylou
Eminemmylou’s ‘The Way I Am’ on her 2006 album, ‘Muthabanjo’ is certainly an unforgettable start to an one-of-a-kind album.
Eminemmylou, as her name may suggest, is a Country-rap artist – one of the first UK musicians within the genre. Also known as ‘hickhop’, the genre is underground but thriving, with American artists such as Jason Aldean gleaning millions of views. Angi takes this successful but already hidden subculture and subverts it even further.
Her persona Emmy is an audacious rapper with no reservations about telling it how it is. Her songs are like none other as they skillfully navigate the dramatics of the country genre and the politics of hip hop. She offers an equally diverse vocal performance, which ranges from Dolly Parton-esque to reminiscent of Alicia Keys. Despite push back from some artists in a male dominated industry, her gender has never held her back.
‘The Way I Am’ is the track that started it all, according to Emmy: ‘I heard “The Way I am” by Eminem and I thought, that really needs a banjo’.
The track opens with a sound bite of Emmy being turned away from a gig by an austere bouncer – ‘I told you before, no country’. ‘But its hop-hopry, it’s country and hip hop’ retorts the defiant Emmy. Meanwhile a heavy electric guitar gives way to fast-paced banjo. Just like that, we are introduced to the world of Eminemmylou.
As the chorus goes on to claim that, despite whatever haters might think, ‘that’s just the way I am’ and the twang of the banjo merges somehow effortlessly into a heavy guitar riff, the listener can begin to embrace the album as a work of complete individuality.
Emmy states that ‘this song is for anyone’, and by the end of ‘The Way I Am’ the listener cannot help but agree.
Check out Kate Bowie’s interview with Emminemmylou below.