Sometimes, when an artist is past the best work of their career, an air of financial desperation can start wafting from their general direction. If they’re smart and hanging onto sufficient star power, they can just move to Vegas for a residency and keep the cash rolling in. (Well done, Britney!) If they were ever part of a well-respected band, they can get back together for a reunion tour and the world will applaud them for it. (Thank you, Danzig, for the upcoming Misfits reunion you are bestowing on us!) But for those artists in the middle who never quit, never came from a group and were never family-friendly enough to sell out to a casino, thinking about the future can be an awkward predicament.
Sometimes, panic just sets in one day - even in the midst of a still-solid career - and what follows is the kind of desperate cashing in that Eminem indulged in this week.
That's right! On Monday, Slim Shady (he’s the real Shady, all you other Slim Shadies are just imitating) put 700 bricks in his web store, for $313 a piece. The bricks are purportedly from the rapper’s now-demolished childhood home, as featured on the cover of 2000’s The Marshall Mathers LP. Each individual piece of ridiculous rubble comes with its own
cheap plexiglass case (“Customers will assemble the bricks into the plexiglass display case upon arrival”), along with a piece of paper Certificate of Authenticity, and a cassette copy of The Marshall Mathers LP. (Side note: Cassettes are only cool right now because everyone’s forgotten how quickly they get worn out and how long it takes to wind one back into place using only a pencil and sheer power of will.) Oh, and if throwing $313 at discarded pieces of clay “in varying conditions” isn’t quite enough, you can also throw an extra $37 into the pot and get a T-shirt too!
Or, at least, you could. All 700 bricks have now sold out.
We’ll repeat that: Eminem just sold individual bricks for a grand total of $219,100. Which is considerably more than the intact home on Dresden Street was worth before it burned down three years ago. Zillow reports that similar homes in the area sell for between $30,000 and $40,000. What’s more, reports suggest that state officials attempted to contact Eminem to sell him the property before it was demolished, but received no response from the rapper. (Which also makes me wonder how he got his hands on what was left of the property in the first place.)