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Eminem: "Hate fags? The answer's yes."

By Defect in Op-Ed
Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:30:09 PM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)

Marshal Mathers (aka eminem) has recently received four Grammy nominations, including one for best album. In a time where music, television, video games, and movies are blamed for everything that's wrong in our society, what kind of message is being sent by offering such praise to possibly the most openly hateful musician on the charts?

(potentially US-centric story)

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comments (24)
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So it's ok, no, scratch that. It's praiseworthy for someone to sing about killing his wife but when Marilyn Manson sings about the media and religion, he's blamed for causing the columbine massacre along with a ten year old video game. Some say that both are shock artists, they're only in it to rile people up, and that's hard to disagree with. But one adopted a relatively harmless, albeit offensive to some, method of shock, while one encourages the discriminatory problems that some of us have to put up with in everyday life. Song's like Kill You depict murdering of any and every woman (woman? wait no, i believe his term is "slut" or "bitch") he sees, let alone the raping of his mother.

I'm not against free speech, but what are people thinking offering up such public prestige for such obscene, hateful, violent lyrics? No doubt there have been plenty others who have been far worse than Eminem when singing, but when have any of them been brought into such limelight? Hell, the Insane Clown Posse's song I Stab People is about as violently blunt as you can get, but most radio stations and companies like MTV refuse to play anything by ICP. But they let Eminem slip by.

This is not a matter of censorship or free speech. This is not a matter of "if you don't like it don't listen to it. I don't. This is a matter of mass public appeal to hate-filled music. This is a matter of asking what the hell is going on. How can an album with the lyrics "hate fags? the answer's yes" possibly be up for one of the most prestigious musical awards in the US? Is this really the state that this country is in?


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More offensive
o Eminem 20%
o Marilyn Manson 5%
o Insane Clown Posse 5%
o Doom 1%
o Jokes about columbine 23%
o Slashdot 43%

Votes: 163
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Grammy
o nomination s
o killing his wife
o Marilyn Manson
o Kill You
o Insane Clown Posse
o I Stab People
o hate fags? the answer's yes
o Also by Defect

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Eminem: "Hate fags? The answer's yes." | 91 comments (85 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
Hipocracy (4.35 / 17) (#2)
by baberg on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 10:51:07 AM EST

So, then, you have made yourself out to be nothing more than an Eminem or Marilyn Manson clone. You put that title up there to get people interested in your story, and because of the typical emotional response that most people would have to it, you hope to draw people in to read your story.

The simple matter is, they're selling records. Radio stations play Eminem because their program directors tell them to, and they do not play ICP because they're not mainstream. Playing non-mainstream music is a sure way to get most listeners to change the channel. Here in Columbus, 99.7 plays Linkon (I think that's their spelling) Park and Three Doors Down to the point where I can't stand it. But know what? Most people want to hear it.

Where was I going? Oh yeah. Shock music has always been around. Remember how disturbing it was for Elvis to swing his hips? (I don't, but I've heard...) Remember how many people were offended by the song "Cop KIller" by Body Count? It's not gonna stop. And while I think there's a good amount of discussion material here, your hatred of shock tactics coupled with a use of that exact tactic reeks of hipocracy.

but that wasn't the point of the article (3.57 / 7) (#5)
by Defect on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:01:19 AM EST

the point of the story wasn't about whether or not shock was good thing, it was about the public acceptance and praise for the hate involved in the lyrics of the album. There's shock, and there's hate. Hate based on discrimination is generally shocking to most, as it is not a widely acceptable feeling.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
Shock vs. Hate (4.00 / 7) (#10)
by baberg on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:14:10 AM EST

So shock is ok but hate is not... That just begs me to ask...

How can you tell the difference? I say things to my female co-worker (I only have about 5 co-workers, and she's the only female) that are derogatory because she knows that I am not serious and that I only say them because it gets a rise out of her. Nothing blatant, just something like "You can't program because you're a girl". That's shock value (at least the first few times, she's learned to ignore me mostly) and I'd say a bit of prejudicial hate (albeit insincere hate).

