Eminem’s “The Storm” freestyle has shaken hip-hop to its core, so we decided to look back at past moments when Slim Shady got political on America’s arse.
As in years past, BET’s annual Hip-Hop Awards have been overshadowed by the excellent pre-recorded rap cyphers. While this year’s event celebrated the wins of Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B and DJ Khaled who won most of the night’s major awards, much of the talk on newsfeeds and timelines revolved around Eminem’s four-and-a-half minute takedown of Donald Trump. The internet was quickly flooded with hot takes on Marshall’s cypher verse. Many were quick to point out that Em wasn’t saying anything that hadn’t been said over the course of Trump’s presidency. Lines like “Racism’s the only thing he’s fantastic for (Fantastic Four) / ‘Cause that’s how he gets his f***ing rocks off and he’s orange / Yeah, sick tan,” hardly passes for commentary in 2017. Others credited him for calling out his fan base: “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: Fuck you.”
Titled “The Storm,” this isn’t the first time the Detroit emcee forayed into politics. He has politically leaning songs scattered throughout his catalog, but can he be categorized as a conscious rapper? An effective political song should not only address a relevant issue but should offer some sort of nuance or insight on the topic at hand. @Okayplayer has decided to re-examine some of Marshall’s most socially conscious songs to see if they offer any insight and substance or if the songs just resort to name-calling and shallow analysis being passed off as commentary.