"What kind of crazy fucked-up world do we live in where the best golfer is black and the best rapper is white?"
One in which Eminem drew a line in the sand tonight, if you're not with me, FUCK YOU!
This is everything today's "musicians" are against. They don't want to alienate a single potential audience member. Meanwhile, Marshall even takes the side of Kaepernick when Jerry Jones and the NFL want to keep teams down on the plantation.
But homey don't play that no more.
This was unexpected.
We had an unjust war in Iraq.
We had a "moron" elected President.
And nobody in music said a word.
But those days are done.
What the music industry won't admit is what it's selling pales in comparison to what's happening in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, label heads, touring honchos, all they want to talk about is politics, you can get nary a peep out of them re music. Because they're both fascinated and afraid.
But now Eminem broke the barrier down. Tonight he spoke the truth. Our truth. Isn't that what artists are supposed to do, speak their truth beholden to no one?
Expect the floodgates to open, just like women came out of the woodwork after Cosby got caught, after Weinstein got caught, we're a nation afraid of consequences until one person stands up, and no one's got as much power as a musician, but they don't use it, they're afraid of alienating sponsors, they want to make nice.
But Eminem did not make nice tonight, he put it all on the line, he's a beacon.
I lived through the sixties.
This is worse.
I was worried about getting my ass shot off in Vietnam.
Now I'm worried about being blown up by North Korea, latest news is their missiles can hit the west coast, but in a country where Puerto Rico can be devastated and no one cares, where Northern California can burn and no one cares, if you live in the Midwest or East you're far less worried, you're most concerned about terrorism, even though your chance of being killed by a stray bullet is much higher, and if you think the terrorists are coming first to Dubuque…
You probably voted for Trump.
Every damn day MSNBC beats up Trump. The NYT and the WaPo too.
And it makes no difference.
Every week Trump commits a faux pas, but nothing changes.
Except this weekend, when one of his team stood up and gave it to him, said the White House was a reality show and he was worried about World War III.
The world is changed by individuals. One person can change the course of history. Especially when they speak the truth.
So everyone's got their heels dug in. We live in a tribal nation. You're on one team or the other. Country acts can't even come out for gun control after their fans are shot to death.
But then one artist who crosses lines spoke up.
Artists are not politicians. They exist in their own rarefied atmosphere. Eminem speaks to both right and left, both adore him. So when he speaks…
Taylor Swift is fighting Kanye, Marshall Mathers is fighting for equal rights and world peace.
So now everybody's gonna see this, the entire younger generation, because hip-hop rules the country and Eminem is royalty. But instead of worrying about his bank account, tonight Marshall stood up for what's right.
And maybe you already agree with him.
But if you don't…
Are you gonna burn his CDs? Or delete his MP3s?
No, his video, his streams, are gonna live online, where you can't kill them, looking you in the face every damn day.
Tonight Eminem broke the logjam. One artist eclipsed the entire debate. Called foul on Trump and his cronies agitating for a return to the past, where the little guy without a voice is screwed.
The only person with a voice as big as Trump's is a rapper.
And tonight the king of rappers called him out.
Just start a tweet war with Eminem, Trump won't be able to block followers fast enough, that's the power of a musician.
And Eminem exercised that power tonight.
It's been a long time coming.
P.S. That quote at the top is from Chris Rock, ever wonder where I got it from?
More Eminem – By Bob Lefsetz
Trump's afraid to tweet back.
That's the power of entertainment, that's the power of Hollywood, that's the power of Detroit, that's the power of art.
My inbox is filled up with right-wing denizens decrying the work of Marshall Mathers. Saying he sucks, that it doesn't matter, that we must respect the President. They're no different from the older generation that hated the Beatles and supported the Vietnam War. They were on the wrong side of history, and Perry Como's been long forgotten.
You've got to be on the front lines. That's what the liberal elite just doesn't get, the faceless reporters for the "New York Times," the highly educated who know no one who voted for Trump. Then how did he win? Put your name on the line and you'll be subject to blowback, I get it every damn day.