In another vein, John Cooper was recently fired from Ohio State's football head coaching position (Thank $DEITY for that one). I've often said that I hate Cooper and described (sometimes in great detail) the things that I'd like to do with a chainsaw and his body.

I receive praise from my peers about this; they laugh, sometimes they applaud, and sometimes they give me a disapproving look, but then smile afterwards. I'm being rewarded for dispicable actions.

The point? It happens all the time. People are rewarded for bad things. Should it be this way? I don't know. Conquerers have always been rewarded for the killing of innocents. The action of slaughter is immoral, but is the reward reaped afterwards justified? That is something to discuss. But I have to get back to installing Linux here at work... Doesn't that tell you something? The first priority: get the network and X so I can go to K5...

[ Parent ]

Hipocracy (3.40 / 10) (#27)
by SIGFPE on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:54:23 PM EST

Hipocracy n. -cies (Gr. hipo horse) 1. government by the horse owning class (esp. knights or cavaliers) 2. a state governed by hipocracy 3. (fict.) government by horses

Hypocrisy n. saying one holds one belief while really believing something else
[ Parent ]

Linkin Park (2.66 / 3) (#62)
by Anomalous Squid on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:27:03 PM EST

For what it's worth (not much, I know), it's Linkin Park. Yes, I listen to them, and Three Doors Down too. Not bad stuff, if such is your musical taste.

-anomalous q. squid-
[ Parent ]

Music (3.00 / 1) (#81)
by baberg on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 03:22:07 AM EST

Thanks for the correction on spelling... had to make sure I showed that it was intentionally mis-spelled (instead of Lincoln) otherwise the grammer nazis would be on me, much like my mis-spelling of hypocracy.

And don't get me wrong... I like TDD and LP. It's just that the same thing that happened to Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Creed, and all the other good bands (aside from Barenaked Ladies). They get overplayed on the radio to the point where, when I hear it on MP3s or at a party, I just groan.

Anyways, I've been up for well over 20 hours, so it's time to go to bed.

[ Parent ]

"New Metal" (none / 0) (#88)
by dyskordus on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 12:22:42 AM EST

Although for different reasons, I dislike "new metal" bands as much as Eminem.

While I find Eminem to be incredibly stupid, I find Papa Roach, Three Doors Down, etc, to whiny and self-defeating.

When I'm listening to something I want to be at the very least entertained, if not inspired. I don't want to feel sorry for someone, or myself.

"Reality is less than television."-Brian Oblivion.
[ Parent ]

Grammies as praise (3.42 / 7) (#4)
by davidduncanscott on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 10:58:42 AM EST

Have the Grammies ever been about anything but sales? I don't recall, at least, anybody being lifted from obscurity by a Grammy, just popularity confirmed.

Why the stuff sells I sure don't know (of course, I like "Midnight Rambler" and "No More Tears" too, so maybe I can't say too much).

However, just as a sidenote, I once read an analysis of the work of the Marquis de Sade which suggested that his goal was not merely to titillate himself, but to bring home to his reader that in a sneaky way we'd rather not think about this stuff turns us on just a little bit too. I'm not real inclined to credit Mathers with a lot of sophistication, but I do remember "Short People".

As for Manson, I agree. He strikes me as about as dangerous (and as "deep") as Billy Idol ("Heh heh! He said 'dope show'!").

Bah. (2.36 / 11) (#6)
by inspire on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:04:23 AM EST

As far as I'm concerned, they both suck.

Whats with music these days - it's all complete crap now. Back in my day for a song to be successful there had to be certain elements of music. Like a melody, instead of techno-synth-shit being pumped out at deafening volumes, with some guy ranting on about utter nonsense.

The world sucks.
What is the helix?

The topic (2.25 / 8) (#7)
by darthaya on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:05:29 AM EST

It feels a little discomfortable. I still voted +1 but I was hoping someone could change the topic.

