The Storm
October 10, 2017 9:48 PM   Subscribe

“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.” Eminem's cypher rips into Trump at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. (text)
posted by mysticreferee (67 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Racism's the only Thing that he's Fantastic 4... cuz that’s how he gets his fucking rocks off and he's orange."

🔥🔥🔥
posted by Rhaomi at 10:11 PM on October 10 [36 favorites]


Also, who's going to be delivering the opposition response, Kid Rock?
posted by Rhaomi at 10:16 PM on October 10 [8 favorites]


WOAH. That was .... awesome.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 10:18 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


I loved the performance here. So beautifully raw.

In a weird version of Trump's Mirror, Trump endorsed Eminem for President, for some MTV thing, back in 2004.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:24 PM on October 10 [9 favorites]


Loved the video... Good stuff; particularly since I imagine (hopefully, wrongly) that a significant percentage of his fans are Trump supporters. It takes some guts to tell a portion of your fans to fuck the right off. And judging from the comments (yeah, always a mistake), he successfully pissed off folks that previously loved him. (also, to those that attacked him - is "SJW" really the term you want to use for Eminem? Have you listened to any of his other songs? Even homophobic misogynists hate Trump).

Minor quibbles: Was this really freestyle? Doesn't seem that way, why would you label it as such? Did BET really need to silence out the swearing? That detracted from the content - sure for broadcast, not for the net.
posted by el io at 10:55 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]


This is the first and very likely the last thing of Eminem's that I'll like. He's still a misogynist and a homophobe. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
posted by janey47 at 10:57 PM on October 10 [23 favorites]


Who knew "Bannon" rhymed with "Klansmen"? BUT FROM NOW ON I'M ALL OVER THAT.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:03 PM on October 10 [52 favorites]


Teegeack: For some MTV thing? The difference is that Eminem never changed his political stance and Donny Two-Scoops did, over and over again.

So fuck that and fuck Trump.

Keep watching through til the end.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:07 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


If you like this, check out his 2004 song "Mosh" about Dubya. I wouldn't mind if he cut a similar track for Trump.
posted by asteria at 11:12 PM on October 10 [18 favorites]


I imagine (hopefully, wrongly) that a significant percentage of his fans are Trump supporters

Polos-removed-facng-antifa types
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:19 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Eminem also rapped "hate fags? The answers yes." But yeah he held Elton John's hand once after people ripped into him for the lyric. Real hero's go with the direction the wind blows I guess.
posted by forgettable at 12:17 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Listening to that was like opening a pressure valve. He sounds as angry as I feel.
posted by xyzzy at 1:17 AM on October 11 [8 favorites]


"Cause you don't got the fucking nuts like an empty asylum."

lol
posted by chillmost at 1:26 AM on October 11 [10 favorites]


I'd be perfectly fine if Eminem's BET performance was the turning point where disaffected white male youth turn away from Trump. Maybe that will be the case, but it will be an irony if it is -

Eminem has not been a Trump supporter. Again last October he was actively fighting against Trump:

"Consider me a dangerous man/ But you should be afraid of this dang candidate/ You say Trump don't kiss ass like a puppet?/ 'Cause he runs his campaign with his own cash for the funding?/ And that's what you wanted?/ A fuckin' loose cannon who's blunt with his hand on the button/ Who doesn't have to answer to no one?/ Great idea!"

This makes sense. He was a poor kid growing up in a multi-cultural inner city. It's too easy to say that Eminem has had sexist and homophobic songs, therefore he must have been a Trump supporter. Anyone that has even just seen 8 Mile knows how unlikely it would be a guy like this would think Trump was going to be a savior of the people he cares about.

But here's the irony - music fans are often ignorant of the lyrics and personal beliefs of the artists they enjoy. You see this in comments from fans over and over again. Jesus, go read Facebook comments on your average post from the band Cake. Cake has been about as progressive leaning a band as you can get, yet daily there is some ultra-conservative "fan" that bashes one of their postings - and the Band has been making political postings on Facebook for years, and their own band website before that.

