At the end of last month, the rap artist Eminem released a single from his latest album 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2' egotistically entitled 'Rap God'. The song is brilliant, and there is no denying it. There was a ridiculous hype all over social media and music blogs. He is a very talented artist, and it's clear that he puts his heart and soul into his music. It's a shame his heart and soul is homophobic and misogynistic.
Eminem is notoriously famous for being homophobic, ever since his first album. This new single includes the lovely lyrics "You fags think it's all a game till I walk a flock of flames off a plank, and tell me what in the fuck are you thinking," and "Break a motherfucker's table over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it half."
There is no denying that Eminem is an actual 'Rap God'. Even me, an openly gay man, love so many of his songs. He is certainly an artist I respect because of his insane talent. He even has spoken up about his homophobic lyrics saying he has no problem with gay people, with his as long as you're "nice to me" attitude. But it upsets me so much when I still hear him gay bashing. Maybe he's not hating gay people in his songs. Maybe he's using these lyrics as a metaphor, but the fact is he is still using it. There are a lot of young people who look up to him, and when he's feeding these messages into teenagers all over the world, people think it'll be okay to call someone a 'faggot', when it's not. Celebrities and the media influence us way more than we think.
Another thing with the song is that it's not just homophobic. He uses the lyric "But if I can't batter the women, how the [expletive] am I supposed to bake them a cake then?" which promotes violence in a tongue and cheek way. Which got me thinking, if Eminem was openly racist, would he be as popular? There seems to be a lot of double standards when it comes to racism vs homophobia and sexism. If you're being racist, homophobic, sexist, ageist, etc, you are still offending someone, and I think you can be a great artist, with amazing music without being offensive.
When I thought hip hop was becoming a more accepting place with Frank Ocean coming out as bi-sexual, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis releasing 'Same Love' and both becoming commercially successful. 'Rap God' was just a gunshot taking us back in time making us realize that we've got a long way to go.
Listen to 'Rap God' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7cQ3b0iqLo