The Real Meaning Behind Eminem’s Bagpipes from Baghdad Track
Like his song Superman, Bagpipes From Baghdad also references Mariah Carey, but unlike Superman, which only has a tiny quip about her, Bagpipes From Baghdad is almost entirely about her.
Let’s quickly take a look at the timeline of verbal outbursts the two have made at each other either in songs or TV show appearances.
It began with Superman in 2002 and with another song that same year and same album entitled When The Music Stops where he says he would beg Mariah to take him back seemingly before he would walk away from rap. Mariah eventually responds by denying the relationship on Larry King Live, saying she hung out with him a total of four times, and didn’t consider that dating someone.
Then in 2003 Mariah parodied Eminem on her tour. Her Marionette Show featured Eminem puppets, and her song Clown contained obvious shots at Eminem saying, “You should’ve never intimated we were lovers/ When you know very well we never even touched each other.”
Eminem responded to this in 2005 when he played voicemails alleged to be from Carey on his Anger Management Tour.
In 2006, he reaffirms there quarrel with her in his song Jimmy Crack Corn saying, “Your mind’s on us like mine’s on Mariah. And ya’ll are just like her, you’re all f—ing liars.”
In 2007, 50 cent unexpectedly weighs in on the feud in his song All of Me where he raps that Eminem predicted it when he said women from Hollywood are liars and they will deny things just like Mariah.
Then in 2009, things really get loud with Bagpipes From Baghdad, no pun intended. Eminem throws a slew of insults at her and even brings her now ex-husband Nick Cannon into the mix, to which Nick responded with a blog post that he later deleted. Mariah then responds by dropping a single entitled Obsessed, and even though she won’t admit it, the song is perceived as a shot to Eminem. Eminem then responded back with his song The Warning where he claims that he has phone calls she made to his house when they were allegedly together.
This all sounds like high school drama at its finest, but if you followed all of that, this is where things stand. Now that we provided a little history and set out the timeline, let’s take a closer look at Bagpipes From Baghdad.
It’s unusual for Eminem to record a song mostly about Mariah, as his previous songs have only minor references to her, but Bagpipes From Baghdad is themed entirely around her. Call it going out with a bang, maybe?
The song begins with him saying that he’s locked in Mariah’s wine cellar, which seems to actually mean that he can’t stop thinking about her because he goes on to rap lines such as, “Mariah, whatever happened to us?” and “Why did we have to break up?” This is the first time that Eminem has shown his real colors about Mariah in a song.
Then he tells Nick Cannon to back up and that he’s had his fun, but he, Eminem, wants her back.
Then in the next verse Eminem’s emotions take a turn when he seems to say that she reminds him of his mother (maybe because of the lies?) and he wishes Nick Cannon luck, but not in the form of a sincere wish.
The final verse seems to have no real theme other than Eminem rapping about being sober for a year and having meaningless relationships with potential lesbians.
So all in all one can analyze Eminem’s relationship with Mariah Carey in and out and probably come to several different possible conclusions about what really happened, but it’s clear from Eminem’s songs and attitude that, whatever happened, it definitely meant something to him.
April 3rd, 2015