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Eminem a Racist?

A few weeks ago Benzino claimed that he had evidence to prove that Eminem is a racist. I thought it was going to be some obscure battle audio where Em says "nigga" to his competition or something. Turns out it is much worse than I thought (listen to the audios). MTV reports:

The Source magazine owners Ray Benzino and Dave Mays held a press conference to play a recording of the MC delivering racial slurs.

On the first of two tracks purportedly recorded in 1993, an audibly young male, who says he's Eminem raps, "All the girls I like to bone have big butts/ No they don't, 'cause I don't like that n----- sh--/ I'm just here to make a bigger hit."

The second track, made in 1988, featured Eminem rapping about a black girlfriend he broke up with. "Blacks and whites, they sometimes mix/ But black girls only want your money, 'cause they dumb chicks," he rhymes. Later in the freestyle Em raps, "Never date a black girl, because they only want your money/ And that sh-- ain't funny."


Eminem doesen't deny that the second track is his, but explains:
"The tape they played today was something I made out of anger, stupidity and frustration when I was a teenager. I'd just broken up with my girlfriend, who was African-American, and I reacted like the angry, stupid kid I was. I hope people will take it for the foolishness that it was, not for what somebody is trying to make it into today."

What do I think?

Let's put this into perspective. First off, Benzino is pathetic. His influence has helped to ruin The Source magazine, which has become a joke in journalism and an embarrassment to hip-hop as a whole. Frustrated with his own floundering "rap career," he gained publicity from a feud with Eminem last year, and was lyrically beaten to a pulp by Eminem's diss track responses. It's hypocritical for him to call Eminem a racist when he encouraged his own white emcee to use the "N-word" on a song! If that's not enough, then consider that Benzino is trying to nail Em on lyrics that disrespect Black women yet he boasts on his own song:

Who the f*ck chicks think they are?
M-A-D-E pulls b****es cards
Hookas better meet us at the bar

So yes, Benzino is a lame. But that doesn't change the fact of what Eminem said on those audios. I'm disappointed that my hip-hop blog brethren have decided to focus on how stupid Em's accusers are without addressing the issues that this event brings up. Here are some quick thoughts:

1. Kill the double standard. Hip-hop embraced Eminem even though he made songs dissing his mother, killing his wife, and beating up gays. Should we be offended now that this White emcee has said something many other Black emcees have said without reprimand? Listen- lyrics that degrade are not cool, no matter who's saying them. We grown folks within hip-hop need to take a second look at what we condone in our songs. We've spent so much time defending ourselves from the powers that be that we've neglected to police ourselves. I'm not saying hip-hop is destoying the Black community or America or something dumb like that. But dag...you have to admit that 90% of the stuff pumping out of the industry is emotionally immature. Let's at least have an alternative for all of us over the age of 15.

2. Everyone says foolish things. If someone recorded my private conversations with my friends they would find me saying some really ignorant things about every race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. You can only judge a man on the whole of his character, not by a few sloppy words that were meant to be private. The Bible has wisdom on this. Ecclesiastes 7:21 says

"Do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you".

Those are just my sloppy thoughts. Here's what other people are saying:

Jay Smooth- "Em will surely take a hit in the short term, and he'll have to put in a lot of work cleaning this one up. But in the long run I'm sure he can work past this. Though I would never trivialize his usage of the N word or disparaging Black women, this really does sound like a frustrated, ignorant little kid who is in a very different place mentally than Em is today."
Supernova Juice- "I thought all you had to do was buy one of his albums to figure out he was a racist mysogynistic homophobe."
Micheal of Bad Samaritan-"Scott also said, and I’m not making this up, that “we've got to treat this the same way we treated Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, O. J. Simpson.” Okay, let me get this straight now because I must be confused, Tyson is a convicted rapist, Kobe is an accused rapist, and Simpson is an accused double-murderer. Eminem should be treated the same way these guys were treated?"
Psynorm- "i honestly think this is hilarious. not only are these retards gonna show up on eminem's next record (while giving him the ingredients he consistantly uses to DOMINATE the rap industry), but they're trying to claim this is somehow significant. he influences millions of people, and now he's racist...now we'll have millions of racists on our hands. jesus christ people, could you be any more desperate to latch onto to this guy's fame?"
Pink Rabbit- "Maybe no one cared that he's violently homophobic, but now that it's come out that he's racist, too, people will stop liking the bastard..."

