2 Chainz and Tim Westwood talk Eminem's importance on UK hip-hop culture.
2 Chainz has been on a tear lately. Not only did the rapper recently deliver one of his best projects in Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, but he also secured a spot alongside Eminem on the European Revival tour. It seems crazy, but 2 Chainz is actually getting better with age; by that logic, his upcoming Rap Or Go To The League may be his strongest effort to date. Now, the Atlanta legend has taken the time to chop it up with Tim Westwood, discussing his new music, as well as "Chloraseptic" collaborator Eminem.
It's interesting. The writers over at DJBooth (who originally pinpointed the story) have highlighted the Eminem section of the interview, using the opportunity to take a few shots at Eminem and some of his fans in the process. Perhaps if one were to examine the exchange exclusively through a racially charged lens, it could be reasoned that a predominately white population would indeed gravitate to a familiar face; Em himself even touched on this phenomenon on The Eminem Show's "White America."
Yet such a conclusion undersells the Aftermath impact circa 2000, when the tandem of The Marshall Mathers LP and Dr. Dre's 2001 dropped; lest we forget, in many ways, Eminem's magnum opus belongs to Dr. Dre, who played a pivotal role in shaping Em's sound. It feels safe to say that anybody currently in their late twenties can remember the impact of MMLP, regardless of race. A great album is simply a great album, especially to somebody consuming it during their formative years. Sure, there are doubtless a few dubious characters in every fan-base, but even hip-hop legends like Kendrick Lamar, Redman, Jay-Z have co-signed Eminem. It's unwise to let a diminishing discography - or worse the idea of mindless, amorphous fans - completely tarnish an artist's legacy.
Digression aside, Tim Westwood seems to feel significantly impacted by Em, emphasizing his importance to the UK. "People really related to what he said. He just resonated in a way. He talked to people over here, just talked to them emotionally, man. And those fans? He’s kept for 10 years. "He just caught everyone's imagination. It was also, like, a generational thing. That was their rite of passage in hip-hop."
Seeing as Eminem is a legacy act, it's no wonder that fans still come forward to catch him live. It all bodes well for 2 Chainz, who announces his nefarious intentions on "stealing some of his fans." I don't necessarily know if stealing is the right word; it's likely that many will follow 2 Chainz willingly. As they should - the man makes great music.
Eminem talk starts around the 4:40 minute mark. Keep an eye out on that Rap Or Go To The League.