THE BEST WHITE RAPPER
Getting in Touch with Your Inner Slim Shady
by Erin Franzman
EMINEM IS THE BEST white rapper there is, because he doesn’t try to sound black. Lil’ Kim can rhyme “of course” with “Christian Lacroix” (“of cawz” and “la-crawz”) by dragging her vowels until they’re flat as pancakes–without sounding like a fool–but when the Beastie Boys roll out their suspiciously deep Noo Yawk accents (even though they’ve lived in SoCal for about 10 years), it can get a little embarrassing.
But Eminem rhymes like a white boy… who can rhyme. He’s the first one to do that. And the contrast between Dr. Dre’s full, round, lazy bass beats and Em’s buzzy, frenetic mosquito delivery makes radio hits like nobody’s business. The Marshall Mathers LP would be full of radio hits if only it wasn’t so motherfucking full of words you can’t say on the radio.
The songs about himself, like “The Way I Am,” “The Real Slim Shady,” “Remember Me?” “I’m Back,” and “Marshall Mathers,” are where he excels. It’s Eminem’s saving grace that he can’t see past the end of his own nose; he may not be worldly, but he’s utterly without pretense. He’s effortlessly controversial because his rhymes are pure, unadulterated id, and in our culture of over-explanation no one seems to notice that his songs are fantasies. “Kim,” a disturbingly specific song about killing a cheating girlfriend, is really sick, especially when you realize that Kim is a real person, the mother of Em’s child and now also his wife. One can imagine him playing the track for her and the two of them having a good laugh… a nervous laugh. As sick as his shit may be, it’s still, somehow, universal.
And when it gets too sick, remember: You can’t take him seriously, because he’ll say anything for a rhyme, including dissing the hand that feeds him: “And Dr. Dre said? Nothing, you idiots! Dr. Dre’s dead! He’s locked in my basement!”
Nor is Eminem one to smile and make nice, to put it mildly. He’s a brilliant satirist when he chooses deserving targets, especially the way he calls out his TRL peers: slutty Christina Aguilera, goody-goody Britney, the (admit it) homoerotic undertones of the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync.
We all think it; Eminem says it.
I particularly agree on several points:
-Eminem’s great ability to rhyme
-Eminem doesn’t try to sound black:he has always been conscious to be white in a black musical genre
-some rhymes are, of course, not to be taken seriously
-Eminem has the courage of his opinions and he expresses them loudly. If he is “mad enough to think it, then he’s mad enough to say it”(quoting the Real Slim Shady)
August 30, 2002– Hip-hop wordsmith Eminem recently released an animated video to his song “White America,” a clip that criticizes the United States, calling it the “Democracy of Hypocrisy” and “Divided State of Embarrassment.” The video is laced with vivid images of people urinating on the White House lawn, a Columbine-like school shooting, the Constitution being ripped in half, Eminem being hung in front of a lynch mob and other shocking images.
In the song, Eminem says, “Surely hip-hop is never a problem in Harlem/ Only in Boston, after it bothered ya fathers of daughters startin’ to blossom/ Now I’m catchin’ the flack from these activists.”
In an interview with CNN, critics of the rapper compared Eminem’s influence to that of Charles Manson, the mastermind behind a long string of murders in the ’60s. According to published reports, Manson simply had a mental influence over his followers, The Manson Family, who committed the murders on his behalf.
Darrell Scott, whose daughter was murdered in the Columbine shooting spree, likened the rapper to Manson, because of his effect on his millions of fans.
“Eminem represents an influence on the lives of young people. And we really need to take a long look at the influences that come across the media and entertainment,” Scott said to CNN.
In songs like “I’m Back,” Eminem has mocked the notion of having an unnaturally powerful influence over the minds of listeners.
“I take each individual degenerate’s head and reach into it, just to see if he’s influenced by me if he listens to music,” he said in the song, “And if he feeds into this shit he’s an innocent victim and becomes a puppet on the string of my tennis shoe.”
On his 2000 CD, The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem expressed a reserved sympathy for the shooters in the Columbine tragedy since they were reportedly bullied and were exacting vengeance on random students in April of 1999. In several songs, like “Brain Damage,” he quips about being bullied in school.
After the premiere of “White America,” Scott said that the public should cease to purchase Eminem’s records, all of which have sold millions of units.
“I encourage young people that are listening to please not spend your money and be entertained at the expense of my daughter’s death and the 12 other precious people who were killed at Columbine,” Scott continued.
In a prepared statement, Interscope Records defended the rapper, saying, “Eminem is an artist. He creates art. He does not do it so that the media can use it and solicit angry responses from the public. He does it for fans.”
The video for “White America” was produced by award-winning producers Guerrilla News Network and has been deemed too controversial for television.
Of the video, GNN said in a statement, “In order to fuse GNN’s underground political culture with Eminem’s profane anti-American rant, we pitched a concept that would ‘place the viewer in the body of Eminem as he moves through the media-drenched environment that is the subject for his critique of American society.’ In this way, we were actively seeking to divert the emphasis from the cult celebrity of Eminem and have the video be a platform for a broader and hyper-visual critique of America itself.”
Of course Columbine drama is a touchy subject. Eminem’s video “White America” caused a lot of controversy. The parents from Columbine High School were upset when the new video was released.Darrell Scott thinks Eminem makes jokes about his young daughter’s death.
Eminem expressed his sympathy for the killers and also explained his point of view: “Columbine is so touchy. As much sympathy as we give the Columbine shootings, nobody ever looked at it from the point of view of the kids who were bulllied- I mean , they took their own life! and it was because they were pushed so far to the edge that they were so mad. I’ve been that mad!”
Eminem has been bullied at school and he can relate to what is going on in the mind of a kid who gets bullied. People should think before judging so fast, they should try to analyze each side’s point of view.
It’s so frustrating, humiliating for a kid to be beaten up every day at school.
Interscope defended the right to artistic expression for Eminem.
The political statements made in White America are to be taken seriously. Eminem envisions America’s violent society and troubled youth. We should not be too sensitive to the harsh reality that is shown in “White America”.
Because of his own harsh childhood, Eminem stands next to the youth, he helps us to understand young people better.
Eminem’s art is not supposed to be politically correct. He is not supposed to please the vast masses of listeners, but to expose the truth, even if his vision is scary and shocking some sensitive people.
Eminem has the courage of his political opinion, which encourages us to show our criticism and not to accept empty political speeches wherever they might come from.Marshall Mathers has shown his critism towards the American government. But some people seem to forget that he loves America…it is funny to notice that the last sentence of his song “I’m just playing America, you know I love you.” is always forgotten intentionally by people who think he is totally anti American.
Obie Trice : a talented rapper signed to Shady Records
Obie Trice is one of the coolest guys I have ever met . We met on June the 19th at Paris Bercy (Anger Management Tour 2003) (at the busses area). He’s got a great sense of humor and this encounter will always remain a great memory.
Obie Trice was born on November the 14th 1978.
He attented High School at Cooley High in Detroit, Michigan.
Obie was one of the best pupils at High school and he wanted to go on studying, but he changed his mind when his daughter Kobie was born on October the 5th 1998.
Obie started rapping since he was 11.
He’s been influenced by artists such as Rakim and Redman.
Thanks to underground tracks like ‘ The Well Known Asshole ‘ he has gained some recognition and respect. He has made a guest appearance on the D12 album ‘ Devil’s Night ‘.
Obie’s first album ‘ Cheers ‘ has been released on September the 23 rd 2003 and includes the collaboration of many talented rappers (Dr Dre, D12, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks from G Unit, Nate Dogg’)
An album that is definitly worth listening.