First Word: Eminem puts America’s thoughts into words

Taylor Weible, Contributing Writer

      The viral Eminem dis track aimed at the president was not this popular rapper’s first. In fact, it wasn’t even his first dis of a president; Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have been under Eminem’s fire, as well. Throughout his career, Mathers has made more than half a dozen insult based songs, one of which was directed at his own mother. While Donald Trump may be his most recent focus, it is hardly out of character.

     So why do we suddenly care about another artist speaking out against the president? Well, he used crude language and spoke the truth. In this “hate video” Mathers discussed the nuclear threats between North Korea and the United States, the NFL, Puerto Rico, the Nevada Shooting, the hypocrisy of lowering taxes and then using taxpayer money for personal travel and expenses, supporting individuals like Steve Bannon and highlighting the disrespect that minority troops face when returning home. He fit all of this commentary into only a little over four minutes.

     Eminem is not the first person to use his platform to criticize the president’s behavior. Celebrities from J.K. Rowling to Lady Gaga have put in their two cents time and time again. Although, due to the aggressive nature of the freestyle video fueled by Mathers’s emotional response to the subject matter, many Americans have expected a reaction from Trump. So far, we have seen no tweets or heard any comments on the video from POTUS. It is unlikely that he didn’t feel the criticism was worth his time since he has fired back at outlets like Saturday Night Live, CNN and NBC over far less.

     In fact, the President’s outrage over the NFL was a primary focus in the freestyle song. Eminem acknowledges Colin Kaepernick for bringing the form of protest to the NFL. The President and others have described the action as insulting our veterans as well as current acting troops.

     Kaepernick himself and others have made it clear that kneeling is in support of ending police brutality among other things in a country where, according to a study published by CNN in 2016, “Black men [are] nearly 3 times as likely to die from police use of force.” Even with that information nearly a year old, it still rings true.

     If you are looking for someone insulting the military, you need look no further than the commander in chief himself who has said that John McCain and all veterans who were captured in war were not war heroes (in 2015) which he has never apologized for. He has threatened to deport active military troops and veterans despite their service, as well as his recent confirmed remarks to the pregnant widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who was killed in action in Niger this month.

     The players kneel for their first amendment rights, which are being threatened by the government and president unconstitutionally. For the awareness of police brutality, the respect of our military and to restate that more mass murders and violent crimes are committed by white, domestic, rightwing extremists than any minority. You only need to remember Las Vegas, Aurora, Charleston, Oklahoma City or Sandy Hook to see it. These important events and statements are what brought Eminem to perform “The Storm” via the BET Awards.

     As for the belief that Eminem isn’t the liberal poster boy everyone wants him to be, he never wanted to be that. Throughout his career Mathers made it clear that he doesn’t care what others think of him and that hasn’t slowed him down. The fact that he speaks his mind and is honest about what he believes is how he has maintained loyal fans for years.

     According to both Tomi Lahren and last week’s First Word, Eminem built his career on homophobic and misogynistic slurs. While most of his phrasing cannot be defended out of context, he frequently uses them satirically. His dis of Bill Clinton on “Who Knew” (The Marshall Mathers LP) is an example of this.

     Eminem has used “controversial language” featured in songs by feminist artists Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. If these crowned feminists didn’t want to be associated with those lyrics, they never would have asked him to be part of the tracks. If you really want to find someone who is disrespectful to veterans, divisive and downright misogynistic, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for right inside the White House.

Taylor is a duel concentration Studio Art major and Theatre minor. She is also the Vice President of the BU Democrats. She is a contributing writer for The Voice.