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Cleanin Out My Closet by Eminem

Album: The Eminem ShowReleased: 2002Charted:
  • In this song Eminem talks about his mother who he feels neglected and mistreated him. When he says "Remember when Ronnie died and you said you wished that was me," he is referring to his uncle Ronnie who committed suicide in 1991. Eminem has a tattoo with his name on his left arm which reads R.I.P. with Ronnie written below it. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Modi Palmer - Houston, TX
  • This was used in some of the first trailers for Eminem's movie 8 Mile. It was going to be featured in the film, but Eminem objected because he thought it was too personal. He wrote "Lose Yourself" to use in the movie and made sure to write it as the character he played in the movie.
  • The phrase "Cleaning out my closet" is saying that he is tired of keeping the truth about his past inside, and he wants to let everyone know about the things that happened in his childhood.
  • At one point, Eminem raps about his mother having Munchausen Syndrome, which is a condition where someone fakes illness to get attention. In this case, Eminem accuses him mom of keeping him sick for this purpose. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mary - Baltimore, MD, for above 2
  • When Eminem raps, "Wasn't it the reason you made that CD for me, ma, so you could try to justify the way you treated me?," he's referring to a 2001 CD called "Set The Record Straight" by the rap duo ID-X. The disc contains a song called "Dear Marshall" where Debbie Mathers, who is Eminem's mom, reads a letter to her son. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bryan - Rockville, MD
  • On his 2013 track "Headlights," Eminem apologizes to his mother for this song when he raps, "I'm sorry mama for 'Cleanin' Out My Closet.'" He also includes a line about how he dropped the song from his setlist: "That song I no longer pay at shows and I cringe every time it's on the radio."
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Comments: 27

Mark... Why don't you just shut up cause apparently you don't know a damn thing. I'm still in high school and I know that what you said is not true... I would like to know though have you ever been in a situation where your parents don't care about you and are doing drugs while there supposed to be spending time with you? Have you ever had to think about what its like having a dad who cares? Who loves you? Have you sit there and cried cause your parents don't know when your birthday is? Have you ever been upset on Christmas because your dad lies to you and says he got you something but it was your mom who stuck the presents under the tree? Yes, it does happen to alot of people!!!! You probably have no idea what it feels like to have parents who don't care, do you? Why don't you just go along and listen to the music you like and stop complaining about the music you don't like... Trust me it gets you NOWHERE!!!Autumn Marshall - Texas
Broken homes lead to wrecked lives. I know this all too well.Sioraf - Macroon, Ireland
Mark, You can't possibly attempt to coprehend or understand the meaning of these lyrics. Your probably grew up in a perfect house hold, making you oblivious to the position people like Eminem and myself were put into. Try waking up every morning to screaming and yelling, watching your dad walk in and out on you, Having your parents disapear for days at a time. Watching them shoot up and do drugs right infront of you. Have you seen it? Try going through public housing sytems your whole life. Never having a permanant home. Have you ever been so hungry you cant breath? were you standing in a witness stand at the age of ten, giving evidence against your own mother? Did you cry yourself to sleep every night, wondering why your dad didnt love you, why he was never there? Did you hope for a phonecall? Pray that he'd remember your birthday, if you were extra goo? No. I dont think so. You will never understand how people like us feel, the things we have to live with everyday. -GRGeorgia - Launceston, Australia
Mark as surprising as it may be to you; White people sometimes have rough lives too. You haven't thought this through. Addiction is harder to deal with when it's been a part of your childhood. You grow up doing it; and it doesn't seem wrong at all. Even when you reverse it; racism is wrong. Lastly I don't think you have a very good grip on the lyrics that you're lecturing us on.Mark - Worcester, Mi
Is this mark dude for real? I agree with Jordan completely. Do you have any idea what it's like growing up in a f--ked up household? i bet you say you do but take the silver spoon out of your mouth; or maybe it's in your ass and then talk to someone who has actually had it rough.. Do you have any idea the effects of not having a dad around? that alone gave em enough fuel at the start of his career. That can screw most young boys up for life but he no only delt with that, but his mom who, no matter what kind of pills they were, abused pills his entire life. And just because they were perscription pills doesnt mean you can't abuse them and become a different person.. like his mom did and then on top of all that s--t she tries to take credit for his work? Like she was the standout rolemodel in his life come on dude are you serious.. f--k that, eminem has every right to be pissed and for you to say what he says has no meaning or feeling? are you deaf? do you even know what good music/lyrics are? Oh wait thats right you listen to Big E.. you're a disgrace to all the fans of the notorious big and its biggie smalls to you bitch.. It just seems like you hate eminem cause hes a huge successful millionaire. So i think its you who needs to get your facts straight.Ryan - 412, Pa
Mark, you are clearly the stupid one in this quation. First of all, if you don't like Eminem don't listen to him. Nobody wants to hear you complain about his music. If YOU would actually listen to what he says you would see his dense, intricate rhymes makes him a lyricl genius. I'd like you see you'r attempt at making music like his. And i guarentee your sittin there on your high horse with your perfect life mommy and daddy HANDED to you and have nothing better to do then sit around and complain. You obviously know nothing of hard times. And if you knew a tiny bit about anything, you would know addiction is a DISEASE and is HEREDITARY. God, stupid people annoy me. And who the hell is Big E? Would you be referring to Biggie?? Stupid. Get your facts straight before you talk sh*t. Go listen to some country if you can't appreciate the greatness that is Eminem.Jordan - Danville, Il
all you sub-urban kids need to quit being so god damn gullible, actually take 10 minutes out of your useless pathetic lives and research some s--t before voicing your opinion. Eminem's mom was a mediocre mom. Eminem had a sub-par childhood. He beaks his mom to fool dips--ts like you guys into thinking he's a badass. So far it's doing pretty god-damn fantastic for him. He says he's been hopped up on drugs cause of his mom, first of all how can you blame your mom 20 years after you ever lived with her,second of all he was on f--kING PAIN KILLERS AND SLEEPING PILLS, not some serious s--t like meth or heroine. if she was on drugs when she was pregnant with him then maybe, but no she was on PRESCRIPTION DRUGS when he was like 16. Open your eyes and stop thinking Eminem is "The Truth" the truth was Tupac and Big E, not some trailer trash retard.Mark - Your Mom's House, Virgin Islands (u.s.)
If i was ever eminems mom i would never do that he's on of my idols i literaly watch all of his vidios and always taking care of all of his cds that i have.;]Laraina - Santa Cruz, Ca
I did some research if his mom did suffer from Munchausen Syndrome. she woudld have actually suffered Munchausen Syndrom By Proxy. which means that she gave the child the fake symptoms to make the child seem sick so she could get attention through the child.Amy - Menasha, Wi
I wonder if she actually has munchhausen syndrome?Saltine - Htown, Tx
I usually don't get confrontational on this site, but Mashavha, you clearly don't understand music, or Eminem. Music SHOULD be personal, otherwise it's generic and boring. And if Eminem's mom abused him, he has every right to hate her.Nicole - Chicago, Il
Ahhh! as usual, eminem got too much personal in this song... why shold he hate his mom that much.Mashavha - Durban, South Africa
Eminem's mom recently wrote a book about him called, "My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem."
I read this on www.hot995.com and i was really surprised that she did that, since Eminem states in this song that she mistreated and neglected him so.
Aviva - Somewhere, Md
a sarcastic apology to his mother for ever hurting her by his accusations of neglect and mistreatment; expression of anger toward family and how he was better off without them; he was also angry at those who protested his lyricsKen - Bronson, Mi
omg i love eminem he is soo hotKimberly - Cda, Id
eminem is the $hit !!!!!Nikki - Heights, Tx
i like marshall mathers! he is like the best singer! anyway what is this song about cleaning his closet and finding a dead person gross.Sarah Floyd - Bloomingdale, Il
This is a really good song. Eminem is the best rapper! This song really taught his mother...after what she did.Jeevan - Brampton, Canada
i love this song. some people dont like em much but he should continue on what he's doing and shouldnt care about what other people think. yeah i know he already does that but still.Nikki - Brampton, Canada
I once knew a guy who referred to masturbating as "cleaning out his closet".Nathan - Defiance, Oh
Eminem and K-Os is the only rap I listen to because all the other idiots talk about meaningless garbage. This song is one of my favourite Eminem songs.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
This Song Is Awesome No Matter What Anybody Says!
Marshall Mathers Rox!
Nicole - Cave City, Ky
This is a great song but I love the Jackknife Lee remix it makes the whole song into a metal anthem