So, yeah, it's possible that some number of "fans" of Eminem will wake up and turn against Trump because Eminem is shining a light, but don't bet on it. If they suddenly do, they haven't been paying attention to what Eminem was saying before, so why would they now.
posted by Muddler at 2:53 AM on October 11 [25 favorites]


If Paul Ryan of all people can be a fan of Rage against the Machine, anything is possible.
posted by explosion at 4:30 AM on October 11 [28 favorites]


That was pretty great.
posted by octothorpe at 5:06 AM on October 11


It was cathartic hearing someone just be so angry talking about Trump.
posted by Nelson at 5:39 AM on October 11 [36 favorites]


It wasnt great performance wise, but as a log thrown on top of the growing fire against trump, it was very useful. Notably, Ras Kass has mentioned how BET has been a joke for years and how he, K-Rino and Immortal Technique have been releasing stellar political hip hop for years now and get overlooked. But thats to be expected really. I’m glad Em did this. He’s so high profile that people had to take notice.
posted by cashman at 5:40 AM on October 11 [6 favorites]


I'm chuckling thinking about Trump trying to take Eminem in a Twitter war over this. As if he hasn't spent his entire career feeding off bad press from fragile white people.
posted by gueneverey at 5:42 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Minor quibbles: Was this really freestyle? Doesn't seem that way, why would you label it as such?

What makes you think it "doesn't seem that way"? Might want to make a case before saying that they shouldn't label it that way.

Eminem is pretty consistently regarded as one of, if not the best, freestyle rappers in the game. Here's another of his freestyles for comparison. Yeah, he's pretty good at this thing that he's been working at his whole life.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:54 AM on October 11 [12 favorites]


That was well put.

I keep hearing folks say we shouldn't disassociate ourselves with the folks that are Trump supporters/voters lest we alienate them and lose their vote for good (ha. ha. ha.). If anything, I think if more folks were willing to draw lines in the sand we might be in a different situation than we're in today come next election. I don't know if that situation will be better but damn how much worse could it be.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:11 AM on October 11 [5 favorites]


> Minor quibbles: Was this really freestyle? Doesn't seem that way, why would you label it as such?

He'll have had portions of that in his head over the last few weeks. He'll know that Bannon rhymes with Klansmen. "You don't got the fucking nuts / Like an empty asylum" - maybe he's had the line stored away in his head. He'll know how he wants to end it with the line in the sand. But like lazaruslong says, he's been doing this for decades. This is how he made his name in clubs in Detroit. Like a politician asked to give an impromptu speech, he knows the points he wants to make and some of the ways that he'll make them - he just does it in rhyme to a beat in his head.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 6:12 AM on October 11 [46 favorites]


I've never been into his style of delivery, but this is still fantastic.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:28 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


If Paul Ryan of all people can be a fan of Rage against the Machine, anything is possible.

Check out Prophets of Rage. They are Chuck D of Public Enemy, B-Real of Cypress Hill and 3/4 of RATM.
posted by adept256 at 7:22 AM on October 11 [11 favorites]


Minor quibbles: Was this really freestyle? Doesn't seem that way, why would you label it as such?

Yeah, it's a bit of a semantic argument. This is rap, freestyle, spoken word, poetry, song. It's all of them. And it's pretty legit. I am not a fan of this particular performance, it felt very jarring, but reading it as a text worked better for me. Good share.
posted by Fizz at 7:27 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Notably, Ras Kass has mentioned how BET has been a joke for years and how he, K-Rino and Immortal Technique have been releasing stellar political hip hop for years now and get overlooked.

Indeed, check out Ras Kass's - "Amerikkkan Horror Story" [YouTube]. It's a solid music video and has some great lyrics.
posted by Fizz at 7:42 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Seems like Trump won't respond because it's off his radar. Unless they talk about it on Fox and Friends he probably won't even hear about it.
posted by gwint at 7:42 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


I was not a fan of this particular rap musically, but I am big Em fan, and some of his best work has been political, and also surprisingly timeless.

Mosh, thirteen years old and still very relevant, has already been mentioned. And then there's White America, fifteen years old and just as topical today.
posted by 256 at 8:04 AM on October 11 [6 favorites]


It was cathartic hearing someone just be so angry talking about Trump

Would have been more so, for me, had Mathers not spent the last twenty years presenting so consistently as apparently furious about even breathing.
posted by flabdablet at 8:04 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


"Cause you don't got the fucking nuts like an empty asylum."

