My bad, y’all, I had planned to do our yearly wrap-up of the BET Hip-Hop Awards but dumb ol’ real life stepped in and pulled me away from the TV. It beez like that sometimez.
Of course the biggest news of the evening was Eminem’s cypher freestyle, where he blistered Donald Trump and gave all the morning news pundits a reason to talk about hip-hop for five minutes.
Here are my three takeaways from Em’s performance and why America needs to hear it:
Point 1: Anyone who still claims that Em isn’t one of the best to EVER do it needs to revisit this freestyle. And yes, I know it’s choppy and he occasionally trips over his words but that’s because this is a REAL FREESTYLE. Your favorite rapper reading lyrics from a smartphone is NOT a freestyle, that’s just poor public speaking.
Besides, what really carries this thing is Em’s passion – something that’s missing from a lot of music these days.
Point 2: I do agree with the critics on one thing though: I really wish these media talking heads who are acting like Em is the first rapper in history to get political would stay in their lanes. Jay, Kendrick, Rapsody, David Banner, Joey Bada$$, Lecrae and about a billion other artists have been speaking out for the past six months now, not to mention an entire generation of rappers before them.
This ain’t new. That’s hip-hop.
Point 3: Finally, I disagree with the mindset that Em shouldn’t be considered a voice for change in the black community. Look back at the history of the civil-rights movement – white allies helped fuel the push for sustained change. We can’t criticize black celebrities who remain silent while throwing stones at white celebrities who speak up. Em has the ear of white America, let him enlighten them.
Tl;dr: Eminem is still Top 5 Dead or Alive.
Watch Em put in work below.