Hate presumption? The Answer's Yes! (4.55 / 27) (#9)
by Electric Angst on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:10:01 AM EST

Okay, you seem to only know Eminem from the radio, or one or two listenings to the Marshall Mathers LP.

If you had listened to the album closly, you would have realized that the entire song "Criminal" (from which you have clipped that lyric) is about the perceptions people place on him, and their inability to seperate reality from the fantasy of his record. He even goes so far as to admit he doesn't hate gays in that song (just to make sure there's no confusion). Also, considering his heavily homo-erotic alternative persona of "Ken Kaniff", and the fact that he brings him into play in this song, (not to mention pro-gay lyrics like those in "The Real Slim Shady") it should be clear exactly where Eminem stands on homosexuals.

The main problem is that people just aren't listening closely enough. If you payed attention, you would realize that the drug use, violence, and hate that fill the lyrics of Eminem are a fantasy, and a critique of the very real violence and hate that exists in the world today.

Like him or not, Eminem is without a doubt the finest wordsmith in hip-hop today (barring, perhaps Jay-Z.) His songs sound better and hit harder than any other emcee out there today. That's the reason his songs are played, and groups like the ICP afe not. It's not about shock, but about sound.

"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
from what i've seen yer right (3.00 / 3) (#70)
by YaRness on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 10:12:07 AM EST

i don't listen to a lot of rap, but the little lyrics i could understand of eminem's (especially that first big hit he had), he's is totally making statements about the media etc, not necessarily reflecting his person views with some of the lyrics commented on in the above article. a lot of his stuff is a lot like michael jackson's "just leave me alone" song.
"Assembly of Japanese bicycle require great peace of mind." Registered Linux User #188285 http://counter.li.org/
[ Parent ]
Glass Houses (4.25 / 12) (#11)
by Rand Race on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:17:48 AM EST

Are we judging music on its merits as music or for the "message" it sends? I don't agree with Eminem's message, I think it's puerile and juvenile. But I will be the first to admit that, for rap which I am not a particular fan of, he makes damn catchy music that is quite skilled (I'm sure Dre helps a bunch).

I'm sure the religious right would make this same argument if the music in question glorified homosexuality, but they would still be ignoring the music's inherent quality as music. I am unwilling to condemn music whose message I don't agree with because people with an opposing viewpoint could as easily condemn so much of the music I listen to. Even a piece of classic music such as Beethoven's 5th contains messages discernable to the connoisseur (freemasonic in this case) that would be viewed as offensive by some.

Let's not glorify Eminem's message, but OTOH let's not ignore his talent. These are, after all, musical awards not humanitarian awards.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

OT: Expand on the "5th" comment (4.00 / 3) (#54)
by gauntlet on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 07:15:52 PM EST

dah dah dah dummmm...

the free ma sonnnnnns...

No really, how, exactly, without being aware of Beethoven's personal beliefs, could a person read support for freemasonry in the 5th. (yee-haw comma splice) What exactly "sounds" freemasonic to a connoisseur? I'm really interested in the idea that distinct messages can be given through classical music without the use of language, and without knowledge of the context of the composer.

Or am I to understand that a connoisseur knows more about Beethoven than I, and so will be better equipped to see the messages he sends?

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Math, music, and fraternal organizations (2.50 / 2) (#72)
by Rand Race on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 02:49:34 PM EST

I'm going on what I've read and been told, I'm neither a good enough musician or mathematician to grok it myself. It's mostly mathematical apparently.

The most obvious clue is the opening Da-Da-Da-Dum which if read as morse code is dot-dot-dot-dash which is V which is the roman 5 which refers to Weishaupt's five stages of civilization (a freemasonic theory) according to many sources.

A buddy of mine who is a talented musician, a fair mathemetician, and who did his master's thesis on freemasonry claims the symphony is rife with freemasonic references.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

V (2.66 / 3) (#74)
by Refrag on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 03:31:37 PM EST

Maybe the V just stands for Beethoven's 5th?


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Problem? (4.00 / 1) (#87)
by beowulf on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 11:53:47 PM EST

Morse code was created long after Beethoven wrote his fifth symphony, so how could it refer to Weishaupt's five stages of civilization?

