opinion   |   column

COLUMN: Eminem does not deserve public support



The year is 2018 and Eminem is headlining not one, but five major summer festivals. Like myself, you might be wondering what kind of time warp we stepped into where the majority of America forgot Eminem’s problematic past before elevating him to this sort of throne. 

Eminem will be headlining Coachella, Bonnaroo, Governor’s Ball, Boston Calling and Firefly

I have been unhappy with the recent Eminem renaissance, but seeing him reign supreme on the summer festival lineups was the last straw for me. So, I’d like to take this time to remind our readers of Eminem’s past and why we shouldn’t expect a graceful return of his reign from him. 

1. His violent sexism

Slim Shady has never shied away from being explicit, violent, sexist and homophobic in his lyrics. In an aptly named song, "Kill You," Eminem raps about his extreme hatred toward his wife, his mother and other nameless women. Well, he has a few names for these women. For example:

"’Oh, now he's raping his own mother

Abusing a whore, snorting coke

And we gave him the Rolling Stone cover?’

You're goddamn right, bitch, and now it's too late

I'm triple platinum and tragedies happened in two states

I invented violence, you vile venomous volatile vicious”

Eminem even acknowledges he doesn’t deserve the fame in the comment about questioning his Rolling Stone appearance. Yet, this doesn’t stop him from his roll of explicitly describing killing these women. 

“Bitch, I'ma kill you! Like a murder weapon, I'ma conceal you

In a closet with mildew, sheets, pillows and film you”

The lyrics were so blasphemous that it was taken to Congress to examine the way the entertainment industry markets their products. 

"When you hear the words about raping your mother or killing your mother, I think that the industry should be embarrassed that that's award-winning entertainment," said former Representative Barbara Cubin, R-Wyoming. For once, I agree with the views of a Republican. 

2. His homophobia

Again, in his lyricism, Eminem expresses his views on the LGBT community in songs like "Criminal." 

“My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge

That'll stab you in the head, whether you're a fag or lez

Or a homosex, hermaph or a trans-a-vest

Pants or dress, hate fags? The answer's yes

Homophobic? Nah, you're just heterophobic”

When asked about his blatant homophobia by Anderson Cooper on "60 Minutes," Eminem responded that sometimes he feels like he’s being attacked by the LGBT community. "I was being singled out. And I felt like, is it because of the color of my skin?” 

The question of his homophobia has come up several times because of lyrics like these, but he blows it off and tries to say that he “never really equated those (slurs) with homosexuals.” He says this is all part of a persona, yet the words come out of his mouth. 

3. His racism

In "Foolish Pride," Eminem differentiates between black and white girls. 

“Black girls and white girls just don't mix

Because black girls are dumb and white girls are good chicks

White girls are good, I like white girls

I like white girls all over the world

White girls are fine and they blow my mind

And that's why I'm here now telling you this rhyme

Cause black girls, I really don't like

I'm giving you a little advice

Don't date a black girl, if you do it once you won't do it twice”

Eminem has since apologized for this song in a later song titled "Yellow Brick Road," only to follow the apology with “I was wrong ‘cause no matter what color a girl is, she's still a ho.” Nice of Slim Shady to ditch the racism, yet keep the sexism going strong. 

At the end of the day, I understand why some people have let Eminem back into their good graces — because he simply rapped about being anti-Trump, and these days, that is good enough for many white liberals to accept him again. Eminem was late to the Trump-hating game, following in the shadows of great black artists like Kendrick Lamar and YG. Yet, here we are, giving him the headlining positions and featuring artists like Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran on his latest album. 

Just remember these when you read an article about some Eminem-related scandal in the future, or wonder why there is a smaller crowd at festivals this summer. 

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

More in Opinion



Comments powered by Disqus