When American rapper and record producer Eminem (stylised as EMINƎM) gripped hip hop in middle America and started gobbling up pop culture in 1999, his transgressive works were accused of “promoting torture, incest, murder, rape, and armed robbery.” At the time, Billboard condemned him for making “money off the world’s misery” while culture warrior Lynne Cheney told a Senate hearing: “It is truly astonishing to me that a man whose work is so filled with hate would be so honoured by his peers.” It’s safe to say that if Twitter had existed back then, the rapper would have been cancelled in all universes belonging to the multiverse.
Over time, however, Eminem’s global success broke racial barriers to the acceptance of white rappers in the industry. ‘Rap God’ entered the Guinness Book of Records for featuring the most words (1,560) in a hit single as the icon made his blockbuster debut and went on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an estimated worldwide sales of over 220 million records.
As the best-selling rapper recently celebrated his 50th birthday on 17 October 2022, many fans continued to cast doubt on the origin of his stage name and the story of how it all began. Well, let’s set the record straight once and for all.
Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, first started writing raps when he was in high school. At the age of 14, he began performing with his peer Mike Ruby and the duo adopted the stage monikers ‘Manix’ and ‘M&M’ (an acronym derived from his real name). The rapper then sneaked into neighbouring high schools for lunchroom freestyle rap battles and attended open mic contests at the Hip-Hop Shop on West 7 Mile Road, considered to be ground zero for the Detroit rap scene.
During the early years of his career, Eminem also went by MC Double M—a title he used during the formation of New Jacks alongside DJ Butter Fingers (Manix’s twin brother). His birth name, Marshall Bruce Mathers III, has also cropped up several times in his work, most prominently in the 2000 studio album The Marshall Mathers LP and The Marshall Mathers LP 2 in 2013.
Then, the rapper went on to create his “evil alter ego” called Slim Shady which was notably more explicit than Marshall Mathers and Eminem. While Marshall Mathers is the side of him that raps about his hardships and frustrations while growing up, Eminem shows off his charisma and motivation. In contrast, Slim Shady addresses everything from violence and drug use to rape and poverty.
On these terms, fans have pointed out how songs like ‘Mockingbird’ and ‘When I’m Gone’ are works of Marshall Mathers, ‘Rap God’ and ‘Just Lose It’ belong to Eminem, and ‘Evil Twin’, ‘My Name Is’ and ‘Insane’ exude pure Slim Shady energy.
Back to the rapper’s initial stage moniker ‘M&M’. It was the name’s connection to a popular chocolate treat that subjected it to another period of refinement. It seems that the 8 Mile star preferred the look of the name when it was written phonetically, and so ‘Eminem’ was born.
Now that this important piece of musical history is addressed, I recommend you to think twice before tweeting claims like “I was today years old when I realised EMINEM stands for ‘Every Mother Is Nice Except Mine’.” Although the rapper in question wouldn’t care less, his alleged Illuminati android clone might have other plans.
Fifteen times Grammy Award-winning and controversial rapper, Eminem dropped his eleventh studio album Music To Be Murdered By in a surprise release. Alongside his newly released album, the rapper also dropped the music video for his new song ‘Darkness’, which depicts him taking on the role of Stephen Paddock, the mass murderer who claimed the lives of 60 people, as well as his own, and wounded over 800 during a Las Vegas music festival in 2017.
The video ends with Eminem watching a bank of TV screens with news footage recounting not just the Las Vegas shooting but other mass shootings that have happened around the US within the last four years. As the video ends, the US flag is shown upholding the message: “When will it end?” followed by the answer “When enough people care,” leaving us with a clear call-to-action urging Americans to register to vote so that we may “make our voice be heard and change gun laws in America.”
The fact is that President Trump chooses to turn a blind eye to the growing gun violence that continues to plague the US. His silence teeters the line of support as his infamous campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ is used as the premise for the pro-gun protesters and their cause.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence,” said Trump in response to the El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio mass shootings in 2019. My answer, and many will agree with me, is no, Mr President, video games are not the ones to blame. The real problem lies in the fact that it is too easy for mentally incompetent beings to obtain firearms, thanks to you scrapping a federal rule imposed by former President Barack Obama.
Science shows there is no direct link between video games and mass violence. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that in 2017, the year Trump was inaugurated into office, there were nearly 40,000 gun-related deaths—the highest it’s been in 50 years. Coincidence? I doubt it.
While some people should be allowed to carry firearms as long as they stay informed on how and when to use them by finding out more on where to find The very best pistol scopes available for example, others are clearly too unstable to get this right.
Trump failing to denounce white nationalism and declare it as a threat to national security and the violence that it produces is why we can no longer ignore his role in this growing epidemic. Not when shooters like Crusius (who was responsible for the El Paso attack) wrote and released a four-page manifesto that was full of hateful rhetoric and ideologies that have augmented under Trump. Crusius’ manifesto ‘justified’ this imminent attack as “a reply to the Hispanic invasion,” alleging Democrats of “pandering to the Hispanic voting bloc” and fenced against “traitors” while condemning “race-mixing and interracial unions.”
Additional statistics released by the FBI in late 2018 showed that hate crimes in the US rose by 17 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year. Approximately 7,175 hate crimes were reported and committed in 2017 and of those provoked by hatred over race and ethnicity, nearly half involved African-Americans and about 10 per cent were anti-Hispanic.
When it comes to intense political debates, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) provided more distinct results. Researchers found that in August 2017, the month of the violent brawl amid white-supremacists and counter-protestors in Charlottesville—when Trump infamously noted there were “very fine people on both sides”—hate crimes increased to 663 incidents, the second-highest tally in nearly a decade.
On 15 March 2019, a far-right gunman murdered 51 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. The gunman left behind a document identifying Muslim immigrants as “invaders” and Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Can you see the pattern?
In a tweet following a Trump rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, Barack Obama stated: “We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.” This came as a response to someone yelling out “shoot them” after Trump posed the question, “How do you stop these people?” in a conversation about border patrol.
Trump is what’s wrong with gun control. As the poster boy for white nationalism, he continues to renege pledges and rollback on restrictions while ignoring the Democratic’s call for tougher restrictions. His lack of accountability, his chosen sense of ignorance and his hate-filled rhetoric is a growing tumour that needs to be removed, and I haven’t even mentioned his climate change denial. His refusal to acknowledge fascism and the surge in white nationalist terrorism makes him an accomplice to murder and its perpetrators.
Until Trump holds himself and the modern-day Klansmen responsible for the violence that has become commonplace in the US since the day of his inauguration, he and his ‘brotherhood’ will continue to pose as an imminent threat to the citizens, more specifically to the minorities, of these ‘United States’. So come on Mr President, let’s put those Twitter fingers to good use—speak love, not hate.