“Hailie’s Song” by Eminem

As an artist, Eminem can be considered the main figure who initiated the early 21st century trend of musicians getting painfully personal in their songs. At the time his legendary career took off, he was engaged in some well-known family issues. 

Whereas the media, as expected, contributed to publicizing many of Em’s private affairs, more to the point was Marshall relaying how he personally felt about certain intimate issues to the world. And at that time, let’s just say that whereas he was mega-rich, everyday family matters were still very much on his mind.

“Hailie’s Song”

Out of all of Mathers’ direct relatives – i.e. his parents, wife and children – it is actually his biological daughter, Hailie Mathers, who he has spoken most fondly of. When this song was dropped in her honor, Hailie was less than 10 years old. So maybe, all NSFW lyrics considered, “Hailie’s Song” was not intended for her to hear at that point in her life. Rather Eminem is mostly using the opportunity to air out his issues, sorta as if the addressee is a psychologist.

Verse 1

And in that regard, the first thing the vocalist lets us know is that he’s suffering from an existential level of depression. Even though he doesn’t actually state it, we, the audience, all know that Eminem is rich AF. So what he is comprehensively saying is that despite the world being his oyster, he still finds no true satisfaction therein. That is until Marshall takes a look at his daughter. Then all of his suffering, if you will, “makes sense” or seems worth it.

Chorus

Then in the chorus that follows, Slim gets around to his success. What he’s saying there is that “everyone” putting pressure on him is one source of his depression. The other is the world itself being in a messed up state. But again, his main avenue of happiness is via Hailie.

Lyrics of "Hailie's Song"

Verse 2

In the second verse, Em further infers, in relation to external pressure, that people tend to make comments about him as if he’s emotionally invulnerable. And yes, he will proceed to play the role on the outside. But internally, such treatment combined with his inherent “insecurities” are very much taking a toll. But once again, when things get too hard, it is ‘his baby’, Hailie, who provides relief with her presence.

The Final Verse

Then Eminem commences the final verse by celebrating how happy he is to be a father in general, on top of expressing the desire to write an appropriate song which will always remind Hailie of how much he loves her. 

Thereafter, the subject matter yet again shifts to the public perception and treatment of the rapper. And without going into too much detail, Em is basically putting forth that his famous Slim Shady persona is just a gimmick, if you will. 

So to the contrary, his main pleasure in life isn’t being hostile or abusing drugs, as most of his seminal works would suggest. Instead, he finds the most pleasure in being a dad.

The second half of the third verse is then used, most simply put, to bash Hailie’s mom, Kimberly Scott, with whom Eminem had recently divorced when this song was dropped. And basically, he regrets ever having dealt with her romantically in the first place. 

And yes, at a point it does sound like he’s contradicting himself – even going as far as to question why ‘did he stick his pe–s up in’ Kim in the first place – considering that this selfsame Hailie is the product of that union. But he alludes to the notion of, now having secured custody of the child, it’s like all of the past and present suffering has been neutralized – an idea that is reiterated in the second chorus that follows.

Takeaway

Analysts who have described this song as Em’s ode to Hailie Mathers are spot on. But equally important is the vocalist using this outing to illustrate how he copes with the world and a less-than-ideal marital history, by finding meaning in life via his love for his daughter.

Release Date of “Hailie’s Song”

“Hailie’s Song” is the 14th track on Eminem’s iconic 4th studio album with the title “The Eminem Show”. The song was released as part of the album on May 26 of 2002.

Credits

Eminem wrote the song in collaboration with Luis Resto, a musician and record producer from Detroit. Eminem, a record producer himself, was responsible for its production.

Eminem’s “The Eminem Show” Album

 “The Eminem Show” was released by the following record labels:

  • Aftermath Entertainment
  • Shady Records
  • Interscope Records

The following songs were released as singles for promotional purposes:

With sales exceeding 27 million copies, the album became the world’s best-selling album of 2002. It is also one of the best-selling albums of all time. It got a Diamond certification from the RIAA.

Kris Ex of Rolling Stone was of the opinion, the album could easily be the best rap album ever. 

It was once ranked at number 317 on the list, “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and number 84 on “Best Albums of the 2000s Decade” by Rolling Stone.

Billboard ranked it at number 56 on its list of 200 greatest albums of all time.

 At the 2002’s Grammy Awards, the album garnered the following nominations:

  • “Album of the Year”
  • “Best Rap Album”

It lost the “Album of the Year” award to Norah Jones’ “Come Away with Me”.

On the night, “The Eminem Show” was rewarded with the award, “Best Rap Album”, becoming the rapper’s third album to win that award.

The album peaked at number 1 in the UK and United States, number 2 in some European countries including France, Hungary and Portugal.  It was number one in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • South Africa
Hailie’s Song

Eminem’s Relationship with his Daughter Hailie

For someone who has mentioned His daughter Hailie in at least 20 of his songs, it is safe to assume that the father and daughter share a very close bond. Hailie Jade Mathers was born to Marshall Bruce Mathers III (Eminem) and his ex-wife Kimberly Scott in December 1995.

Having been cited in many of her father’s songs including My Dad’s Gone Crazy, My Darling, 97 Bonnie & Clyde and When I’m Gone, it is evident that the rapper was not willing to repeat the mistake of his father who was absent throughout his life. She first featured in the 1999 music video for Mockingbird and went on to earn a Guinness World Record for appearing in My Dad’s Gone Crazy as the youngest R&B chart entrant.

The rapper has always referred to Hailie as his biggest source of motivation for pushing hard to be the successful artist he is. According to him, his drive to succeed and his fear of failure heightened when she was born because he was wondering how he would take care of her.

The father and daughter have shared several close moments, notably in 2003 when Hailie featured on a diss track to Ja Rule.

After graduating with an honors degree in Psychology, Hailie made Eminem an exceptionally proud man. Hailie has stated in interview that she appreciates both her parents for pushing her to be a successful person.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like...