Happy Birthday Eminem

University at Albany
United States

This Tuesday marked the 45th birthday of renowned rapper, Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known as Eminem. However, the attention on him this past week has been due to his viral freestyle rap video, originally posted by BET. This freestyle, which he calls, “The Storm,” contained a series of lyrics meant to bash President Trump.  


Toward the beginning of the verse, Eminem refers to Trump as a kamikaze “that’ll probably cause a nuclear holocaust.” Eminem proceeds to call the President out for being a coward by comparing him to himself, saying that Trump is as stingy as he is when it comes to caring about anything. If you know anything about Eminem, you know that most of his songs contain offensive language in which he does not concern himself with the consequences. Still, Eminem tends to use his abilities for good by making his political views clear in his more serious songs. In his song, Mosh, from his 2004 album Encore, Eminem talks about standing up against the wrong-doings of former President Bush at the time. He uses lyrics like, “No more blood for oil; we got our own battles to fight on our own soil,” to shed light on the issue with Bush’s decision to continue sending young men out to war.  


People have had a lot to say about “The Storm” over the past week – both good and bad. While his fans are glad to see his face in the media once again, others seem to be angry at the attention he is receiving. Those people who are mad believe that it is wrong for Eminem to be getting as much praise as he is right now. Lesser-known rapper YG, released a music video for his song FDT, where he repeats the f-word and Donald Trump throughout the song. People don’t think it is right that Eminem’s freestyle is praised for speaking out against Trump when YG released his song in April of last year. This is where race comes into play. Although Eminem is a white rapper, I don’t think it had anything to do with his video being more famous than YG’s. Eminem is arguably one of the best rappers in history. It is hard to admit because the hip-hop genre is part of black culture, but rappers such as 50-Cent, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Kendrick Lamar agree with this statement in different interviews.  


Eminem has been recognized for his versatility and complicated lyrics over the years. During an interview on the radio show, The Breakfast Club, rapper Kendrick Lamar speaks about Eminem being one of the greatest and said, “That boy’s [Eminem] world play is out of this world,” and continued to say that “nobody can take that away from him,” whether he is black or white. The reality of all this is we need people like Eminem to make statements like his. Many people – young and old, black and white – look up to Eminem. If they take a chance to listen to his lyrics, then maybe it’ll encourage them to agree with his political views, just like they have done in the past.