By Brittney Hemmands
Blog Content Contributor
Like every other BET Hip Hop Awards, the Cypher was shown this year to give rappers a chance to showcase their raw talent. Eminem, best known for being one of the top American rappers and producers, debuted this year with a solo cypher that brought up an issue that has been controversial for months: Donald Trump’s presidency. Eminem did not hesitate to speak on his stance and feelings on Trump and urged those who were fans of him to pick or choose between supporting Trump or him. This of course sparked a lot of conflict between American people, especially those who felt uneasy about mixing politics with any other form of art or subject. This is no surprise, as politics tend to get people worked up; which results in the subject wanting to be avoided as a whole. This is also why I view Eminem’s freestyle as important and even essential in the time period that we are in.
Individuals have bashed Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49er quarterback, for kneeling while the national anthem plays during football games and have changed the narrative to be one of “disrespecting the country” instead of standing up for the endless racism and police brutality that happens daily. One of these individuals is the president of the United States, who also called white supremacists “very fine people.” In Eminem’s freestyle, he not only addresses this issue but he also supports Kaepernick by holding up his fist. He goes on to talk about Trump focusing more on the issues of the NFL instead of on the hurricane relief and even states “We love America, but we f****** hate Trump.” While multitudes of Americans are turning a blind eye to the reality of our country, Eminem’s rap brings the attention back to the issues that are not being addressed in a creative and shocking way. He used his platform to raise awareness and to remind people that you sometimes have to mix politics with what you love to get people to listen.
People of color are losing their voice in sports, in school, and on television because they choose to talk about racism. There has been an urge to silence people on Trump’s presidency and to keep the peace. This is why people like Eminem are speaking up, to give a voice to the people that are not allowed to have voices. There is nothing that takes more strength and courage than standing up in front of people and saying “this is how I feel, so deal with it”, especially when talking about a presidency that has left people more oppressed and angry than any other presidency. When a cypher is as powerful as this, we can count on a revolution. With racism on the front line, I stand with Eminem. Which side will you stand on?
Featured illustration by Melissa Monrroy.