Eminem delivered a pre-recorded freestyle at the BET Hip Hop Awards, a four-minute takedown of Trump. He jumped between the anxiety of nuclear holocaust apparently shared by members of the president’s cabinet, how white supremacy undergirds White House policy.
The video, titled “The Storm,” was filmed in Detroit as part of the BET Hip Hop Awards’ traditional cyphers, in which rappers typically aim to deliver showy verses in a group setting.
Along with Eminem’s sheer star power and Trump’s unpopularity, targeting his own fans is the fuse that has helped it explode. While it is true that the cypher represents the bare minimum asked of white people after the election — Talk to your racist friends, fans, and family members! Silence is complicity!
In the new freestyle, his defense of establishment icons like Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and the military next to the invocation of Kaepernick-style protest.
Eminem argues that Trump embodies how white people can get away with what black people can’t. Praising him as more courageous and engaged than the rest of hip-hop is, in many ways, worse than missing the point.
“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 like more in your split, on who you should stand beside, I’ll do it for you with this, f-ck you,”
Some people vowed to stay up all night just so they could hear Trump’s response to the rapper.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 11, 2017
“Now I gotta stay awake all night so I can see Trump’s cypher response to that,” commented one user.
You have to believe that Eminem’s anger at the president is authentic. But it’s worth pointing out that he might have hopef for a high-profile beef with Trump to promote his new album, Revival.