Around the same time that I first understood Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in my early high school science courses, rapper Eminem came out with the song “Survival.” His song included lyrics that were inspired by Darwinism, the idea that only the strong will survive. Eminem has always been one of my favourite rappers and songwriters and when I realized that this song included Darwin’s ideas on evolution it helped me understand his theory even more as it was musically appealing.
Important related lyrics in “Survival” by Eminem:
THE HOOK: “This is survival of the fittest
This is do or die
This is the winner takes it all
So take it all”
“ why stop when it doesn’t have to end?
It ain’t over ’til I say it’s over – enough when I say enough
Throw me to them wolves and close the gate up
I’m afraid of what’ll happen to them wolves
When the thought of being thrown into an alligator pit, I salivate at it”
“o fill up this last can, man will I survive in this climate or what?
They said I was washed up, and got a blood bath
I’m not a rapper, I’m an adapter, I can adjust
Plus I can just walk up to a mic and just bust
So floor’s open if you’d like to discuss”
“Cause I’m a fight ’til I die or win”
Eminem lyrically agrees with Darwin’s idea of natural selection, that only the strong will continue on while the weaker one’s die. The hook summarizes this idea and is emphasized throughout the entire song to reinforce its importance. At the time that this song was released, Eminem is making his comeback into the music industry after three years. This solo track being the first song out since since his absence, was created to send a message to his listeners that he can do anything and that he will “fight ‘til [he dies] or [will] win” his fans back. I think the line “I’m not a rapper, I’m an adapter” perfectly explains the way in which natural selection can correlate to humans, in this case for Eminem. It shows how even he understand that we must fight to survive by adapting to our environment’s the best we can and by striving to overcome all obstacles that can prevent us from getting what we want.