This was a good line. It underscored something I realized a long time ago: some of the best lines in rap are just dad jokes with swears.
posted by gurple at 8:12 AM on October 11 [67 favorites]


So, unless DJT comes up with something really astonishing, Eminem wins the rap battle. Does that mean he's POTUS now?
posted by chavenet at 8:12 AM on October 11 [16 favorites]


Notably, Ras Kass has mentioned how BET has been a joke for years and how he, K-Rino and Immortal Technique have been releasing stellar political hip hop for years now and get overlooked.

What year is this? Immortal Technique hasn't released anything new in like 10 years.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 8:12 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Any idea why BET censored "plot" and "Melania?"
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:23 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


I'm chuckling thinking about Trump trying to take Eminem in a Twitter war over this

How about a rap battle hosted by Mensa?
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:52 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


oh, like a lime to a lemon or a lemon to a lime
you're like the heat death of the cosmos, you're out of time
like a lemon to a lime or a lime to a lemon
you're live proof of godel's imcompleteness theorem
posted by pyramid termite at 9:05 AM on October 11 [11 favorites]


I like that the bleeped version is the only one released. It means everybody can share it around without concern for which version is which, and without some kid getting suspended from school for playing the wrong version for their friend or something and having that become the story..
posted by rhizome at 9:12 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


What makes you think it "doesn't seem that way"? Might want to make a case before saying that they shouldn't label it that way.

The multiple camera angles with no shift in Em's focus from one to the other (1:22) and continuity with the guys in the background (about same point, dude on the far left's arms go from crossed to hands-in-pockets between angles) makes it seem maybe less than spontaneous.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:43 AM on October 11


How did Eminem not manage to put Kid Rock on blast in there somehow?

Does he hate the popcorn lobby?
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:48 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


The multiple camera angles with no shift in Em's focus from one to the other (1:22) and continuity with the guys in the background (about same point, dude on the far left's arms go from crossed to hands-in-pockets between angles) makes it seem maybe less than spontaneous.

That doesn't mean much. People react in patterned ways, especially when they know they're there to provide a particular mode of set dressing. You set up a few cameras and later find the cutaways that look good. See any number of live concert films. It happens in The Last Waltz, for instance.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:51 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


I like the message, but I didn’t think much of the performance. There was no flow!
posted by epj at 10:13 AM on October 11


This is rap, freestyle, spoken word, poetry, song. It's all of them. And it's pretty legit. I am not a fan of this particular performance, it felt very jarring, but reading it as a text worked better for me.

Is a cypher a different kind of freestyle? I've seen cyphers from the BET Awards in other years, but I don't know what makes them distinct from other rap performance.
posted by gladly at 10:17 AM on October 11


I do think those sometimes-clumsy cutaways to the onlookers were used to make edits to Eminem's performance, either just to trim up some gaps and pauses, delete some less-than-stellar couplets, or just edit the whole thing down for time. And Ogre is right, for instance, that one guy's arms are crossed in the last frame of one shot, and down at his sides in the first frame of the next shot, so edits have definitely been made in between camera angles. That doesn't make it less good but maybe less superficially impressive than if we saw the same thing in real time in a single shot. I'm not sure what the definition of "freestyle" is in a rap context so I have no opinion there, but my guess is Eminem was out there doing his thing for at least 15-20 minutes, and this is what they whittled it down to in the edit.
posted by Mothlight at 10:18 AM on October 11


This was fantastic!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:31 AM on October 11


Seems like Trump won't respond because it's off his radar. Unless they talk about it on Fox and Friends he probably won't even hear about it.
posted by gwint at 9:42 AM on October 11


If it's tweeted enough and he gets tagged in it, he'll see it. I'll bet he retweets thinking it's an endorsement (especially if it's retweeted enough without any sort of commentary explaining that it's critical of Trump).
posted by MultiFaceted at 11:32 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


gladly, a cypher is a cycle of people freestyling.
posted by ajryan at 11:36 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


I think a "We are the World" type of gathering of musicians and celebrities dissing Trump in one epic song is just what we need to shatter Trump's fragile ego.
...It would be fun if nothing else.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:49 AM on October 11 [20 favorites]


Liquidwolf, I'm down. It could be just like Kidney Now!

