Being an artist in this day and age is hard. Not hard in the sense that it’s difficult finding an audience, but hard in the sense that relevance is fleeting. One song or if you’re lucky album might be all you have to wax poetic on social injustices or your mental incapacity. Few have outpaced those fleeting moments. Even less have left our minds and came back as if they never left. Eminem is one of those cases.
Marshall has been an enigma that has influenced generations and frustrated the same. He has had legendary albums and to a lesser extent, lackluster ones. To be fair I am a fan. I love the insanity and passion he drums down into his music because that’s where I draw inspiration from. I can relate to his mental ricochet of volleyed words. That’s where he stands out. He has always gotten it. Even if it was in a roundabout way, he always seems to understands the anguish you are going through. A good artist makes you feel singular and yet whole in the grander scheme of things.
I remember when Em dropped some insanely long freestyle about Donal Trump right before the election last year. I wasn’t a fan to be honest. It felt long and in my eyes, a mess. But I had no idea this was a test run, a practice fight even, to gear up for this acapella assassination. I rarely watch the BET Awards and yet when word got out that Mr. Mathers would be tuning in I got curious. See, when it comes to freestyles very few people hold a candle to Em’s flamethrower. Lupe Fiasco comes to mind, but not many other people. Now you give Em 5 minutes? That’s a problem. And it was.
Eminem launched into a 5 minute lambasting of Donald Trump, his administration, policies, tan, and hair. He let loose with every simile, alliteration, and analogy known to man. There was even a pause in the middle to reset that kicked into more flames. Eminem destroyed him about his Twitter fingers, how he’s handled Puerto Rico, Colin, and his alleged wall. He brought in the Muslim Ban and his golf trips. No stone was left unturned.
This is what we missed in Hip Hop. Outside of 4:44 from HOV, where has Hip Hop’s social conscience been? Yes, K Dot. I can respect that. But we’ve buried J. Cole and his ingenious take on civil strife. Eminem has never cared about who he offends or who he calls out, and we’ve sorely missed that. To see him come out, unexpectedly, and drop this much needed freestyle, is literal music to our ears. Em pulled no punches, reiterating the fact that you can’t be a Trump supporter and a stan. Bold words from the boldest. But that is just normal for one of the greats who has had very few parallels through his storied career.
Are we getting a new Em album? Lets hope this is track 9.
Check out the freestyle below