Since the January inauguration of Donald Trump, I knew this was going to be a “don’t really give a fuck” type of year because …yeah, Trump is president.
On Tuesday night, Eminem confirmed what we already knew, that the disdain for 45 runs deep. It is multicultural, spans all religions and is felt by both the elite and those poverty stricken. This disdain shows up during Sunday Night Football, at little league games, inside public schools and from the mouths of some of our favorite artists.
At this point, everyone knows that talking about 45 is exhausting.
Over the past few days, I’ve probably had over 20 separate conversations about his divisive rhetoric, inability to empathize, lack of political experience and reality show antics.
And at last night’s BET Awards, Eminem took to the freestyle stage for 5 minutes and allowed me, if only momentarily, to lean back in my chair, put my feet up and sip some tea.
Em is known for controversy. This freestyle wasn’t a deviation from who he is. Since Dre dropped the first beat that Em spit on, he’s pissed everyone off and rightly so. His lyrics can be misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, abhorrently violent and the list goes on. Matter of fact, in the past few months, he isn’t even the first artist to openly come out (pun intended) with verses against 45. Compton and South Central natives YG & Nipsey Hussle’s “Fuck Donald Trump” anthem were blasting in my headphones for months until Eminem’s 2016 “Campaign Speech” erupted. He isn’t new to this. So, when we talk about Eminem, it is important to break down BET’s viewership, his overall fan base and what HIM (as a White privileged male) saying something, could mean. Specifically for youth, who are still learning how to express their personal views on the issues that are being discussed and for those who see him and see themselves.
As I scrolled through my Twitter feed, there were obviously thousands of tweets on Eminem’s performance piece (recorded in his hometown of Detroit). One tweet mirrored my thinking on the topic:
The importance of Eminem’s cypher is heavily weighted on what I mentioned before; who is watching? In Hip-Hop circles and even college courses, it is debatable who the Top 10 rappers are, dead and alive, or what Hip-Hop truly is. Yet, whether you see Em as an appropriator of Black culture or a true lyricist, one fact remains, he WILL talk that shit when others (White artists) will remain silent, enjoy their paychecks and pray nobody asks them their opinion. He is not worried about maintaining any form of White innocence or silence. Far from it. Trump has been in office over 100 days, the following “artists” have yet to utter a word: Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus and Macklemore just to name a few. Each of these artists in some way gained popularity through their public spats or use of Black cultural norms in their music and videos. Eminem has a huge following, many of his fans resemble who he was growing up, White and lower class. So imagine there’s a 16-29 year old somewhere, a true “Stan” of Eminem and their parents, sisters, cousins and friends voted for Trump. These are the words Eminem had for them on Tuesday night:
“And any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his,
I’m drawing in the sand a line/ You’re either for or against
And if you can’t decide who you like more in your split
On who you should stand beside/ I’ll do it for you with this
Nowwwwww we are getting somewhere. I’ve read tweets about how the cypher was trash, he’s overrated, he needs to stay in his lane but White privilege IS his lane. The discussion of whether or not it is our responsibility as Black people to educate White America on privilege and structural racism is yet again another reason why I’m tired. There’s so much more in the cypher (which thankfully I can fit into my Woke Cypha unit) but the last part for me is the most important.
It is imperative that anyone who says they are “with the movement” also makes it clear that relationships whether friendly or familial can be moved around accordingly, if you are not 100% for the progression and complete equality of Black people in America. Lines need to be drawn, period.
Colin Kaepernick appreciates Em & I appreciate him. Matter fact, “I need a million mufuccas to be just like Em” -“Slim Shady”
Start drawing lines y’all.
Check out the video below and make your own decision:
“We better give Obama props ’cause what we got in office now is a kamikaze that will probably cause a nuclear holocaust while the drama pops, and he waits for s—- to quiet down, he’ll just gas his plane up and fly around till the bombing stops.”