Eminem’s “Superman” Lyrics Meaning
This song is actually centered on an idea which Eminem touched upon in some of his tracks prior to this one, such as “Drug Ballad” (2000). And that is individuals being convinced they may be in love with someone whom they just happen to randomly hook up with in the heat of passion on a given night. Or rather that’s what the refrain of the song is based on, the unrealistic romantic expectations certain parties may have in a relationship with the rapper that are in actuality flings. Or even more specifically, Slim Shady is telling a lady he has just slept with, who wants to actually build a meaningful relationship with him, that he in reality he isn’t interested in her at all.
Meaning of Song’s Title (“Superman”)
Indeed the term “Superman”, as applied in this song, is meant to personify the unrealistic romantic expectations women who are basically one-night stands put on Eminem. In other words, they want him to be their knight in shining armor – their romantic superhero so to speak – while all he is really interested in is a quick lay.
And this isn’t a case of Eminem just playing the role of an A-hole, for at the beginning of the first verse he brings up the fact that he is “single now”. In fact he and his wife Kim divorced (for the first time) in 2001, shortly before this track was released. So we can presume that the misogyny, if you will, (which is displayed on this track) is partially based on the fact that the singer has had some very-disappointing romantic experiences in the past.
But what really has the rapper cheesed off is that it would seem he regularly deals with gold diggers. So basically he would hook up with a woman looking for some fast sensual action. Meanwhile said woman is hooking up with him in the name of ‘getting his cash’. And of course that is an idea that he’s totally not down with.
Lyrics inspired by Em’s “relationship” with Mariah Carey
Also as mentioned earlier, some of these ladies want to “wife” the rapper, as in become his official, long-term main squeeze. And in that regard he references iconic songstress Mariah Carey, someone whom he reportedly dated shortly before this song was released. In fact according to Shady, “Superman” was heavily inspired by that relationship (though it should be noted that Mariah claims it never happened). So the way he tersely tells it is that Mariah actually wanted to get into a serious, public relationship with him. But once again he was not down with such idea.
Why Em is afraid of a Serious Relationship
Then in the second verse Eminem takes a different approach in explaining why he does not want to fall in love at the moment. And that is that he’ll likely become dangerously obsessed with the object of his affection. And once again going back to prior Slim Shady tracks, he uses one of those types of narratives similar to what we may find in say “Stan” (2000) for instance, where he portrays himself as a stalker, to get this point across. So in that regard, what he is fundamentally saying is that a female who wants to get seriously involved with him doesn’t know the type of suffering she is actually asking for.
So in summation, there are a number of reasons why Eminem, as he comes off in this song, does not want to get into a serious romantic relationship. And he is letting this fact be clearly known to any woman who may be interested in taking it there. Or stated differently, he has no desire to be their “Superman”, i.e. their romantic savior. Rather and succinctly put, when he hooks up with a woman what he is actually looking for, as illustrated by the last line of the second verse, is noncommittal bedroom fun.
So at the end of the day, we can say in the most basic way that this track features Eminem portraying the role of a playa. That is to say that he is someone who, despite dealing with a number of different women, is not interested in settling down, even though some of them obviously feel the opposite.
Facts about “Superman”
This song is part of Eminem’s fourth album, “The Eminem Show”. It was officially released on 26 May 2002. And later it also served as the third single from that album.
The music video to this song was directed by Paul Hunter. And it features an adult-themed actress by the name of Gina Lynn.
“Superman” was officially released only in the United States. And here, it made it onto four Billboard charts, including peaking at number 15 on the Hot 100. Furthermore, it was certified Platinum in America. It also managed to chart in New Zealand and reach Silver status in the United Kingdom.
Singer Dina Rae is a regular Eminem collaborator from back in the day. And she is officially featured on this track. She is known by true Slim Shady fans for being featured on the 13th track of three of his albums. And “Superman” itself is the 13th song on the playlist of “The Eminem Show”. And throughout her stint alongside Shady, she was also featured on a couple of D12 songs.
“Superman” was produced and co-written by Eminem. And the other co-writers are Jeff Bass and Steve King.
The pre-chorus of Drake’s 2020 song “Chicago Freestyle” is derived from “Superman”.