In the world of hip-hop music, white rappers don't really
seem to cut it.
3rd Bass, the Beastie Boys and Everlast of House Of Pain
fame have done it, even though the latter two have gone on
to pursue other formats of music. But remember Vanilla Ice,
Marky Mark, Lord Scotch, Jesse James, Chilly Tee, Blood Of
Abraham? Where are they now?
However, with the new millennium quickly approaching, things
are beginning to change.
There is a whole new crop of MCs, all white, all looking
to change the face of rap music. Check the lineup. The biracial
underground favorite Company Flow is led by rapper El Producto.
Wu-Tang Clan protégé Remedy is of Jewish lineage.
RA The Rugged Man was recently signed to Priority Records,
and a long-overdue 3rd Bass reunion record is in the works.
With Detroit's Eminem, the controversial protégé
of Dr. Dre, leading this pack of new musical hopefuls, rap
music had just better start bracing itself. It's about to
"My sh-t goes against the grain of the typical sh-t
you hear nowadays," explains the rapper, whose real name
is Marshall Mathers. "Something that someone else won't
say, I'll say. So, if people buy this album, don't think that
there's something that I won't say. I'm gonna say whatever
it is I'm feeling."
Eminem isn't concerned about people becoming offended by
some of the wild things he says in his songs. He's just being
"A lot of the sh-t I say is from the heart," Eminem
explains, "but some of it is just like vulgar humor.
It's just sick comedy. Anybody with half a brain is gonna
be able to figure out when I'm serious and when I'm joking."
Some may have taken the scenes in Eminem's "My Name
Is" video as a joke. But there's some truth to the clip's
portrayal of a channel-surfing trailer-park couple that excitedly
watches Eminem on TV, as that couple represents a portion
of the audience the rapper hopes to attract.
"I think that lower-class America is really gonna feel
it, 'cause it's some sh-t that I went through," says
Eminem, explaining how those who've experienced hardship will
relate to his music. "A lot of it is really sh-t that
I went through, and a lot is sh-t that other people went through...I'm
not the only one who's been through a lot."
As for the cynics and critics who constantly question his
rhyming ability solely because of his race, Eminem bluntly
suggests, "Eat a d--k."
He does admit that the taunting used to bother him. "But
something just clicked in my head," he begins. "I
think it was built up from everybody always testing me, or
just hearing sh-t [people said] behind my back. I got tired
of people telling me that because I was white I should go
into rock 'n' roll or something. I just got fed-up, like,
'F--k you! How can someone tell me that I can't do a music
that I have f--king supported since I was eight or nine years
old? I f--king helped make everyone else rich by buying their
sh-t, and now you're telling me I can't do what I love? I
grew up on this sh-t. That's f--king bananas.'"
As one of the most animated rappers next to Busta Rhymes,
Eminem's squeaky voice, elaborate concepts and outrageous
caricatures in the "My Name Is" video suggest that
he's interested in taking on the silver screen.
"I want to be up in that spotlight and be at that forefront,"
Eminem says, "so I can get a chance to speak my mind.
I want my chance to tell my sh-t. I feel like the bigger I
am, whether it be through movie, TV, or whatever, the more
of a chance I get to speak."
He may talk a big game, but with all of the hype surrounding
the release of his first project, is Eminem somewhat taken
aback by the immense response?
"I don't know if it's fair to say I'm surprised,"
he says unashamedly. But still, he isn't quick to take things
for granted, realizing a big ego doesn't automatically mean
big record sales.
Landing an opportunity of a lifetime to work with producer
Dr. Dre was more of a surprise to Eminem. Eminem is currently
aiding the good Dr. in finishing up his long-awaited sophomore
solo album, Chronic 2000 (Still Smokin'), spending anywhere
from two to five days a week in the studio preparing for a
summer 1999 release. Recent releases from Dr. Dre may not
have made much of an impact on the music scene, but Eminem
feels the founding member of N.W.A. is still at the top of
"Personally, I don't really feel like nobody could f--k
with Dre beatwise," Eminem offers. "I had other
offers on the table--I won't say which ones--but the Dre one
seemed the most realest. He was the most serious about it.
It was like he wanted to get in [the studio] and knock sh-t
out." The self-proclaimed "studioholic" says
he recorded four songs with Dr. Dre during their first recording
The excitement of having "I Just Don't Give A F--k"
and "My Name Is," the first two songs released from
The Slim Shady LP, achieve top 10 rap positions has kept Eminem
focused on his gift of gab.
"I don't know what's gonna happen," Eminem says
of what's in store for him. "I really can't say. It really
depends on where this rap sh-t takes me. I'm gonna go wherever
this rap takes me, even if it takes me to the grave."
By Todd Davis, Launch.com