Eminem has recorded a whole lot of disturbing songs in a decades-long career, but the most disturbing of all is “Kim,” the emotional climax of Eminem’s overwhelmingly popular 2000 album The Marshall Mathers LP, which just had its 20th anniversary a few months ago. “Kim” is a six-minute murderous nightmare. On the track, a prequel of sorts to his song “’97 Bonnie & Clyde,” Eminem wails and cries and fantasizes about how it would sound if he murdered the mother of his daughter. (At the time of the album’s release, she was also his wife.) It’s a harrowing, almost unlistenable track — which means it’s ideal for the Lingua Ignota treatment.
Lingua Ignota is Kristin M. Hayter, a musician whose powerful music fuses goth, metal, opera, and experimental music into one dark and dizzy whole. Hayter released the stunning LP Caligula last year. Thus far this year, she’s done a lot. She’s released her own fiery single “O Ruthless Great Divine Director.” She’s covered Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” fusing it with Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima.” She’s remixed the famous Gal Gadot “Imagine” singalong into something even more nightmarish. She’s joined up with the Body’s Lee Buford and Full Of Hell’s Dylan Walker in the band Sightless Pit, who have released the debut album Grave Of A Dog. And now she’s taken on “Kim.”
On her new version of “Kim,” released today for Bandcamp Friday, Hayter has seized on the “Kim” hook — “So long/ Bitch, you did me so wrong” — and turned it into an operatic lament, surrounding herself with screaming drones. Those words sound a whole lot different coming from a woman. The Lingua Ignota take on “Kim” is a truly heavy piece of music, but it’s somehow a whole lot easier to listen to than the Eminem original. Listen to the Lingua Ignota cover and — if you can handle it — the Eminem original below.
You can get Lingua Ignota’s “Kim” at Bandcamp.