Michele Catalano defends Marshall Mathers’ latest controversial lyric:
F- money. I don’t rap for dead presidents. I’d rather see the president dead.
There is no mention of Eminem wanting to personally kill the president himself. Which part of that do you not understand?
Furthermore, even if he did say he wanted to kill the president, it’s music, people. It’s a form of art, which is a form of self expression. Eminem haters, meet free speech. I don’t believe you two are acquainted.
I wouldn’t call Eminem’s stuff art, or at least not good art. Of course, I can’t believe hip hop and its variants have survived–indeed, become increasingly popular–for two decades. As the immortal line from “Next of Kin” had it, “Have you ever tried to hum rap?”
Still, this doesn’t rise to the level of threat. There’s clearly no imminent danger nor is Matthers inciting people to kill the president. (On a related note, I’m pretty sure that neither Bob Marley nor Eric Clapton actually shot the sheriff.)
But free speech works both ways. He’s free to cash in with lyrics like this and people are free to condemn him for these lyrics. It is, after all, not entirely implausible that some sick individual who idolizes Eminem will try to in fact kill the president as a result of listening to this. That wouldn’t make it Mather’s fault, of course, any more than Jodie Foster is to blame for John Hinckley’s attempt on President Reagan; but it is a fair subject for discourse.