A bright sun and clear sky may have graced Detroit, Mich. on Oct. 10, but that didn’t stop rapper Eminem from bringing his own storm in at full force. During the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards, a video aired showing Eminem blatantly attacking President Donald Trump on essentially every aspect of his morals and presidency during his five-minute Freestyle entitled, “The Storm.”
The setting for the video takes place in what seems like an abandoned parking garage – well, abandoned in exception for Eminem and his entourage. Eminem himself sports black sweatpants, a hoodie and a baseball hat, giving off the instant impression that the song is going to be dark. Eminem ensures audible and clear annunciation of each word slowly, so as not to be misinterpreted; however, though he spoke slowly throughout his piece, his aggressive tone retained the listeners’ attention.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, you may be curious as to why I decided to cover Eminem’s bash at Trump instead of other rappers who have shown similar patterns in the past, such as Kenan Thompson and Chance the Rapper, with “Jingle Barack,” and Kendrick Lamar, with “The Heart of Part 4.” The difference this time is, Eminem made a bold move; not to discredit the many other artists who have attacked Trump, but Eminem could possibly be the first artist with a large portion of his fan base consisting of republicans – not only because he’s white, but also because he’s been known to have criticized Bill and Hillary Clinton in the past, which according to CNN, he saw as hypocritical leaders. Eminem realizes he may lose a lot of followers for broadcasting such an aggressive, one-sided rap, but that is a pretty powerful concept. Eminem, being the artist that he is, holding as much acclaim as he does, decided to take a step back from the politics – no pun intended – of the music industry and rather than focus on “branding” himself on what he thinks will get him the most supporters, he decided to create music that reflects what he truly believes, regardless of the negative reactions he may receive.
At the end of his song he makes it clear that he doesn’t want a fan-base that supports Trump. “And any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his/ I’m drawing in the sand a line: you’re 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:/F**k you.”
Eminem’s decision to use vulgar language was not reserved for solely the end of the song, rather he made sure to scatter harsh word choices throughout his piece, further emphasizing his raw anger.“ Intensities heightened, tensions are risin’/ Trump, when it comes to giving a s**t, you’re stingy as I am/ Except when it comes to having the b***s to go against me, you hide ’em/ ‘Cause you don’t got the f**king n**s like an empty asylum/ Racism’s the only thing he’s fantastic for/ ‘Cause that’s how he gets his f**king rocks off and he’s orange.” Eminem raps this as he gestures to his penis, implying that Trump will never be as good of a man as himself.
He continues to criticize Trump for presidential choices, such as putting more effort into the NFL than hurricane disasters in Puerto Rico, for not “liking” military men who get themselves captured and for wanting to eliminate immigration. Eminem had one message in mind and wanted to ensure that he was heard loud and clear, “walkin’ on eggshells, I came to stomp,” he said.
Despite praise and appreciation for Eminem’s piece from Colin Kaepernick (who was mentioned in the rap) who tweeted, “I appreciated you Eminem,” and T-Pain who tweeted, “Protect Eminem at all cost,” the rapper also received negative feedback from critics.
“If good rap is rated as such on a rubric of originality, flow, subject, and emotion, Eminem won points only for passion and factual accuracy,” wrote Jeremy Gordon for The Spin.
Eminem’s music video for, “The Storm” has reached over 30 million views on Youtube, and the original tweet by BET Hip Hop has over 2.3k favorites and 1.2k retweets.