November 19, 2003 in News | Link Me | Related Searches | Related Music

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» UPDATE: eminem from PsychoticNormalcy
thanks to a trackback from Diesel Nation, i have a whole slew of hip-hop blogs to surf and otherwise burn away the work day with. i've always had intentions of getting better grip on the industry, and now have diesel,... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 21, 2003 11:31:27 AM

» My 2 Cents on Eminem as a Racist from Move the Crowd
I thought I'd chime in on the Eminem controversy. Madison at Diesel Nation has done a great job of rounding up some pertinent information about this situation. And I generally agree with his opinions of Eminem and Benzino. My take... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 24, 2003 12:09:06 PM

» what more can i say? from Negro, Please Don't Hurt 'Em!
the negro please is back. [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 24, 2003 8:26:54 PM

Holleration

hey just wanted to drop some thanks on ya for the trackback. i dig your perspective...i'll be keepin' tabs on the site. i'd like to get a better grip on the hip-hop scene so i'm not writing anything too ignorant or outdated, so any suggestions are more than welcome.

Posted by: psynorm at Nov 21, 2003 11:06:00 AM

Hmmm...if we're going to start looking at the lyrics of rappers and criticizing them for it, I think I'll focus on the real mysoginy and the glorification of criminal behavior before I deal with 10 and 15 year old eminem tracks that weren't sold or marketed to the masses.

If we're looking at Marshall as a person and want to consider his character in regards to race matters, I would note that the proof is in the pudding. He employs, empowers, and supports a whole cadre of Black Folks and does it respectfully, genuinely and in a way that doesn't seem like he's "using" them for his own nefarious purposes.

And, in this instance, I'm not going to put him under a different microscope than other hip hop acts for what he says because he's white.

Posted by: Jason at Nov 21, 2003 12:54:20 PM

This is complete stupidity, someone out to get Slim, first off if Em was
racist why would he be dating a black girl to begin with! Second Slim will use this material to make double
platinum on his next label. Chris
Rock said it best, do not talk trash
about Slim!

Posted by: Dan at Dec 3, 2003 10:08:01 PM

I wish I had a comment on this topic, but I don't. I just reported it as I saw it, and definitely chose my words wisely.
http://vibe.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=124

Posted by: lynne at Dec 5, 2003 11:55:15 PM

Eminem is a worthless, imbeligerent cartoon character with no direction or value to the rap industry. The only thing he did was get white rock audiences to listen to his retarded, crack-headed lyrics since they were used to those kind of songs anyway. As for his racist comments - oh well, plenty of Black artists talk about cracker this - cracker that - ranging from 50 Cent, to Dead Prez. But that doesn't excuse his words, and even if he was intoxicated at the time, it just goes to show you the type of bigotry going through his small mind. Eminem is one very good reason why Hip Hop is not Hip Hop anymore; Benzino is another. Benzino shouldn't have anything to say, cuz his strength as an emcee is non existant, like his rap career. He should have stuck to dj-ing. Pathetic bastard.

Posted by: Concerned MC at Dec 18, 2003 11:38:21 PM

I think this article was well written. I am a Black Female and I take no offense whatsoever, especially since Black Males do it EVERYDAY and we all sing it together like an anthem. I'd like to name a few tunes, but unfortunately the comments requested no cursing.

Posted by: Miss Tiff at Jan 5, 2004 3:43:58 PM

miss tiff you said what i was going to say took the words right out of my mouth. I'm a blk female also and i agree with you 100%

Posted by: nikka at Jan 16, 2004 3:06:36 PM

first of all, to all these black women on this site: black mc's have never said black b----s, they may have said b----s, but they never put an emphasis on it. So please, please, please, please....START respecting yourselves more. the fact that you are even riding with this scandal shows your self value.

secondly, why is it that every time a white person goes against common principles, people start quoting bible scriptures to protect their necks. eminem has been offensive to a mass majority of people...including CHRISTIANS (e.g. Renegades on Jay-Z's Blueprint album)
so to defend him with a bible scripture is quite ironic. And just cause he said he was dating a black girl does not mean he really dated one. Wake up people

em should be hung--yes, i said it. He should be HUNG!!! Let racists tapes of Lenny Kravitz pop up and see what happens.

