Eminem: The Baffled angry King [of Rap] Composing "Hallelujah"?
If the campaign of now President Donald Trump taught us anything, it was that, in America, a platform of hatred can propel you all the way to the top. Trump's arrival onto the political scene was so fast and furious, even veterans of the game were bobbing in the wake of it all. Trump found a way to strategically hate the right people - and get half the country to join him.
People tried to stop him, to be sure, but none ultimately succeeded. Next thing you know, everybody's scrambling to up their hate game. But Trump was miles ahead of everybody. By the time you could figure out if he had really mocked a disabled report, really bragged about grabbing a women's p***y, really said that there was blood coming out of Megyn Kelly's "wherever", or really claimed that he could stand in the middle of 5th avenue, shoot somebody, and not lose voters - he was onto something else, and YOU were the moron for caring. Who could keep up?
Enter Eminem. All I'm tryna say is get back, click clack, BLAOW.
On Tuesday night, Eminem debuted a freestyle rap video entitled "Storm" during the BET Hip Hop Awards. The rant, set in a parking garage, features a visibly upset, pacing Eminem spitting his lyrics towards the camera in a choreographed rage. In the background, several men stand in solidarity with Eminem next to four parked cars, lights on and engines running.
Eminem's fury is so disruptive to his own mind, he feigns an artistic false start.
"It's the calm before the storm right here...
Wait, how was I gonna start this off?
I forgot... oh, yeah"
Just when the audience is lulled into complacency, wondering if Eminem still has what it takes to match punches with President Trump, he launches into a diatribe so filled with venom it boggles the mind. Eminem somehow finds a way to rhyme through a fantasy in which he scalds Trump with hot coffee, stabs the "racist 94 year-old" with a fork and dagger, and throws Trump, envisioned as feces, against the famed border wall. It really was a rant like no other.
"He [Eminem] could cough for 3 seconds and it would go platinum on iTunes.", Joseph Kahn quipped.
In a world that stands waiting for the next notification alerting them to the latest hatred of our commander and chief - Eminem reminded us that the hate world is his, and we're just living in it.
But hate is like a heat-seeking missile. It just needs a warm target. Indeed, by the end of his freestyle, it is his hypocritical fans - those who can't decide whether to support Trump or Eminem - that are the target of his vitriol. Eminem shoves them off the fence of indecision by stooping down to stare into the camera, and raising his middle finger before screaming -
There is no room for disagreement with Eminem in his anger utopia. His right to be angry cannot be questioned.
"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"
Welcome to the worldview of Marshall Mathers:
You either hate with Eminem. Or you hate with Trump.
The cup of hatred Trump is being asked to drink was ladled from a vat of poison that's been brewing for a lifetime. Eminem has made violent lyrics against women an art-form. His lyrics brag of beating women unconscious, raping women, violent sexual encounters, sexual conquests with former girlfriends of celebrities, and in a song titled simply, "Kill You", of crushing a women's vocal cords in a choke hold. And that's just the most PG way I can think of to describe what the lyrics actually say.
But he doesn't stop there. Eminem's lyrics over the years have taken aim at anyone who stands in his way. Even his own father, mother, and ex-wife could not file for indemnity. Perhaps a line in Eminem's hit 2010 song, "Not Afraid" sums it up the best.
"f**k the whole universe."
Don't think for a second that you can get on the hate train and end up at the station written on the ticket. But just in case it still isn't clear. Just in case you thought I was cherry-picking some lyrics into a hate anthology - Eminem has a finger on each hand waiting for anyone who might dare visit his Twitter page. Marshall hates, and if you have a problem with that, he'd be more than happy to hate you too.
And all of this exists within the context of the national question after the Las Vegas tragedy specifically, and the Trump presidency broadly.
What can we do?
Many answers have been proposed. From prayers, to gun control, to impeachment, to kneeling, to boycotting. But the righteous indignation of Eminem muscles all contenders out of the ring. Go back to Facebook you wannabe haters, let a pro show you how it's done.
What can you do? You can hate.
You would think that Eminem's pedigree of misogynistic brutality would cause many to give pause even when this hatred is directed at the President - and many did. But the hatred rang true enough for those who, in Eminem, found a worthy contender for carrying the torch of hate across the finish line. Snoop Dog, Ellen DeGeneres, LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick (among others) all embraced the Eminem Doctrine - we must unite in our hate of Donald Trump.
So this is what it's come to on the greatest country on earth. Who can hate harder, better, faster, stronger? Who can hate the right people, at the right frequency - and who can rhyme and look dope doing it? Who will you be hating with when the secret button's pressed?
But the cathartic allure of hatred is a farce. The whole time you're trying to rise above somebody by out-hating them, you end up at the bottom - a slave of your own anger. You hope your well crafted production of hatred will deal a death blow, finally revealing your victim as a no-value fraud, but it is your own soul that is destroyed in the process, not theirs.
There is no room for hatred in the life of someone who has experienced the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. On the cross, Jesus prayed for those who hated him - "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
How was this possible? Where did this forgiveness come from? What happened to all the anger?
When Jesus rose again - conquering sin and death - hatred lost its stick. In Christ, God had put an end to all the hostility by paying for our sin, and was reconciling the world to Himself. Thus, along with Paul, we implore you on behalf of Christ: be reconciled to God!
Hatred is the great anachronism of our time. Because it doesn't accept that the wrath of God was satisfied on the cross (See I John 2:1-2).
I don't have to hate you - because God's hatred was spent at the cross. Jesus didn't just die for my sins only, but for the sins of the whole world. When someone sins - we no longer have to hate them. In fact, we can love them with the offer of forgiveness found in Christ.
Jesus wasn't willing to curse me - he was willing become a curse for me by being crucified on the cross. When you turn from your hatred, and accept the reconciliation with God offered by Christ, it changes your whole perspective. You are now willing to follow the example of our Savior. The apostle Paul expressed it this way,
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
No, the Jesus way is not a way of hatred. And no, it's not even a hatred of the "right" people. As if following Jesus simply means that you love the good guys and hate the bad guys.
We don't have to hate with Trump.
We don't have to hate with Eminem.
And we really, really don't have to hate with "Jesus".