Two of Detroit’s most visible musicians couldn’t be more different politically. A couple of weeks ago, Kid Rock took the stage with a faux U.S. Senate campaign and a series of politically performances at Little Caesars Arena.
Now, Eminem stepped up to the microphone on a national platform, and his video cut in a downtown Detroit parking garage has gone instantly viral across Facebook and YouTube.
The video is four and a half minutes of lyrical mass instruction that clearly outlines what Eminem perceives to be the hypocrisy and racially divisive policies of president Donald J. Trump.
The performance, aired during the BET Awards Cypher segment (that’s generally freestyle rap without musical backup), reminded me of the earlier, edgier days of Marshall Mathers where he punched fast and hard with his words in almost every track.
I’ve embedded the video above that’s simply shot, but it didn’t need fancy camera work to get its point across. Eminem is obviously agitated and draws a line in the sand around supporting Trump vs. supporting him.
A set of lyrics highlighted the recent controversy around some NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem (a practice that NFL owners are now plotting to ban) and contrasting it with Trump’s previous comments about Republican Senator and war hero John McCain and how he “likes people who weren’t captured”:
Now, if you’re a black athlete // You’re a spoiled little brat for tryna use your platform or your stature // To try to give those a voice who don’t have one // He says, “You’re spittin’ in the face of vets who fought for us, you bastards” // Unless, you’re a POW who’s tortured and battered // ‘Cause to him, you’re zeros // ‘Cause he don’t like his war heroes captured // That’s not disrespecting the military
At the end, much like Kid Rock who was very bright with his lines about who’s with him, Eminem drew a clear line in the same (edited for profanity):
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: // F*** you // The rest of America stand up // We love our military, and we love our country // But we f****** hate Trump
Wherever you stand, it’s clear Detroit’s musicians are front and center of the national political debate that has permeated every part of American life today.