What is the relation between "dark side" and "mic check" in these lyrics?


I just listened to The Hills (Remix) by Eminem. People in the Youtube comment section were saying this line was great.

I let you see my dark side, but like a mic check, you got one too.

Lyric video is available here.

I don't understand what Eminem is saying here. What is the relation between dark side and mic check?


Posted 2017-02-06T03:00:15.887

Reputation: 7 435



When someone does a mic check, they need to say something into the mic. People often say

  • Mic check. One, two. One, two.
  • Testing, testing. One, two. One, two.

One two sounds like one too. The double meaning is that during a mic check, you got (have, hear, say) "one two" and, a dark side, you got (have) one too (also).


Posted 2017-02-06T03:00:15.887

Reputation: 44 188

4Further proof that Eminem is one of if not the best lyricist of our time. – SGR – 2017-02-06T11:55:12.197

5I don't listen to Eminem or any rap for that matter but that is just genius. – lennyklb – 2017-02-06T13:40:28.243

2@SGR I have no problem with Eminem; but it's not like there's a traditional "dark side" to a "mic check" so the simile only really works on one level; it's not an amazing line IMO. – JMac – 2017-02-06T16:04:23.637

Agreed @JMac, it's clever, but not remarkable. Just clever in the way that we expect lyricists to be at a functional level. – TylerH – 2017-02-06T16:34:33.600

@JMac There is no dark side to a mic check. There is a mic check to your dark side. The second level is implication that you having a dark side is as trivial as a mic check. – Agent_L – 2017-02-06T16:36:12.407

2@JMac It's a remarkable line because employing a homophone where you're expecting a simile is unexpected. – relaxing – 2017-02-06T16:41:59.183

1@relaxing I don't find that particularly remarkable. It just leads to the line creating questions like this one. If it was a homophone and a simile (also pretty common in rap lines) then the OP wouldn't have even realized the "mic check one two" reference; giving the line a double meaning. Instead of a double meaning this line has a single meaning that's actually somewhat poorly presented due to the simile that doesn't even work. – JMac – 2017-02-06T16:52:02.833

1@JMac But ambiguity is part of what separates poetry from prose :) I say it's remarkable because the OP said Youtube commenters literally were remarking on it, positively. I would guess because they enjoyed having their expectations challenged. – relaxing – 2017-02-06T17:05:54.297

2@relaxing I just don't think it's a very remarkable line. It's very similar in quality to the type of wordplay you find in most rap with a lyrical focus. The thing is, fans of artists who are very popular like Eminem will often comment about "how amazing" lines are in pretty much every song. If everything is remarkable, nothing really is. – JMac – 2017-02-06T17:10:53.807

4I wouldn't call this "genius" or evidence that Eminem is "the best lyricist of our time", but it's vaguely clever wordplay. – Lightness Races in Orbit – 2017-02-06T19:59:34.047