Slim Shady has emerged from wherever he’s been growing his questionable beard to dole out some ether for the president. With rumors that his new album is finished floating around, this might be Eminem’s first step back into the spotlight.
But this isn’t the first time Em’s gotten political. His 2002 track “White America” took aim at politicians that criticized his lyrical content. In 2004, the song “Mosh” urged Americans to turn against George W. Bush and the Iraq War with a politically-charged music video.
But last night’s freestyle for the BET Hip Hop Awards saw Eminem reach a new level of politicization. He directly attacked Trump for over four minutes, addressing topics like the proposed muslim ban, Steve Bannon, Charlottesville, gun control, NFL protests, and the military.
— BET (@BET) October 11, 2017
Em even spoke directly to his own fans, predominately white people from middle America, telling them he doesn’t want their fandom if they support Trump.
The contrarian in me wants to say that only Eminem, a white rapper that has a massive fan base across the country, would be able to do this and not be roundly criticized. Some of the freestyle is also a little too on the nose, but regardless it’s cool to see Em use that platform to shit all over Trump’s dumb face.
That Eminem thing is like Edgy Hamilton
— Evil Dead 2 Magary (@drewmagary) October 11, 2017
It’s been a minute since we heard from Slim Shady, and while he’s gotten political before, he’s not known as a ‘conscious rapper’ by any means. But combining this political rhetoric with his trademark aggressive bars made for pretty compelling listening.
Let’s peep his most provocative bars from the cypher.
Invoking Islam while criticizing the First Lady
I’ma walk inside a mosque on Ramadan
And say a prayer that every time Melania talks
She gets a mou—ahh, I’ma stop
Shady used his wordplay to shine a light on Trump’s bigotry towards Muslims while taking shots at Melania Trump. But this is a grown up, composed version of Eminem, he stops himself just before he’s about to say some wild shit about Melania.
A smart move indeed. We can probably fill in the blanks with what Em was about to say here, but going way over the top with this freestyle would only make it easier for conservatives and Trump supporters to dismiss his message.
Attacking Trump’s NFL tweets
Plus, he gets an enormous reaction
When he attacks the NFL so we focus on that in-
-stead of talkin’ Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada
All these horrible tragedies and he’s bored and would rather
Cause a Twitter storm with the Packers
Em went in on Trump’s penchant for starting ridiculous Twitter beef as opposed to solving the issues of our country. It’s wild that our president is more focused on NFL players’ behavior during the national anthem than actually, you know, doing what presidents do.
From his endorsement of Bannon
Support for the Klansmen
Tiki torches in hand for the soldier that’s black
And comes home from Iraq
And is still told to go back to Africa
This one was pretty specific, dropping Steve Bannon’s name and Trump’s support for the Klansmen in Charlottesville.
Em uses the tiki torch imagery that we saw in Charlottesville to offer support for Black veterans who fight for our country, only to come home and be exposed to even more racism.
Trump’s hypocrisy and fake patriotism (plus shouts out to Colin Kaepernick)
He says, “You’re spittin’ in the face of vets who fought for us, you bastards!”
Unless you’re a POW who’s tortured and battered
‘Cause to him you’re zeros
‘Cause he don’t like his war heroes captured
That’s not disrespectin’ the military
Fuck that, this is for Colin, ball up a fist
And keep that shit balled like Donald the bitch
Trump supporters are incredibly dumb. This is an established fact. Trump supporters believe that this dude cares about the military and THE FLAG, when he’s repeatedly told us exactly who he is.
Remember when Trump said John McCain wasn’t a real war hero because he was captured? Trump avoided the draft five times (four times during college and the other because of ‘bone spurs’ in his feet). Also, big ups to Colin Kaepernick.
Drawing a line in the sand with his fans
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 and you’re split
On who you should stand beside, I’ll do it for you with this:
If you could crystalize Eminem’s freestyle into one succinct message, it’s this. Em draws a line in the sand for his Trump supporting fans. “You’re either for or against” Trump and his bullshit rhetoric.
This is particularly notable as one would imagine that a pretty large amount of Eminem fans also happen to be Trump supporters.
I doubt that Eminem fans will suddenly reconsider their political ideologies because of a freestyle, but I suppose it’s cool to see him use his platform to try and spread a message.