[ Parent ]
Well, I will be dipped in... (none / 0) (#89)
by Rand Race on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 09:32:25 PM EST

I just looked it up and you are absolutely correct. It doesn't neccesarily invalidate what I've heard about the 5th, but it certainly casts a doubt on it. I'll bring it up next time I go out drinking with my buddy who is in to this kind of stuff.

With some research I've found that even his membership isn't known for sure (link) although most lists of famous freemasons include him. Some scholarly works do address the question of freemasonry and Beethoven (like the first book on this page according to the blurb) and this page addresses Beethoven's conection with the Illuminati (I do not know how reliable it is, seems a bit wild-eyed in places). This page , which seems a bit more respectable than the last, says "It has been said that men such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Schiller are 'famous men in which they likewise see the Masonic hand at work.'"

Hmmm. Mysterious isn't it? As good a proof for being involved with the 'Illuminati" as any I guess. ;)

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

99% crap on air. (2.85 / 7) (#12)
by evvk on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:18:17 AM EST

It is strange how radio stadions play all this "I'm an angry teenager and hate my parents" crap and it seems to be perfectly okay. On the other hand, mentioning playing metal on the radio often results in the reaction "it is heavy and violent and worshipping of satan and there are subliminal messages ordering you to kill your parents and people don't want to hear it." Well, there are certainly bands with satanic influences but those are only a small subset. Progressive metal in general is much more intelligent and meaningfull than all the crap that is on the radio. Infact, the real reason for radio stations mostly playing crap probably is that the general public has a too short attention span to listen to anything a bit more complex ("4 minutes maximum length"). How many "normal" radio stations would play the 50+min masterpiece A Pleasant Shade of Gray by Fates Warning? Or a work of classical music?

Cool vs. Uncool music... (3.27 / 11) (#14)
by bi5hop on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:25:21 AM EST

Is what it's all about. Hip-hop is popular, what all the cool kids listen to. Alternative music is usually associated with the weird kids, geeks, freaks, and social outcasts. At least, that's what MTV and the rest of the media would have us believe. That doesn't make Eminem's music any less offensive, but they're being promoted as the music that "normal" people should be listening to. This leads to higher sales, and on to Grammy nominations.

I think there is a good point to be made about the double standard involved in saying some music is "bad" (NiN, Rammstein, Marilyn Manson), while accepting Eminem without complaint. However, in this particular article, I don't think the commitee that does the Grammy nominations can be associated with this. Eminem isn't being rewarded for their lyrics or cutting-edge, breakthrough musical abilities.

So, in answer to the question in your first paragraph, these nominations just prove once again that society in general will support the shiny, pretty, cool people and shun those who are extreme or different in an unpleasant way.
Michael J. Russell

Both wrong and bitter. (3.40 / 5) (#18)
by Electric Angst on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:42:53 AM EST

Here's an Eminem excert for you...

So read up / 'bout how I used to get beat up. / Pee'd on, be on free lunch / and change school every three months.

That certainly sounds like the words of one of the "shiney, cool people", doesn't it.

Not only is your comment factually wrong, but it displays a clear prejudice against an entire form of musical art. I would take the genuine rage displayed by Eminem over the middle-class pseudo-angst of most "alternative" bands any day.

"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
Read more deeply... (2.50 / 4) (#20)
by bi5hop on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:00:32 PM EST

What I tried to get accross, and apparently didn't for everyone, is that it's about image, not musical or lyrical quality.

I'm still looking for where you prove me factually wrong, but I'm not finding it. And keep that sarcasm coming, I eat it up thpppppt!
Michael J. Russell

[ Parent ]

Factual Errors... (4.25 / 4) (#21)
by Electric Angst on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:12:49 PM EST

Okay, here's the first error:
the double standard involved in saying some music is "bad" (NiN, Rammstein, Marilyn Manson), while accepting Eminem without complaint.
Have you been paying any attention to the popular media about Eminem. He has been almost constantly made a target because of his lyrics. There have been complaints not only from politicians, political activists, and the typical "this rock and roll is dangerous for the yungin's" crowd, but also by less enlightened figured within the music industry.

