Eminem has impressed some on Capitol Hill.
Long considered one of hip-hop's most reclusive figures, Eminem returned to the forefront of the global hip-hop conversation after his blistering cypher at this year's BET Hip-Hop Awards. Spitting some incendiary bars, the rapper targeted current President Donald Trump even more intensely than he had with his 2016 track "Campaign Speech," taking him to task for some of the most egregious moves he's made as the leader of the United States. He ended the freestyle with a nod to any fans of his who may support Trump, using a literal "f**k you" at the exclamation point. The bars in question are below.
And 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 you like more and you're split
On who you should stand beside, I'll do it for you with this:
Indeed, Em's performance was so powerful that it even has some Washington policy makers talking. Specifically, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison was asked by TMZ about this thoughts on Slim Shady's politically-charged cypher and, to his credit, Ellison sees lots of positives. He stated that the Michigan rapper, whose home state has seen a sharp drop in voter turnout this decade, could be hip-hop's equivalent to Colin Kaepernick, insofar as a figure that the public can rally around and, together, pursue real and lasting societal change.
"Eminem, and many artists, make an important cultural contribution," Ellison said. "We need to embed within our culture that voting is an obligation, is a responsibility and that, if you don't vote, that's not a protest. You can't boycott the vote." He goes on to say that, if you boycott the vote, all you're doing is empowering those who have a chance to usher in a political figure that a large percentage of Americans dislike, like stats have shown is the case with Trump. Of course, the issue of ease of access of voters is something that Washington needs to sort out for Ellison's words to really ring true, as well as the gerrymandering problem that plagues many districts. In spirit though, he's not wrong. Voters need to be heard and injustice fought against, and Eminem might be the perfect man to lead the charge for this kind of change in the hip-hop community.
Check out our list of the 7 most scathing bars from his cypher here.