Tina Fey, get on that.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:57 AM on October 11


My sense is that Eminem has assumed several personae over the years, but the one I can identify most vividly is that of a very angry white guy deploying his considerable wit and equally considerable love for shock and controversy mostly against women and gay people. For that reason, I imagine that much of his fan base consists of the sort of angry, young white men who, in my admittedly imprecise understanding, would seem to constitute an important part of Trump's constituency. Perhaps this speaks to my low expectations more than to anything else, but I am impressed, in that case, to see a performer seemingly disregard his economic utility and deliberately insult and alienate a large contingent of his customers.
posted by a certain Sysoi Pafnut'evich at 12:14 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


I think a "We are the World" type of gathering of musicians and celebrities dissing Trump in one epic song is just what we need to shatter Trump's fragile ego.

I'd settle for Middle Fingers Across America.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:15 PM on October 11 [17 favorites]



My sense is that Eminem has assumed several personae over the years, but the one I can identify most vividly is that of a very angry white guy deploying his considerable wit and equally considerable love for shock and controversy mostly against women and gay people.


He also did that cameo in The Interview where he played himself coming out of the closet ( as gay) on a talk show. He must not be too uptight about it if he can do some self parody like that. I don't think the early Eminem would have done that.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:31 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


I like that the bleeped version is the only one released. It means everybody can share it around without concern

Except they didn't bleep "shit." So I'm not clear on what they were going for.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:41 PM on October 11


> Also, who's going to be delivering the opposition response, Kid Rock?

In this, the darkest of all timelines? Of course.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:20 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


This is really great.

Also, utterly tangentially - I saw the clip of Cardi B's live BET performance of "Bodak Yellow" at Pitchfork yesterday, and that's a hell of a song and I wanted to listen to it again this morning, so I pulled up YouTube and I just want to say that many of the comments are pure gold. (Chained cheetahs I can do without though and that was kind of a shame.)
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:33 PM on October 11


Also, 'dude on the far left' is Royce 5'9, one of the greatest rappers to ever do it. If Black Thought wasn't the most underappreciated rapper, it would probably be Royce.
posted by cashman at 3:02 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]




He called out The Hatchet, and continued, comparing it to powerful missiles and attack helicopters.

If Eminem and the ICP release a joint where they spend five minutes dissing white supremacy with scalpel precise flow, beats provided by Derrick May and Jack White, my decade will be made.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:30 PM on October 11 [5 favorites]


First the NFL, then Eminem...what's next, Coors Light?
posted by gottabefunky at 10:04 AM on October 12


LaineyGossip had a thoughtful post yesterday on "The Storm" and Eminem in context:
Eminem’s Trump-supporting fans can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because they’re dead.

Eminem is a white man who benefited immensely from black culture, and even if he was consistently the first person to call out his advantage in the industry, it can’t be ignored. He became the highest selling rapper of all time off the backs of hard-working black men while relying on misogynistic, homophobic and dangerous rhetoric. He's a man who repeatedly rapped about rape and violence against women. He is problematic as f-ck. But with this freestyle, he's doing exactly what he should with his privilege. He’s doing the work all white “allies” should be doing: calling on other white people to wake the f-ck up. All of the above can be true. Eminem can be an incredible rapper and necessary voice in these horrific times, and he can be a man who was once a beacon of toxic masculinity and homophobia.
Which in turn linked me to Vulture's Revisiting Eminem’s ‘White America,’ 15 Years Later, from January 2017:
If Marshall Mathers checks most of the demographic boxes for the semi-mythical Trump voter, it’s still the case that the one box he doesn’t makes all the difference: He’s a rapper imbued with a profound respect for black culture, someone whose cultural heroes, closest friends, and greatest mentor have all been black. He carved out a space for himself within hip-hop culture without diminishing anyone else within it or selling it out, and gave back as much as he took. Eminem has fallen off somewhat lately, but his influence on the recent renaissance of West Coast rap is evident. Artists as different as Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples, and Kendrick Lamar have all paid homage, both directly and through their style, cadence, and themes. He made good use of his time at the top, playing a key role in driving cultural conservatives into recession. When was the last time anyone tried to censor rap and came close to succeeding?
Eminem has been one of my problematic faves since I was in high school, and I respect the hell out of him for using his privilege in poetry to strike out against Trump & his minions. For all his deserved controversy, Eminem has always made it clear that he's aware how racism gave him an advantage as a white artist over black artists. Like "White America" says,

