Can a “Fugue on a Theme of Eminem” work? Absolutely

It turns out that Syd R. Duke, the same composer who managed to turn Beethoven’s fifth into a refined and delicate work in the style of Chopin is also able to mix classical music and…rap.

This time, the hit “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem was transfigured into a fugue. The only thing missing is a more explicit reference to “Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up”. Regardless, the Bach-like tone works extremely well with the work of Eminem/Slim Shady/Marshall Mathers.

You might still remember The Real Slim Shady not only for its catchy rhythm, but also for the lyrics that criticized manufactured pop (songs by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and boyband NSync, whom he blatantly trolls in the video) that were exceptionally popular at the end of the 1990s.

Since Duke’s work is, indeed, a fugue, are you actually able to discern the exposition (in different pitches?), the development and the return of the subject in the fugue’s tonic key?

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