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Eminem does not represent real rap

Students are always explaining to me the greatness that is Eminem.

“His flows are sooo tight!”

“I love the part where he rhymes about killing his baby’s momma.”

“I can not believe Triumph tried to front on his ass, I woulda f’d that bitch up hardcore!”

These are typical things I hear “Em-heads” say regarding the modern genius. Yet for those that really care about music and hip-hop, Eminem’s talent is highly overrated and overblown.

Ever wonder why most of his singles sound like music that came directly from a carnival, or perhaps the kind of music kids hear while on the merry-go-round? It is as if Dr. Dre could not get anyone to listen to his protégé unless he put those childish “clowning around” beats into Slim’s albums.

The only other song Eminem knows how to make is the angry, self-pitying song about how hard his life is. These songs sound like hip-hop versions of Linkin Park.

Eminem cannot hold a candle up to the great emcees, past and present. He is not as influential as De La Soul or NWA, nor is he as creative as Cee-Lo or Dizzy Rascal. He has no message for political or social change like J-Live or A Tribe Called Quest and he does not come close to the type of energizing flow of Busta Rhymes or Biz Markie.

If students take a close look at the history of Eminem, they might see something interesting. Who first responded to Eminem? Those hip-hop die hards? The black community?

No, it was white kids from the suburbs.

His first single, “My Name Is,” even crossed over and got airplay on alternative radio — because he was white.

Eventually, he got so popular that even if black emcees wanted to distance themselves from Eminem, they couldn’t for fear of losing sales from white suburban youth.

When Eminem gained the spotlight it was as if white kids suddenly had a voice in rap music and could now personally relate to Schooly D.

The fact is that Eminem is just a modern day Elvis. Elvis did not create great music (well actually he stole his music), he just made it okay for white people to listen to black music back in the day.

And that is what Eminem has done for us (except for the stealing part).

The concept of Eminem is racist. The idea–that white America would need a white rapper to make hip hop okay to listen to–is racist, and that is really all Eminem is.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with white people in hip hop.

Look at Rick Ruben, The Streets, and the Beastie Boys (even though they now feel it is more important to make an album about how much they love New York than do something artistic).

Actually, all these guys have much more talent and willingness to expand their music than Eminem ever will.

If Shady’s musical contributions are pointless, then what has he actually done for us? Perhaps the good that has come out of Eminem is how white America feels a little easier around blacks.

White students at this University use black slang. White students might even have black friends now (shock), because if Em can do it, so can I.

The thing is, students did not need Slim for it to be okay to talk to black people, use their slang or even dress like them.

The whole distinction between what is black and what is white in America should stop.

If what we each had to dress like was designated by our skin color, or what was invented by our individual races, we could never interact.

There would be no black basketball players.

Black people would not be allowed to wear suits and ties.

White people could not listen to Rock and Roll, eat peanut butter, or use traffic lights.

Eminem represents the barriers in our country rather than the breaking-down of barriers.

It is okay to listen to black music; it is just music.

It is okay to associate with black Americans — they are just people. Eminem did not make it okay. It was okay before he ever arrived on the scene.

Eminem is not the key to unlocking the door separating races. The door is already open, just walk through.

E-mail comments to George at [email protected].

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