Eminem an­ni­hi­lates Trump — and makes fans pick sides

24 Hours Toronto - - Entertainment - SARAH HANLON

There’s a lot to lis­ten to, let our ear­phones do the work

In what has been sur­pris­ingly the most epic, full-fledged call­out of U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump by a ma­jor celebrity through the di­rect use of their art, Slim Shady stole the show at the BET Hip Hop Awards Tues­day night with a 4.5 minute freestyle rap en­ti­tled The Storm, tar­get­ing the con­tro­ver­sial leader by fiercely ar­tic­u­lat­ing what many are think­ing via song. While mu­si­cally it wasn’t the best cypher of the evening, its con­tent cre­ated a storm.

In the per­for­mance, Eminem does not mince words — or feel­ings – call­ing the 45th pres­i­dent: “Don­ald the B----, a kamikaze that will prob­a­bly cause a nu­clear holo­caust; he’s or­ange; Yeah, sick tan; He wants us to dis­band.”

Most im­por­tantly, Eminem called out the hypocrisy of Trump’s war on NFL foot­ball play­ers who opt to take a knee dur­ing the na­tional an­them in or­der to protest po­lice bru­tal­ity against black Amer­i­cans.

He specif­i­cally voiced sup­port to quar­ter­back Colin Kaeper­nick, who was the first to start the kneel­ing ini­tia­tive and has since been seem­ingly os­tra­cized from the league, say­ing, “He says you’re spit­ting in the face of vets who fought for us you b-------; Un­less you’re a POW who’s tor­tured; cause to him you’re zero; cause he don’t like his war he­roes cap­tured; That’s not dis­re­spect­ing the mil­i­tary; F--- that, this is for Colin; ball up a fist and keep that s--- balled like Don­ald the b----.”

Later that night, Kaeper­nick tweeted Eminem: I ap­pre­ci­ate you” punc­tu­ated with a fist emoji.

The sup­port on Twit­ter didn’t end there — LeBron James got more than a 100 thousand likes on his tweet prais­ing the rap­per’s fire lyrics, so did fel­low rap­per J. Cole, who tweeted, “Whoa. Rap God @Eminem thank you. Po­tentttt.”

The Grammy win­ner made it clear the com­man­der-in-chief should have big­ger priorities, like help­ing Puerto Rico re­cover from Hur­ri­cane Maria.

But what is hav­ing the most im­pact is the fact that the 44-year-old an­ti­hero asked his fans to pick a side, an im­por­tant mes­sage for fence-sit­ters in our po­lit­i­cally charged times: “Any fan of mine who’s a sup­porter of his / I’m draw­ing in the sand a line/ 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…”

With a mid­dle fin­ger to the cam­era, Eminem forced his fans to choose be­tween him and sup­port­ing the pres­i­dent — a bold and com­mend­able act for some­one whose fans may not be di­rectly af­fected by the poli­cies of its leader.

Many fans are al­ready strug­gling with the choice on­line — a clear sign Eminem’s ul­ti­ma­tum worked. But as a white rap­per for the last 20 years, it was heart­warm­ing that Eminem de­fended and spoke up for his friends, com­mu­nity and in­dus­try.

This is not the first time the in­fa­mously ag­gres­sive rap­per has called out Pres­i­dent Trump — last Oc­to­ber, he re­leased an 8-minute freestyle called Cam­paign Speech — which hear­kened sim­i­lar ideas.

So why this re­lease now? Was it only be­cause of the BET Awards? Well, not quite. Eminem is ru­moured to re­lease his ninth full-length LP on Novem­ber 17, but will The Storm be on it? Only time will tell. A more im­por­tant ques­tion is this: Will Don­ald Trump re­spond via tweet?

Who knows? Trump is kind of busy right now with North Korea and the Rus­sia/FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion but even his most in­com­pe­tent ad­vi­sors will be warn­ing against it — Eminem has 21.4 mil­lion fol­low­ers on Twit­ter and a way with words that, after last night, can­not be ar­gued.

BET

Eminem ripped Don­ald Trump dur­ing a video freestyle en­tited The Storm, which aired at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

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