Mosh (song)

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Mosh digital single.jpg
Single by Eminem
from the album Encore
ReleasedOctober 26, 2004
FormatDigital download
Eminem singles chronology
"Just Lose It"
Music video
"Mosh" on YouTube

"Mosh" is a protest song by Eminem released on October 26, 2004 as a digital single, just prior to the 2004 presidential election. It was released in October 26, 2004 as the second single from his fifth studio album, Encore (2004).

The video for the song is available for free on the Internet and encouraged voters to vote George W. Bush out of office. The song was excerpted from Eminem's album, Encore, not yet released at the time the video was made available to the public. G-Unit rapper Lloyd Banks also appears in the video.

This song is ranked 58th on's "100 Greatest Rap Songs" [1]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Mosh" is entirely animated. The video starts, a scene of a school appears, and a plane is flying through with a big explosion, in a reference to the 9/11 terrorist events. Inside the classroom, Eminem is reading a book for the children. It features a school in the beginning saying the Pledge of Allegiance, then to reveal Eminem performing in Iraq for U.S. troops where a large crowd is gathered, one of which, who is also Eminem, returns home later to his wife and children only to find he has been sent back to Iraq because of George W. Bush's strategy to send more troops to Iraq during his time in office (Stop Loss). It also shows a young African American man who sees the Ku Klux Klan movements on his TV. He then joins an army of protesters, led by Eminem. By the end of the video, Eminem and the protesters are shouting at George Bush.

Ending scene[edit]

The last scene of the original videoclip for "Mosh" depicts a crowd bursting into a voter registration site. A second version of the videoclip was released after the 2004 presidential election, where the crowd is not bursting in to register to vote but rather entering the United States Capitol during Bush's State of the Union Address. In this version, they then proceed to make their demands heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress. It shows then-Vice-President Dick Cheney suffering a heart attack.

Critical reception[edit]

Eminem onstage, with blond hair and wearing a suit
On the Anger Management Tour promoting Encore

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic highlighted the song.[2] Entertainment Weekly wrote a mixed description, saying the song "was nothing less than the sound of America's favorite Caucasian rapper at his most intense and focused. Protest songs made a comeback this year, but none captured doom and apocalypse the way 'Mosh' so brilliantly did. Eminem is still a narcissist, of course — he wants us to follow him to liberation, or at least to the voting booth — but the power of 'Mosh' made you forgive his never-ending self-absorption" and called the song itself an anomaly.[3] DX magazine wrote that "he (Eminem) turns political and blatantly lashes out at Bush on 'Mosh' (sure to cause some repercussions from politicians considering his visibility)."[4] Pitchfork Media wrote a mixed review: "'Mosh'—sadly, not yet completely past its sell-by date—seems more like a plodding dirge here among the spry string of tracks that surround it."[5] NME magazine wrote a favorable review: "And then there's 'Mosh'. Oh boy, there's 'Mosh'. --- Should 'Encore' prove to be a swansong, then 'Mosh' is its blaze of glory, a scalding assault on the Bush regime that hits all the harder for its arriving days too late. The rapper sounds absolutely livid as he mounts a stealthy assault on the Prez that swells with density and rage over its five minutes until fire and brimstone is raining down on the shitwit Texan's perpetually befuddled head. Although you might argue that everything Eminem says is inherently political through the sheer numbers that he reaches and the sheer anti-social nature of most of what he espouses, this is a different kettle of politicised fish entirely. "If it rains, let it rain/Yeah, the wetter the better/They ain't gonna stop us, they can't/We're stronger now more than ever", he rages with a demented fervour that makes Rage Against The Machine sound like Belle & Sebastian. And if that non-specific rabble-rousery is a little on the vague side, the likes of "Stomp, push, shove, mush/Fuck Bush until they bring our troops home" should make it crystal clear. On a more base level, it's fucking fantastic to jump up and down and bang your head to, which is the level where politics and pop most effectively connect."[6] Steve Jones of USA Today said that the song "[lambastes] President Bush and his war policies."[7]

The A.V. Club wrote of the song: "[Eminem] stops attacking scapegoats and straw men and finally goes after the people who actually wield power. Over Dr. Dre's apocalyptic production—all rain-clouds and thunderclaps—Eminem launches into a searing, overtly emotional attack on President Bush and his administration's bloodlust and misplaced priorities. Eminem has always been angry, but his anger has never before been this righteous, focused, or plugged in to what matters in American life."[8] Los Angeles Times was somewhat positive too: he stated that Eminem "catches us off-guard with eloquent political reflections in 'Mosh,' his equivalent of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'." While Eminem's rap doesn't have the timelessness or literary aspirations of the Dylan song, it hits with the visceral charge and topical urgency of the best rap. Lashing out at various social injustices, he leads a legion of young followers toward what appears to be the kind of violent rebellion one might expect in hard-core rock and rap. Instead, as the video for 'Mosh' shows, their charge is to the voting booth."[9] The Austin Chronicle called the song a "potent anti-Bush rant".[10] SPIN was a bit positive: "The seething anti-Bush single 'Mosh' may not have brought droves of Eminem acolytes to the polls last November, but it suggests that Em—like fellow potty-mouth-turned activist Howard Stern—realizes that his gifts have uses beyond FCC-baiting and fart jokes."[11]