Look at these eyes, baby blue, baby just like yourself
If they were brown, Shady'd lose, Shady sits on the shelf
But Shady's cute, Shady knew Shady's dimples would help
Make ladies swoon, baby (ooh, baby!) — look at my sales!
Let's do the math: if I was black, I woulda sold half
I ain't have to graduate from Lincoln High School to know that

posted by nicebookrack at 1:20 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


I've seen some good points elsewhere, to the effect of "where was he a year ago," and why people only take "Trump is bad" seriously when it's a white guy saying it.
posted by rhizome at 2:18 PM on October 12


On October 19, 2016, Eminem released a new song called "Campaign Speech", a political hip hop song, and announced he was working on a new album.

"Run the faucet, I'mma dunk
A bunch of Trump supporters underwater
Snuck up on 'em in Ray-Bans in a gray van with a spray tan"

posted by elsietheeel at 3:15 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Another interesting bit from the LaineyGossip piece: "Eminem is directly addressing his ignorant, white fan base. Earlier this year, the New York Times released a map examining several artists and where they are most popular around America. They found that Eminem’s base is strongest in whiter and more rural places like West Virginia and southern Ohio, two crucial states that overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump. [...] Few other artists have explicitly said that their fans have to choose between them or Trump. I can’t think of another white artist of this caliber who has come out this hard in defense of the NFL protests or been this publicly savage towards Trump. If anyone has the responsibility to make this ultimatum, it’s the dude who has benefited off the loyalty of the same people who want Trump to build that f-cking wall."
posted by nicebookrack at 3:42 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


After watching the video a few times, one big issue I'm mulling over with "The Storm" is that Eminem seems to fall into the same trap of letting the debate over Kaepernick's NFL protests slide away from the subject of police brutality toward POC and slide toward an argument over whether kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to the military or not. Eminem comes in hard in support of Kaepernick ("Fuck that, this is for Colin, ball up a fist") and the military ("We love our military, and we love our country") but he doesn't say anything specifically about police brutality. On the other hand, maybe the point is that Trump was the one who started whining about blah blah flag blah blah military, and "The Storm" addresses that idea directly to underline Trump's hypocritical bullshit ("'Cause he don't like his war heroes captured / That's not disrespectin' the military").
posted by nicebookrack at 4:17 PM on October 12


Eminem knows what Kaep's protest is about. I understood it as your latter point, addressing Trump's nonsense...from Campaign Speech:

At a traffic stop gettin' harassed, sign an autograph
For this asshole cop's daughter
Laugh 'cause I called her a brat on it
He spat on it and brought it back lookin' half in shock
Had a heart attack and dropped dead
Started fallin' back with it
And got slapped with a Colin Kaepernick practice sock

posted by elsietheeel at 4:31 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Tina Fey, get on that.

Sorry, she's too busy stuffing her face with sheetcake.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:57 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


}} Any idea why BET censored "plot" and "Melania?"

I suspect someone at BET was nervous that those words could be construed as a direct threat/plot against the POTUS and FLOTUS, to be investigated accordingly by the Secret Service.

In other news, rewatching Eminem's "Mosh" gives me vivid flashbacks to how intensely that video was passed around in the lead-up to the 2004 presidential election. A lot of people I followed online wore black hoodies to the polls on Election Day when they voted against Bush. "And it was all for nothing," I could say, but I still remember it 13 years later.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:08 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


I've seen some good points elsewhere, to the effect of "where was he a year ago...."

But....just upthread someone linked to something he did during the campaign. He was right there a year ago, the media just wasn't listening.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


On further thought I stated that badly, it should clearly be on the shoulders of us, of the media, by whatever mechanisms are coloring attention paid, and not Eminem's. The thing is that identical sentiments have been expressed by many others of e.g. color, which we all know I'm sure. Eminem chooses a great time to say some important words, but now it's a big whoop-de-doo. Maybe it was specifically the placement in the BET Awards, maybe it's news cycle fatigue, maybe it's the increased usage of social media even over last year, maybe more people share the sentiments now, but there's a pattern there.
posted by rhizome at 7:12 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


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