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Free Speech: 10 of Eminem’s Most Political Moments

Eminem is mostly known for controversy and offending people, Shad Reed writes how the MC also gets quite political!

By Shad Reed

(AllHipHop Features) At this point, unless they’ve been living under a rock, everyone has seen the recent cipher from the BET awards where Eminem ethers 45. And while Eminem hasn’t always been the most political of rappers, the 4 and a half minute video of him in a Detroit parking structure is far from the first time Em has touched on social issues or serious current events.

Yes, in additional to being a master emcee and wordsmith, his ascent can largely be traced to his unique ability to make hardcore rap funny via his Slim Shady persona. However, Eminem’s 21 year career (and counting) is no joking matter and one of the ways he has remained as relevant as long as he has is his ability to speak up for those without a voice. Whether getting back at bullies like on “Brain Damage” or criticizing the Commander-in-Chief for an unjust war like on “Mosh,” the Detroit rapper has always been willing to fight the good fight and that is very admirable.

Em’s BET freestyle solidified that he will be remembered on the correct side of history when Trump’s presidency is analyzed in the future. And so in honor of that and, as AllHipHop.com’s co-founder Chuck Creekmur said on MSNBC recently, “[Eminem is] using his privilege for good on one of the biggest platforms in a Hip-Hop space to get [his] message across,” AllHipHop has made a chronological list of ten other times Eminem has addressed politics in one way, shape, or form.

Respect due.

“Without Me”: For the lead single off The Eminem Show, “Without Me,” one of the many characters Eminem dressed up in its corresponding video was Osama Bin Laden. In spring 2002, rumors began to circulate that this didn’t sit well with supporters of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization and they had allegedly threatened his life. These rumors were later proven to be totally false.

“White America”: In one of the most powerful tracks in his iconic catalogue, “White America,” Eminem acknowledged the role that race played in his ground-breaking success as an emcee. “Let’s do the math / If I was black, I woulda sold half / I ain’t have to graduate from Lincoln High School to know that.”

“We As Americans”: On this song, which first appeared on the Straight from the Lab bootleg and was then released on the bonus disc of Encore, Em spit, “It’s funny, we got a buzz spreadin’ quicker than makin’ paper airplanes out of a twenty / F\*k money, I don’t rap for dead presidents / I’d rather see the President {dead}*.” Even with the word “dead” censored on all official releases, the Secret Service investigated the line because it was seen as a possible threat against then-President, George. W. Bush.

The Shady National Convention: In the fall of 2004, when George W. Bush and John Kerry were running for president, Eminem put on a mock political convention to promote his fifth LP, Encore. The man who introduced Slim Shady prior to him approaching the podium was none other than Donald Trump. Times sure have changed.

“Mosh”: While Eminem’s fourth Aftermath LP received less favorable reviews than his previous three, one of its undeniably powerful moments was the song and video for “Mosh.” There were even two versions of the clip’s ending. One, prior to the 2004 election, where a large group of people burst into a vote registration site, and another, after the election, where the group invades President Bush’s State of the Union Address.

Eminem’s Support of Barack Obama: During a 2012 interview, Eminem came out in support of Barack Obama saying, “Obama’s great. Obama is giving people hope. Not to sound too political… He seems like he’s a great f*****g guy. He’s got a great head on his shoulders. He speaks with authority and confidence. He’s got an aura about him that’s just incredible. I’d never followed an election like [2008] like I did. He’s given us a sense of hope.”

How to Make Money Selling Drugs********\:** This entertaining and educational documentary examined the flaws of the “War on Drugs” and dissected the drug business via interviews with notable and successful dealers like “Freeway” Rick Ross and Bobby Carlton as well as high-profile celebrities and activists such as Russell Simmons, Susan Sarandon, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and, of course, Marshall “Eminem” Mathers.

“Campaign Speech”: Fittingly released on the day of the third debate between then-presidential-candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Em’s “Campaign Speech” freestyle was a nearly eight-minute song that name-dropped celebrities, but also, and more importantly, commented on the current social and political climate. “I’m givin’ Daniel Pantaleo a refresher course on excessive force and pressure points / And dressin’ George Zimmerman in fluorescent orange / Dress and four inch heels to address the court / With a bullseye on his back, his whole chest and torso / And left on the doorsteps of Trayvon’s dad as a present for him.”

“No Favors”: Earlier this year, Eminem collaborated with fellow Detroit emcee Big Sean on the record, “No Favors” and, in addition to taking shots at President Trump, he took the opportunity to diss right-wing pundit Ann Coulter and dedicated it to Sandra Bland and Philando Castile. “That’s for Sandra Bland, h\* / And Philando*.”

“F**k Trump” Chant: Just this past August, at London’s Reading and Leeds Festival to a crowd of approximately 90,000 people, Eminem briefly spoke to the audience between songs saying, “I’m not about to stand up here and use this f****n’ stage for some kind of a platform to be all political and s**t ... but this motherf****r Donald Trump I can’t stand.” He then proceeded to go, “When I say, ‘F**k,’ you say, ‘Trump.’ The audience was more than happy to oblige.

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