Guess who’s back, back again, Shady’s back … and he just made waves in our political climate. If you have not heard it by now, Eminem dropped an anti-Trump freestyle, “The Storm,” this past Wednesday at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.
In his verses, Eminem made several remarks and metaphorical attacks aimed at President Donald Trump. Now, some may be wondering, why is this anti-Trump rant important? Trump is literally criticised every day, so why would we care if one more celebrity adds on to the fold? Well, Marshall Mathers’ — Eminem’s birth name — freestyle certainly has a reason for blowing up. He made the biggest anti-Trump case, beautifully and lyrically outlined in five minutes, and it is among one of the most powerful messages expressed in rap to date. Furthermore, it is a message conveyed by one of the most controversial rap gods of all time — and we are are listening and agreeing with him.
In his verses, Mathers went all out, putting to light the president’s lack of care when it comes to aid in Puerto Rico or discussions of gun reform from the Las Vegas concert shooting. He cornered him on the grounds that Trump aggressively responds to things if they are personally against him, such as with the National Football League kneeling ordeal, and distracts the people from what really matters by always blowing up a Twitter storm. He ended his rant by calling out his Trump fans and exclaiming one last time, “We f**cking hate Trump.”
Reading into every point he brought up in his rap, none of the remarks are new for anyone listening, as everything Mathers mentions has been covered extensively in the media during the past few weeks. Yet, the popularity of his track has nothing to do with whether the information is new, but rather the form in which he delivers the message. Mathers is known to be one of the best MCs of all time, granting him extra attention in the public eye whenever he does something political, even though there have been several tracks from other artists in the past that also lash out against Trump. It is precisely because we all know who he is, what he has done and what he means as a rapper that we all find ourselves to be familiar with his BET video.
What is further astonishing is that Mathers has been the center of controversies many times in the past for numerous reasons, and we have all hated on him for it, but we nonetheless cannot deny that we are in line with the points he brings up about Trump. Mathers has now been solidified in his status as an influencer in the political war that is steadily brewing. What Mathers says now matters, and I never thought I’d say that. He is the king of absolutely not caring at all about anything happening outside of his world of rap and celebrity drama. However, like many in the rap genre — possibly the most outspoken genre in music when it comes to politics — he has had enough with the way in which our commander in chief has dealt with virtually every issue that the country has faced since his presidency, both domestically and internationally.
Being a stan myself, the news of Mathers exercising his political voice excites me more than casual fans, but essentially the love I have for him as an artist does not drive me to simply agree with everything he does and says. In the days since his freestyle dropped, I have had lengthy conversations with people on why this has become a central topic in Trump-related news, and the answer boils down to it being another feud between another famous person and Trump. The uniqueness that is brought to the table by Eminem has little to do with what the context was, but rather on his ability to make his context rhyme and resonate with those who have five minutes to spare on a video.
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A version of this appeared in the Monday, Oct. 16 print edition. Email Adryan Barlia at [email protected]