Being a music lover and since it got my attention, I decided to add my take on Eminem’s Cypher: from the BET Hip Hop Awards.
All to familiar with his voice, the opening line was reminiscent of his Slim Shady era. What followed however, reinforces why hip hop will always have a place in our socio/political world. Were parts of it comical? Absolutely. The humour (being the irony) was the Fantastic 4 reference, which then set the tone. I didn’t see this article coming, but his freestyle took me back to a post on Facebook. It was my thoughts, on Donald Trump’s win. My focus went back to the video, and my eagerness to write after hearing the 2nd verse, was more pressing than watching it to the end.
Check out “The Storm” below:
His passion, views on Trump, and how he sees the current state of America, had an impact to say the least. The pauses to a point, mirrored my shock on election day. I’m not American, but visit the states and feel connected somehow. Irrespective of where you’re from, you heard, saw, or read something about the: US election.
I looked back at my slight vent from a year ago and laughed a little, but then I thought no. Still, it was needed at the time, and its ok. What I do know is whether we like it or not, politics affect our daily lives. Then there’s Pop culture which impacts the youth, enough to shape, move, or be opiniated as ‘popular culture,’ addresses politics. Colin Kaepernick, is just one example.
Whilst on one hand I didn’t expect this from Eminem, in the other hand I did, in the sense that I’m not shocked. He was going to “go off” at some point, or express his opinion artistically through an album. Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, could be a few to name who’d paraphrase this (considering body of work), and in light of recent events. Public Enemy were pioneers when it came to speaking up, so there’s a long history of this.
Eminem chose to shed light on racial biases, racism, the presidency & more. It’s what he said but the way he said it. The imagery, the silence. He’s challenging a system. Whether his passion, or colour is perhaps a talking point, it should be by no means negative rather:
What did his freestyle do?
Humanity, was what I took from it. The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Whether you “can’t” relate, are you human?
That was the message I got.
Kudos to Marshall