Detroit, Michigan went red this past election. Despite the city’s history for being largely Democratic, the words of the GOP struck a cord this time around. Considering 97% of Detroit voters went in favor of President Obama in 2012, the 13,000 votes Trump won by was a massive swing. Underneath the Republican red, however, Detroit is still a blue city. Since 1948, the city has only had two Republican mayors. With a grim reality staring in their faces, many citizens still did not buy what Trump was selling. Detroit’s prodigal son, Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is not buying it either.
Eminem has never shied away from political commentary. One of his most notorious songs to date came in 2005, “Mosh”, where he had strident words for President Bush. Among his recent efforts is “Campaign Speech”, where he proudly calls The Donald “a f*uckin’ loose cannon who’s blunt with his hand on the button”. He continues to throw lyrical daggers at President Trump and political commentator Ann Coulter on Big Sean’s track “No Favors”. Is his strong Democratic stances foreshadowing for his upcoming album. It should be because it would be damn good for business.
Hip-Hop has become far more niche-based in recent years. Many artists are catering their music towards their more dedicated fanbases. Lifting up one’s hometown has become of great emphasis again. Chance The Rapper is a great example of this formula. Eminem, with his strong Republican-bashing lyrics, is playing to his core fanbase in Michigan. Considering the division President Trump has caused amongst the citizens, Em is guaranteed to garner significant support from people who may not have otherwise cared about his music. For some feeble-minded individuals, they would enjoy seeing a wealthy White male oppose the president. He will garner significant backlash as well, but Em is a wealthy man, in part, because of backlash.
The criticism he would receive for his strong stances could be beneficial to certain pockets of society. I’m not talking about the “bad press is better than no press at all” cliche. His critics will continue to fuel the dialogue in an era where politics has become the new religion. Civilized, intellectual debate is never a bad thing.
Being candid in the political realm is not beneficial for every Hip-Hop artist. Jay-Z and Drake should stay as far away from it as possible. Not only is Eminem a different breed of artist, his legacy is cemented. He can air out his strong opinions and withstand the negative press, a luxury that newer artists do not have.
Whether people agree with his stances or not, Eminem talking politics is good for the Hip-Hop culture.
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