check it out
Marcus - London, England
Actually, to Gilliann, that is an incorrect definition of Munchausen's Syndrome. Here are the facts: "Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (MSP) is a parenting disorder where parents, usually the mother, fabricate symptoms in their children, thus subjecting the child to unnecessary medical tests and/or surgical procedures. In some cases, the parents also inflict injury and can kill their children in the process." (reference: http://sids-network.org/experts/msp.htm) If you ever saw the movie The Sixth Sense, that is what the mother of the little girl has when she is putting household cleaner in her food. Abusers usually subject their children to vile acts such as this to get attention for themselves. I have even read about a mother injecting feces directly into her daughter's viens in order to keep her sick enough to be hospitalized. This is a very serious issue, and you should probably research a little more before passing off fiction for fact.A.k. - Westchestertonfieldville, Ia
I think its great that Eminem ever came into the rap music industry. He is the best thing to ever happened to it. Yeah 2 Pac and Biggie were good in their time,(No dis respect intended, but do u think they would still be as big if they were alive?, I don't.) I think Em is the best rapper ever. Its not about the money or women, Its about real life stuff. -RhettRhett - Douglas, Ga
Munchhausen Syndrome is where someone is obsessed with their and their childrens health and always thinking that they are sick and ill, eminems mam had Munchhausen Syndrome, thats why he raps "Goin' through public housin' systems, victim of Munchhausen Syndrome
My whole life I was made to believe I was sick when I wasn't
'Til I grew up, now I blew up it makes you sick to your stomach"
Gilliann - Dublin, Ireland
I think eminem should keep doing what he does because he is awsome and the only rapper i listen to because he tells it like it is and doesnt take no crap from anyone.Brooke - Santee, Ca
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