I knew of Trump's power because when I denigrated him they came out in force, always with the same message, screw the poor, I worked hard for my money and Obama and Hillary are criminals, oftentimes with poor spelling, always writing "your" instead of "you're." And you can laugh at them, but they're ruling. Check out the landscape, it's not only Trump, Republicans rule D.C. and most states. Because the Democrats weren't working for them, or they just want to keep their money and they've been misinformed by the right-wing media.
You've got to watch Fox News. I listen on Sirius. It's like a totally different country. I flip between MSNBC, CNN and Fox on the satellite. Oftentimes big stories don't make it to Fox. And the hosts interrupt naysayers. And you'd think they had it so right if you didn't know they had it so wrong.
That's right, Fox, et al, have won hearts and minds. Almost no different from the Vietcong, it's hard to defeat indoctrinated people.
Kinda like this Harvey Weinstein thing.
As soon as I wrote about it my inbox overflowed with right-wingers wondering if he was gonna get the same treatment as O'Reilly and Ailes, saying that there was a double standard. Talking about donations to Hillary and Obama.
But Paul Krugman had it right:
"The Weinstein affair is giving us an object lesson in right-wing projection. I keep seeing outraged demands for liberal condemnation 1/
'Will liberals condemn Weinstein the way they condemned Ailes and O'Reilly?' they ask, presuming that the answer is no. But actually … 2/
Everywhere I look the answer is, in fact, yes. What we should ask is: 'Did cons condemn Ailes/O'Reilly the way they condemn Weinstein?' 3/
And the answer, mainly, is no. Excusing evil behavior by people on your side is what THEY do; they're just projecting it onto libs 4/
And they're outraged in advance over the false assumption that liberals are just like them 5/"
Those tweets were on Friday (@paulkrugman), and the truth is everyone on the left is excoriating Weinstein, he's done, how many on the right came out against O'Reilly and Ailes?
So hip-hop is the most powerful force in America. Rock is a joke and movies are too. Television is superior, but the biggest show, "Game of Thrones," is fantasy, hip-hop is real life.
And Eminem is hip-hop royalty.
It doesn't matter what Killer Mike says. Young Thug either. I applaud their efforts, but the America we live in is one wherein only those at the tippity-top have power. So the fact that nobodies, people far down the food chain, with a fraction of the traction of Mike or Thug, warbled songs against Trump is irrelevant, as a matter of fact, many were just looking for attention, but someone at the top, who is listened to, who has a broad audience, takes a stand and…
He or she can move mountains.
No one else has done this during the Trump Presidency.
Never forget, you can get away with anything as long as it's the truth.
And Eminem's screed was such.
And it doesn't matter that the cognoscenti watching television hate rap, the younger generation lives for it, it's a whole culture, absent from any other genre of music. People don't go from hit to hit, they're INVESTED in the sound.
And rap has been around for decades. So not only do you get the thirty and fortysomethings, you get the young 'uns, and they are the future.
And you've got to start somewhere. Kinda like with the Vietnam War. So many were for it before they against it. What turned them around? The culture, the music, the same music being listened to by the younger generation today. You may be pro-Trump but when your hero comes out and says the President's a doofus directing us towards danger you evaluate what he has to say in a way you don't evaluate the opposite viewpoint in TV or film. You believe in Eminem, you believe in the sound. And he's so passionate and pulling no punches.
So Donald Trump can attack NBC. Elected officials. But he doesn't dare mess with Eminem. Kinda like you can mess with the NFL but not the NBA. Because the slaves have taken over the plantation in the NBA, the players realize without their participation there is no game, and they utilized this leverage.
Whereas most musicians leave their leverage on the table. Believing they can accumulate the wealth of a techie or a banker they play it safe and whore themselves out with the result that no one believes them.
But they believe Eminem.
That's the power of hip-hop.
That's the power of music.