This past Wednesday the internet awoke to Eminem’s “anti-Trump takedown”. Over the next 24 hours The Storm was being liked, shared and retweeted and liberal-minded anti-Trumpers (of which I am one) exalted in the saving grace of the self-proclaimed “Rap God”.
However, I felt somewhat out of step with the wave of devotion. As a music fan and as someone who firmly believes that Mathers has - as the Beastie Boys might have said - the skills that pay the bills, I couldn’t help but notice some glaring issues.
First off, I am also not buying the argument that this was particularly “gutsy”. The performance was delivered at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. Who in attendance or viewing at home was going to be offended by this? Sure, I am sure there are some Trump supporters out there with “Lose Yourself” on their workout mix, but let’s be honest, there are hardly bonfires fueled by copies of the Relapse in Trumplandia.
Secondly, let it be known that I whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment behind what Fast Company called “Eminem’s best performance in 15 years”. However, as is often the case with Eminem, I took issue with his use of language, and given that this miraculous rant appeared on Wednesday October 11th: International Day of the Girl, I think you should too.
“Donald the bitch!”
The Right side of the political spectrum love addressing the Left’s hypocrisy. And, as they should when the hypocrisy is as glaring as it was this week (talking to you Hollywood).
In what appears to be the lone legitimate news source calling out Eminem, The Washington Examiner’s Philip Wegman said “One anti-Trump track can't discount an entire discography of misogyny. The Left doesn't get to lecture about the president's ‘locker room talk’ then turn around and praise a rapper who wants to punch out Lana Del Rey, rape Iggy Azalea, and rip Pamela Anderson's "t--s off”.
And, you know what. They’re right. We don’t get to do that. Just because we agree with the target of his art, does not mean we should allow ourselves to abandon our principles. Is the greatest weapon we have against Trump a misogynist in baggy pants? Is the great weapon we have against Trump a man who recast Ray Rice as a heroic figure? Surely, we are not taking sides in a sick contest of My Two Misogynists, are we?
The Guardian’s Britt Julious commented in 2014 that “Attacking women in his singles offers instant selling publicity”. Well, guess what. Slim has a new record coming out. As cynical as it sound, perhaps Trump might just offer Slim “instant selling publicity”. But, when it comes to women, I would dare say he has as much in common with the man in orange. Forget my pass sins, and embrace your new hero. It’s a post-modern nightmare isn’t it?
At the end of the day, Eminem delivered a well-intentioned political piece that seemed to galvanize people. But, Eminem, the larger rap community and we snowflake liberal hypocrites need to remember that the woman’s place is in the resistance, and not on the floor outside of an elevator.
The world of music and media offers us a view of the world like few other arts.