Also, to point out that the Grammys are about sales is kind of like pointing out that Microsoft is trying to make money. It's so obvious it's cliche. However, the way your rhetoric seemed to place the label of "geek" and "wierd" (oppressed) on alternative music fans while saying hip-hop is part of the "shiny" and "cool" (oppressors) is a major betrayel and belies a complete lack of understanding of hip-hop beyond what the alternative-oriented rock radio says about it.

Remember, in 1992, it was alternative that was getting all the airplay and awards.
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
Re: Factual Errors... (2.20 / 5) (#57)
by elemental on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 08:38:16 PM EST

Remember, in 1992, it was alternative that was getting all the airplay and awards.

Nope. Music ceases being alternative as soon as it's picked up by the mainstream labels/radio stations/etc.

al·ter·na·tive 3 : different from the usual or conventional

Real alternative music wasn't getting any more airplay than it ever has.

I love my country but I fear my government.
--> Contact info on my web site --

[ Parent ]
You can't hate religion (2.86 / 15) (#16)
by cbatt on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:38:16 AM EST

because it's well... part of the establishment... but fags? Well religion (catholicism, and many fundamental churches) hate fags. Therefore, it's perfectly acceptable to play Eminem. Same thing goes for the raping of "sluts", as they're just practicing the most evil of all things (according to those same religions) and therefore are worthy of derision.

The point is, Marilyn Manson is really about anti-establishment and Eminem is about enforcing the establishment, insofar as enforcing through simply agreeing (I'm not saying that he's a big money corporatist or anything). As far as I can see of course (I'm no sociologist).

Sorry to make this sound like a Katz piece, but it's how I see things.

Before you can understand recursion
you must understand recursion.

Speaking of your point.... (2.50 / 4) (#53)
by Captain Derivative on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 06:24:59 PM EST

Well religion (catholicism, and many fundamental churches) hate fags.

Um.... no. I can tell you for a fact that the Catholic church doesn't, and probably not all fundamentalist sects do either.

Same thing goes for the raping of "sluts", as they're just practicing the most evil of all things (according to those same religions) and therefore are worthy of derision.

See above.

But then, what can I expect. After all, everyone knows atheists all hate people who don't agree with them and won't miss a chance to slam them. Or is it not OK when I fabricate things about your group?

The point is, Marilyn Manson is really about anti-establishment and Eminem is about enforcing the establishment, insofar as enforcing through simply agreeing (I'm not saying that he's a big money corporatist or anything). As far as I can see of course (I'm no sociologist).

Huh? Could you elaborate on this? I'm not sure how why you're saying Eminem is about enforcing the establishment, besides the fact that his music sells?

Hey! Why aren't you all dead yet?! Oh, that's right, it's only Tuesday. -- Zorak

[ Parent ]
woo hoo, a response! (see diary) (3.50 / 4) (#55)
by cbatt on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 07:37:39 PM EST

hate... strong word. The catholic church "dicourages" homosexuality. Better? Same goes for whoring (sluts... sexually wanton females... it's all one big pile, for most). (I give this point because I am way to lazy to go and look-up recent incidents where "hate", or "patronising condecension" are the more appropriate words)

As for Eminem and the establishment:

Big money, corporations, and upper-middle america are about being white and having old-money (read: money old enough to have come over on the mayflower with their quaker (fundamentalist christian) ancestors) or having strong connections to old-money. The media is owned by them, the real money is controlled by them, and so is the herd, by way of their massive amounts of resources (read: influence). This is not some illuminati conspiracy thing, they don't exactly hide it.

You do not hear their mouthpieces (read: southern baptist preachers and religious housewives against everything, etc...) speak out against the intollerance of homosexuality, whoring, or many other concepts. No, that is the realm to the almost powerless, but full of themselves, "liberal left". The conservative right speaks out against the use of inappropriate language rather than inappropriate themes, as a humanist feint.

