Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Bad Rap?

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Bad Rap?

Article excerpt

Rapper Eminem slings trash about gays (and everybody else) in his lyrics, But should we hate him for it?

Let's play the name game. Marshall Mathers is a rapper. His stage name is Eminem. And Eminem's alter ego is Slim Shady. He's three men in one, with an identity as mysterious as his beats are heavy and rhythmically complex. His rhymes are tense, witty, vicious, self-loathing, hilarious, and horrific. His brutal hip-hop hooliganism has earned unprecedented media attention--both scorn and praise. In response to his May release, The Marshall Mathers LP (Interscope), the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation objected to such lyrics as "My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge / That'll stab you in the head whether you're a fag or les.... Hate fags? The answer's yes." Meanwhile, Newsweek called Eminem "arguably the most compelling figure in all of pop music."

Let's keep playing the name game or, rather, the name-calling game. First, who's he calling "faggot"? Is it me? You? 'N Sync? The suits at the record company? Second, who's doing the calling? Is it Eminem? Slim Shady? Marshall Mathers? All or none of the above? …

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