I watched the video with an open mind, really I did. I even watched it twice. I tried to extract whatever "deepness" and "profundity" everyone else seems to be getting out of it. I mean, after all, the reviews I've seen of the video read as such:
"... the most powerful broadside against the administration since "Fahrenheit 9/11."
"Makes Fahrenheit 9/11 look like a GOP campaign spot..."
"Wow...this is the best thing that I've seen all year."
"The video they don't want you to see"
With all that hype, you'd think you were about to view something so wrapped up in profound insight that it'd make you want to go start a revolution. Well, that is of course Eminem's goal, but instead, it just made me want to take a sleeping pill, go to bed, and wake up on November 3rd. The "deepness"? It wasn't there. Mr. Mathers's somewhat feeble attempts to get across a supposedly potent message were just the typical rantings of our resident angry and bitter badboy and all the other Bush haters. The UK Guardian
"The video was first aired on MTV on Wednesday and immediately went to the top of the channel's "hot video" charts.
In it, the rapper leads a crowd of hooded people, including a mother with an eviction notice and a soldier given orders to return to Iraq, in a march to storm a government building. Once inside, the mob remove their hoods and stand in an orderly queue to vote.
Eminem, now wearing a smart suit and red tie, declaims in a style reminiscent of Martin Luther King:
"In these closing statements, if they should argue, let us beg to differ, as we set aside our differences, and assemble our own army, to disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president, for the present."
Sound familiar? It does to me. The goal is a simple one: empower the masses to vote to oust Bush.
Even my favorite sold-out Democrat blogger Oliver Willis
prefaced his comments on the video with
"It seems to be going in one direction, then pivots in the right way towards the end."
Yeah that "one direction" it was going was the typical unproductive whining that is common to Eminem. The "pivoting the right way" simply means that he's telling people to vote. How incredibly unpredictable
with less than a week until the election. Deep? I think not. Calculated? You better believe it.
As you can imagine, the hip-hop community is going crazy over this one. The video is being pumped up on MTV's TRL and online. Eminem has long been viewed as the "outspoken rapper" who'll say "what needs to be said" (and some). Oh he says a lot all right. If there's one thing Eminem's not short on, it's words. Four letter ones too. Hateful ones too. Vapid ones too. With his past attacks on gays, women, his wife, his mother (come to think of it, who hasn't Eminem had issues with?) we should take everything he says with a grain of salt. The boy is a walking ball of anger who likely has more issues from his childhood than he does with the Bush administration.
The video lacks substance and just plays into the emotions and other pre-fabricated drivel my generation has been told about this election. Unfortunately, coherency of thought, and a decent argument are not pre-requisites for whether or not people will take heed to his words. And interesting words they are. Eminem is just a yapper with a lot of influence. If you were to corner him in a room, chances are, he couldn't defend his own arguments with any knowledge beyond emotion.
Thankfully, even some of Eminem's fans are reailizing this. Alternet reports:
Nineteen-year-old Kelley from Apple Valley, MN has a different take: "I am completely appalled by Eminem's 'Mosh' video. He may have his own opinions about our president, but there should be no reason that he has to come out with this Bush-bashing video a week before the election. I am a huge Eminem fan, but this is extremely upsetting. I am also afraid that people will watch this video and be corrupted by what he is portraying, and that is a false image of President Bush."
But what do I think? I think the Right didn't play the hip-hop vote correctly. They should've accounted for this. People are going to drink the sand on this. Eminem's the only one doing the talking and the lemmings will blindly follow. I have heard but a peep and seen minimal effort on the part of Conservatives to reach out to the hip-hop community. I find it hard to believe that Conservatives couldn't find even one
inroad. Well I say it's going to cost them. Will it cost Bush the election? No. Not this time. I do believe failure to be more effective in their approach to gaining support from this generation is going to be evident in the polls. Make no mistake about it, the hip-hop generation isn't voting for Bush.
People want leadership and understanding. If Eminem qualifies, then clearly we have low standards. And regardless of how low our standards may be, or what the pseudo hip-hop leaders may be saying, people will be listening, and they'll be voting too. Yep. "Grand theft" for sure.
- Michele at "A Small Victory" lays some Eminem Smackdown
- Then again, as Cobb eloquently notes, Bush just may have the hip-hop vote. Heh.