Eminem ignited the Internet on the evening of Oct. 10 when BET’s Hip-Hop Awards aired a video of the long time rapper’s anti-Trump freestyle entitled “The Storm.”
In the five-minute long video, Eminem hurls numerous insults at President Donald Trump and calls him out on several current issues, ranging from Trump’s positions on domestic unrest to international diplomacy.
The rapper has taken a stand against Trump before, including an Oct. 2016 “Campaign Speech” where he labeled the politician a “loose cannon,” and at an anti-Trump chant at August’s Reading Festival in Scotland. But Oct. 10th’s freestyle contained Eminem’s most detailed critiques of Trump yet. In almost five minutes of furious freestyle rap, Eminem accused the president of being racist, hypocritical and disrespectful of military veterans—amongst a slew of other things.
Many celebrities and professional athletes have come out in support of Eminem’s latest work. On Twitter, athletes such as Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James have backed the rapper’s performance.
An important lyric in the rapper’s freestyle is “Plus, he gets an enormous reaction / when he attacks the NFL so we focus on that / instead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada / All these horrible tragedies and he’s bored and would rather / cause a Twitter storm with the Packers.”
This lyric is a reference to the recent occurrences of many players in the National Football League taking a knee during the national anthem. Initially, former 49ers player, Kaepernick, was alone when he began kneeling for the national anthem during NFL games.
The issue didn’t really come to light and gain national attention until the third preseason game. Since then, Kaepernick continued on with his protest, but now several other NFL players, professional, collegiate and high school athletes have all joined in his protests.
Eminem’s lyrics about this specific issue also heavily resonate with the victims and those affected by Hurricane Maria, which recently hit Puerto Rico. Instead of immediately sending aid to the country of over 3 million people, many without electricity or water, Trump seemed to be more concerned about tweeting and taking his 67th golfing trip since assuming office.
Many celebrities, millennials and everyday Americans have steadily been showing distaste for the president since he first took office. Eminem’s freestyle rang true with many of these people who are upset with how Trump has been running the country.
Despite the fact that many people have shown support for Eminem’s anti-Trump rap, others believe his opinions on this issue are invalid due to his past.
Eminem has rapped about murdering his ex-wife and has many times expressed his hatred for his mother in his songs, causing controversy.
Many people don’t view him as an icon or a credible source to provide political information from—he’s just a 45-year-old man with a longstanding aggression problem.
People listening to the rap should be able to disregard Eminem’s past and pay attention to the important points he raises. It is important to consider the effect that this freestyle rap has had on social media and news outlets.
Creating and showcasing this rap song, Eminem did what was not only permitted by the first amendment, but was doing what he, and many others, viewed as the right thing to do. It is vital that celebrities and other public figures use their platforms to speak out against injustices and things with which they disagree. Much of what Trump has done while in the office can be viewed as inappropriate and some actions could even be considered injustices.
It is essential that we as a society take into account that a president has sparked enough turmoil to have an influence on whathip-hop songs focus. Hip-hop and rap have been a way for artists to express their concerns about politics since as long as it has been around, and it as an institution will remain this way.