Posted by: mel at Jan 20, 2004 5:35:12 PM

What a disgrace we have made of the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. I love all of you like my brothers and sisters. F*** the color of mine or your skin.

Posted by: Phil at Jan 21, 2004 1:41:44 AM

Yeah ok now people. Eminem is racist? Sure he is, lets see......

Shit you might be right, I mean look at all these "cracker/honkey/trailer trash" no talent losers he's chiilin' with DRE, 50, G-Unit, D12, Jay-Z, DMX, P. Diddy, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg (they all white, see how stupid this argument is)....

Oh F#ck I gotta agree hang this Machiavelli poser...Umm no, lets try this.

1) Eminem is not a racist because of some 15yr old lyrics he wrote in a fit of rage after braking up with his girlfriend. 2)He said himself he will not use the "N" word for any of the songs he writes. 3) Now really open your eyes, Who's behind this? Answer: Benzino. He said himself he wrote(my ass he wrote anything)hiss first diss track because Em made 50 Million Dollars. Jealous dumb-f#ck, Benzino mad cause he ain't got the same skills. He says Em's got no game, Em turns and challenges him to a battle. Will Benzino accept, NO! Why? Simple this lil white boy would murder him. So Benzino can come up with Em being racist or gay or whatever, B's just talking shit.

Face it Lyrically Eminem is #1 in hip hop. His writing skills are bad-ass and cannot be matched by any of these haters. His diss tracks are far superior to any of his rivals, listen to them.

Hip hop is not "black" its universal, it has no color. Why should anyone try to claim ownership?
People in Europe and Asia are rappin' too, its all good.

By the way did u catch what I said on top "cracker/honkey/trailer trash". Are you telling me racism only works one way,should I be hung for those comments? If so, we gonna be hangin' a lotta men now aint we. White people are not all racist so don't be prejudice or ignorant.

He's the best thing to happen to hip hop, best thing since PAC and BIG so don't hate.

Posted by: -Zeen! at Jan 23, 2004 8:30:29 AM

Zeen, shut up.

Hip hop was "black and latino" a few years back, but now that they got a white boy in it generating a lot of money, now you "crackheads" wanna say that it's universal. Zeen--hip hop was started in the black ghettos in black america, and ain't no way in h--- are people gone settle for it not being OUR culture. Now, if other races wanna do it--fine! More power to them. Hip hop is a universal language, but a BLACK AND LATINO culture!!! Just like Spanish is a universal language, but derives from the spanish culture. Pay homage, no disrespect.


As far as that tangent you went off on by saying that Em is lyrically #1, that's bs. Em is not touching Scarface, Nas, and Masta Ace. You're just saying that because he's white and your role model, and because mainstream america shoots his garbage right to the top.

That's right, I'm riding with Zino on this one. The man has a cause and he's fighting it every step of the way. And if you REALLY listen to what he's saying, then you'll see that he's not racist at all.

Posted by: mel at Jan 26, 2004 1:48:46 PM

I'd like to elaborate on the spanish / hip hop culture comparison.

what i meant was. hip hop is indeed a universal language if you can learn it, but it derives from black and latino culture. The same as any other language (e.g. spanish, french, english, etc.) It is universal, if you choose to learn it. But each language derives from it's own culture. And you must have respect and discipline in order to truly master it. em's lost tapes shows NOTHING but utter disrespect to a culture that's not his own.

Now come back at me---ANYBODY. I dare anyone to challenge me on this subject. I'll prove you wrong.

Posted by: mel at Jan 26, 2004 1:57:32 PM

I recently just read about this whole eminem being racist situation just today and i was pretty shocked about the 10 year old tapes but to be honest i don't judge him, wether or not he really dated a black female i don't know and don't really have a comment for. However i would just like to point out that eminem did make strong remarks about woman in genral, homosexuals, and even his own family his mother mostly. My point is if were going to judge eminem on his lyrics, then he is a woman hater and a homophobic as well as a racist but since it's been made very clear that he is not a homophobic and woman hater, then the racial recordings doesn't make him racist either. I am not excusing him from it though i do think it was wrong for him to use the words he used on those tapes, however i don't see how any of us can judge him for that. The only one who can say for sure if he is racist or not is eminem himself

Posted by: andrew at Jan 27, 2004 6:22:12 PM