It’s been a week since the Eminem BET Hip Hop Awards freestyle hit the streets and crushed the buildings. There were so many opinions on what was said but it was just about the lyrics but a debate arose about the importance and relevancy of the messenger. As soon as I received word via the internet streets that Eminem dropped a verse for BET Hip Hop Awards I honestly didn’t know what to expect. His last appearance during the BET Hip-Hop awards featured Black Thought and Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey and that was a COMPLETE firestorm of cypher. I wondered how could Marshall Mathers top that and he did it in a way that was very necessary. As far as mainstream rappers, I hadn’t heard too many call out Trump directly for his stupidity. Besides “FDT (F*ck Donald Trump)” by YG and Nipsey Hussle, what other mainstream artist has been as vocal about their disdain for the current Commander in Chief?
With that being said, a voice from the Hip-Hop community as respected as Eminem’s shouldn’t have any detractors when he’s using his position to speak on something as important as the state of our country.
During the time when I was introduced to Hip-Hop, rap songs with strong themes of political protest were the norm AND they were popular. Public Enemy, KRS-One, X-Clan, Pre Death Row era 2Pac and Intelligent Hoodlum are examples of some of the most socially conscious artists that addressed the plight of the inner city and whoever sat in the Oval Office as the Leader of The Free World. Speaking out against Bush and Clinton in the late 80s and 90s were mainstream and whenever politicians tried to silence their voices it just made the art form more powerful than they could’ve ever imagined. It’s been over 28 years since P.E. released “Fight The Power” and it’s as important today as it was then. So why is it that songs about resistance aren’t as popular these days? We have the same problems: Police brutality, poverty, an administration that doesn’t seem to care about the equality for all of America’s citizens. We have emcees like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole who are known for having a message in their music but it seems to be outweighed by whatever is dictated by those that control what’s being played on the radio.
What Em did for the BET Hip Hop Awards wasn’t just about rap or how well he could rap, it was something that needed to be said on behalf of an art form that’s always been known for speaking it’s piece about pressing matters. When “FDT” came out, I felt like it was alone out there in the world without any backing from Nipsey and YG’s peers. I guess everyone’s mum when the money is good and no one wants to disrupt the equilibrium. Some people were critical of what Marshall had say and some went as far as stating that we as black fans were in need of a “white savior” which is completely absurd but what else could I expect from mental mongoloids. Yes, he’s white and he used his privilege to talk about something REAL and he didn’t bite his tongue. Hopefully, more artists take a chance and actually open their mouths for the cause. At this moment, we need all of the voices that we can get to spark a reaction of change.
Also, last but not least, we shouldn’t overlook the freestyle by Mysonne who also had a serious message to deliver during this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards cipher.