Eminem, from his low birth, supports those things that help maintain the upper's inherited belief/power structures. Intolerance and prejudice. Why would they move to silence that. Heck give him a million, a cigar, and a grammy! He's the man. Unwitting pawn that he might be.

Now on the other hand, Manson is about tolerance, from what I know. About being a freak, on the outside, and rejecting the system. Something that our friend Katz would deffinately associate with. So of course, they aim to shut his pie-hole by railing against the satanism and other "inappropriate themes" in his product, rather than his language. The total opposite of the other.

I do however say most of the above with the tongue firmly in cheek. As it's most likely not some massive social engineering conspiracy, but rather the will of the masses. If the establishment is the herd, then the herd is getting what it wants: a message of intolerance. This is evidenced by the dollar vote. Again, Eminem is the establishment, and Manson is not (though he might once have been as he was a commercial success for a while), and the herd is fickle as there will be a new golden calf tomorrow, and who knows what message it will bring.

But then, what can I expect. After all, everyone knows atheists all hate people who don't agree with them and won't miss a chance to slam them. Or is it not OK when I fabricate things about your group?
Because I slam your socio-religious group, I must be an atheist. Thanks for educating me about what group I belong to! Without your wisdom, I might still be walking in the valley of darkness.

But I must concur, all atheists absolutely HATE any person that dosn't agree with them, about anything! Especially when it comes to favourite hamburgers. Atheists support McDonalds, all others are blind idiots unless they see that blatant fact. Check out #atheism sometime and mention the goodness of Wendy's if you don't believe me. Like sharks they are!

I am in fact agnostic though. A whole world of difference. I tolerate pretty much everything... except you! (and you too! and you! and you! and especially... you!)

I mean everything I say.

Before you can understand recursion
you must understand recursion.

[ Parent ]

And Another Response! (3.66 / 3) (#61)
by Captain Derivative on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:18:15 PM EST

OK, that's better. First, re: the Catholicism and homosexuality. You're correct that the Church doesn't quite approve of homosexuality, but definitely not to the extreme that your original post suggested. The official position is to distinguish between being a homosexual (which is perfectly fine) and "homosexual acts" like anal sex (which isn't fine). It's a far cry from implicitly encouraging the persecution of homosexuals, as you originally described. Same goes for whoring: essentially, hate the sin, love the sinner. As for the fundamentalist sects, however, I can't really speak for, since I do disagree with many of their views, and they do tend towards the intolerant attitudes you had brought up.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way:

First, I ought to state as a disclaimer that I haven't listened to much of either Marilyn Manson or Eminem, although I have heard a few of each of their songs. I don't listen to Manson, but that's primarily because I just don't care for that style of music, and I can't recall much of the lyrics, so I can't really argue one way or another what his songs advocate.

From what I've listened to Eminem (albeit a limited set of somgs), his songs are more of a criticism of intolerant attitudes than supporting them. He mocks the ideas instead of endorsing them. But like I said, I haven't heard the majority of his work, and it's also not one of the genres I usually listen to, so I could quite easily be wrong about that. But that's the perception I've had, and some other posts from people who have listened to him more seem to agree with this.

I think the interesting issue with all of this is how "everybody" (according to the media) is shocked, offended, appaled, etc. by Eminem, and yet "everybody" seems to be buying his albums too. (Insert appropriate definition of "everybody".) Maybe it's just because hip-hop-type artists are easier to sell than the style Manson performs, and the record labels are just selling what people want to hear. Or maybe it's something deeper and/or more sinister.

Finally, I apologize for that last bit of my previous post. It was indeed uncalled for. I've heard similar statements made by other self-proclaimed atheists (although usually aimed at the vague "Christianity" or even vaguer "organized religion as a whole") and I erroneously induced from that that you were one as well. If you peel away the flamebait, I had intended to attack the stereotyping of the group I belong to. My "claim" that atheists hate all opposed to them was meant to parallel your opening claims, and I certainly don't believe it. Again, I apologize for that attack.