RapReviews was also unimpressed: "'Mosh' suffers from a similar stigma: a disconcerted, ADD Eminem who can't seem to lock down his lyrics."[12] Robert Christgau of Rolling Stone wrote: "[Was Encore] a feint designed to double the wallop of 'Mosh,' which signaled a Marshall Mathers gone political — too late to help his candidate, but, be real, the Muse doesn't follow a schedule."[13] The Guardian was positive: "Finally, there is Mosh, the anti-war, anti-Bush track "leaked" just before the election. It offers both the best lyric Eminem has ever written and the one moment on the album where the repetitious production style works, providing a suitably relentless basis for his quickfire hectoring. That Mosh seemingly did nothing to affect the election's outcome is something of a double-edged sword."[14] Franklin Soults of The Boston Phoenix was a bit negative toward the song: "In the latest Rolling Stone, Eminem says he hopes his galvanizing anti-Bush single "Mosh" wasn't "too little, too late." Well, it was, and this puke-and-shit-stained album makes it even less likely that sympathizers who read Rolling Stone or the Phoenix will reach out for it anyway"; he did state, however, that the album had "several moments more consistently remarkable than 'Mosh'", including "Mockingbird" and "Like Toy Soldiers".[15]

The New York Times noted that this song "gained notoriety for its anti-Bush lyrics, but Eminem sounds nearly as long-winded as the politicians he's excoriating."[16] Shaking Through called this song "political screed."[17] Slant Magazine called it "a protest song originally intended solely for online promotion but which quickly earned its status as the album's official second single. 'Mosh' is not only a worthy follow-up to 'Lose Yourself,' it had the potential to shepherd thousands of young, seemingly apathetic voters to the polls on Election Day—had it not been released after almost every registration deadline in the country." The publisher added that the song "[matched] America's angriest pop voice with America's most righteous pastime: Bush-bashing. George W. Bush and Eminem might seem like unlikely foes—after all, the enemy of your enemy is your friend, right?—but Eminem is the poster boy for pushing the limits of the 1st Amendment, and bashing the President is currently the most vilified form of free speech in the country, so who better to champion the cause? 'Maybe this is God just sayin' we're responsible/For this monster, this coward that we have empowered,' he spits rhythmically atop a sturdy, dirge-like beat."[18] Stylus Magazine was the most negative of all: "Add [in] Em's brand new tendency to bite himself, and you've actually got a pretty airtight case for playing the career suicide card."[19]

Track listing[edit]

CD single
1."Mosh"M. Mathers, A. Young, M. Elizondo, M. Batson, C. PopeDr. Dre, Mark Batson5:18

Chart positions[edit]

Though not entering the US R&B/Hip-Hop Singles, the song at least peaked in the US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles at #12.

Chart (2004) Peak
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles 12

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "100 Greatest Rap Songs: 100-91". Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  2. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2004-11-12). "Encore - Eminem | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  3. ^ Browne, David (2004-11-19). "Encore". Entertainment Weekly (793): 80. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  4. ^ J-23 (2004-11-15). "Eminem - Encore". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  5. ^ Scott Plagenhoef (2004-11-11). "Eminem: Encore Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  6. ^ "Eminem : Encore". NME. 2005-09-12. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  7. ^ Jones, Steve (November 11, 2004). "Eminem's edgy 'Encore' deserves an ovation". USA Today. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  8. ^ Rabin, Nathan (2004-11-22). "Encore". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  9. ^ Hilburn, Robert (2004-11-08). "With 'Encore', Eminem melts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  10. ^ Gray, Christopher (2004-11-26). "Eminem: Encore". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  11. ^ Pappademas, Alex (January 2005). "Good-bye, Yellow Brick Road". SPIN: 95–96. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  12. ^ Corne, James (2004-11-09). "Eminem :: Encore :: Shady/Aftermath/Interscope". Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (2004-12-09). "Encore". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  14. ^ Alexis Petridis (November 12, 2004). "CD: Eminem, Encore | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  15. ^ Soults, Franklin (November 26, 2004). "Eminem: Encore". The Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on October 9, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  16. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (2004-11-15). "All the Time in the World, Slim Shady? That's Scary". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  17. ^ "Shakethrus: 2004 - Shaking Music: Reviews". Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  18. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (November 13, 2004). "Eminem Encore". Slant Magazine. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  19. ^ Love, Josh (2004-11-12). "Eminem - Encore - Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2017-05-04.

External links[edit]