In 2018, we have a president who proudly stands on a platform of blatant bigotry and a cartoonishly homophobic vice president who cosigns using electroshock therapy on gay teens. Eminem using the word "faggot" in any context isn't “edgy.” If anything, it's him being aligned with the establishment.
I love Eminem. I LOVE him. Hell, my DJBooth checks read “Resident Eminem Defender.” I can't take a shot of tequila at a bar without intensely whispering “...if you had one shot.” This should be a felony.
I’ve loved Marshall since I was a terminally nervous second grader and my mom let me get the clean version of The Eminem Show, arguably the most irresponsible decision of her career as a parent. As a depressed kid who boxed 12 rounds with bipolar disorder every night, I connected to Em’s intensity and his enthusiastic willingness to expose all his demons.
As a stand-up comic, aggressive lyrical diatribe like “'Till I Collapse” and “Rap God” are my go-to pump-up jams to get hyped before a big show, while Em's verse on Bad Meets Evil song "Living Proof" has provided the goofy soundtrack to my hectic life. Four days following its surprise release, I still can't stop blasting Kamikaze and letting my cranium spin at the verbal pyrotechnics.
So this is a message to my fellow Eminem stans: we need to grow the fuck up.
All weekend long, I read Eminem stans on Twitter defend gay slurs with the intense determination of Johnnie Cochran. As Abed from Community would say, "This is the darkest timeline."
It’s embarrassing to be an Eminem fan at this moment, knowing I'll be grouped in with a bunch of Cheeto-fingered Twitter goblins who defend homophobic slurs and have a temper tantrum whenever you say anything even slightly negative about the Rap God.
Idol worship pushes the best us to defend mortal men like they’re the second coming of Christ. But Eminem has said some horrific, unforgivable things in his career. And I’m not even talking about homophobia or sexism, I’m just talking about "Ass Like That."
Butthurt fans sound like an angry Trump on Twitter. “The Kamikaze review that Dumb DJBooth published is FAKE NEWS. SAD!”
This flavor of aggressive blind loyalty is childish and detached from reality. If you’re an Eminem stan, it's highly likely Eminem could curb stomp your cat, light your house on fire and whip his dick out at your grandpa’s funeral and you’d still be like, “HE’S THE G.O.A.T. THO!!!”
I LOVED Kamikaze, but I was beyond disappointed when I heard Eminem call Tyler, The Creator—a gay man—a homophobic slur on “Fall.” Yes, he was quoting Tyler, and yes, it was censored, but that means nothing. Bleeping out the word “faggot” on a rap record is like a bald guy wearing a really cheap toupee; we all know what’s under there.
I don’t believe Eminem has a problem with gay people, I think he just wants to push buttons. I love shock humor just as much as the next comedian, but Eminem is smart enough to find more creative ways to offend people. I don’t need to turn to my favorite artist to hear a 45-year-old white guy say hateful things; that’s why uncles were invented.
Fellow DJBooth writer and all around badass Donna-Claire Chesman penned a powerful article about Eminem's decision to use the word "faggot" on Kamikaze in her article, "'It’s Not That Serious': Why Eminem Saying Faggot Is 'That Serious.'" If you haven't already read her words, please click over to her article before you finish this one. It’s just like mine but it's way more intelligent and there are fewer dick jokes.
On social media, reactions to her piece ranged from laughably pathetic to downright disgusting. Slurs were shot around like spitballs in a kindergarten classroom by a bunch of man-children who responded to the article like it was an ISIS beheading video.
Countless people defended Eminem's decision to use the word "faggot" with “That’s just how he is,” but to me, that sounds like a cop-out. “That’s just how he is” isn't how you talk about a grown man who willingly uses slurs, it’s what you say about a dog who humps your leg and is too stupid to know that it makes you uncomfortable.
Not every Eminem stan is like this, not even close. I know plenty of Shady fans who wanna jump out of a window whenever they hear their childhood hero resort to homophobic bullying again. But the loudest, most ignorant ones are making a bad name for all of us.
I literally cringe whenever I see a neckbearded, Xbox-addicted Em stan throw around homophobic language on social media, casually shrugging it off as “everyone is overly sensitive but me.”
You’re embarrassing me.
You’re embarrassing yourself.
And you’re embarrassing your mother, who’s making your pizza bagels in the kitchen while you freebase Mountain Dew.
Eminem has made a career out of showing us all his flaws. He’s outlined his failings as a husband, a son, and overall human being. He’s owned up to and tearfully apologized for the lyrical lashings he gave Kim (“Bad Husband”) and his mother (“Headlights”) and constantly acknowledges when his albums take an L.
If you’re an Eminem fan, you’re doing him an injustice when you put him on a pedestal when he’s the first person to admit how flawed he is.
To properly get the point across, I've decided to write a letter to my fellow stans...
I wrote you but you still ain’t callin’,
I left my Twitter, my Insta, and my Facebook at the bottom,
I wrote a pro-Kamikaze article over the weekend, you must not have seen it,
You got offended by the comedic headline and decided not to read it”
There are four more verses and an uncleared Dido sample that I'll probably get sued for, but you get the point.
I love Eminem, which means I love him enough to treat him as a three-dimensional human being as opposed to a god who can do no wrong. Eminem still has some growing up to do, and from the looks of it, so do a lot of us.
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