And this time, I do mean everything I say.

Hey! Why aren't you all dead yet?! Oh, that's right, it's only Tuesday. -- Zorak

[ Parent ]
thanks... (3.50 / 4) (#64)
by cbatt on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 12:19:16 AM EST

for being courteous and not falling for the extra flamebait (w/cheese) in my last message. (unnecessary) Appology accepted.


Blah about Catholicism. That's really not the issue, though I do believe that their actions speak counter to the beliefs that you yourself purport. Again, far to lazy to back this claim up, so I'm ready to let it lay there if you are.

I should probably also disclaim that neither artist is in my current play list of favourites, but I have listened to quite a bit of their music. Maybe I'm getting the wrong message entirely from Eminem, and I can't quote anything here, but I do happen to believe that he's not exactly poking fun at intolerance and rather is supporting it. As for Manson, I'm very sure that he's about tolerance, though he goes about it in a very shock inducing way that might not exactly engender that opinion amongst others. If someone out there would care to enlighten my mind about the social outlook of either of these artists, please feel free to do so.

Concerning the marketplace... that's pretty much what I was getting at in the second portion of my response. The herd buys it because it wants it. The intolerance message is currently getting the dollar vote. Though I would also like to say that the "vapid, stereotypical male/female plastic people" image is beating the crap out of all other issues. Then again, maybe it is something more sinister... as I outlined in the first part of my response.

I always get the feeling that we're being manipulated on some level, so when I see something like this, I tend to knee jerk in that direction. There's this sense of the social cattleprod. But after I get off the crack pipe, I realize that it's far more likely to be scenario two.

Before you can understand recursion
you must understand recursion.

[ Parent ]

Separation of the person and the music? (3.55 / 9) (#19)
by pak21 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:45:21 AM EST

I think most people here (at least the rap-inclined), would agree that Eminem is one of the most talented musicians around at the moment. I haven't listened that closely to his albums, but his singles have certainly received a lot of airplay here in the UK, and I haven't (personally) been that offended by them - to take one case ('Stan'), to me at least, that wasn't glorifying anything - it showed the extremely screwed up way that some people can get about celebrities.

But... I guess there are people who might take this kind of stuff at face value. Does that mean we should take away Eminem's (or whoever's) right to a musical award? In my book, no. That's just censorship. The distinction which needs to be made here is between Eminem's music talent (lots) and his personality (which I don't know, so I won't comment on).

Can't have it both ways (4.21 / 14) (#22)
by Khedak on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:17:16 PM EST

So it's ok, no, scratch that. It's praiseworthy for someone to sing about killing his wife but when Marilyn Manson sings about the media and religion, he's blamed for causing the columbine massacre along with a ten year old video game.

Look, there's hatefulness and there's political correctness. I don't buy Eminem's music (or M.M.'s) but I respect their right to make whatever fucking music they want. You can't both complain about anti-Manson fanatics and in the same breath complain that Eminem's music should be shunned. Either people have the freedom to make the music they want, or you promote censorship. You can't have it both ways.

That said, you very accurately point out that it seems like 'people' want it both ways, what with this award, as you put it: How can an album with the lyrics "hate fags? the answer's yes" possibly be up for one of the most prestigious musical awards in the US?

The answer is: the music industry and particularly popular music are hardly the pinnacle of moral and ethical consistency, and these awards mean absoultely shit in terms of how good or bad the music is. There is plenty of much better music that is never considered for these awards, and plenty of very very bad music that is awarded. I'm not even talking about whether the music is offensive, I mean whether it has pure musical attributes like good melody, good use of instruments, talented musicians, talented songwriting, whatever. If you look to music awards as a gauge of good and bad music, that's too bad. If anything, this little occurance should keep you from placing so much stock in them in the future. Maybe they are not in fact based on what you think they 'should' be based on, but on more obscure features (like the opinions of whoever the hell makes these decisions, opinions that I can't even begin to analyze the basis of).

If you're asking what the hell is going on because someone said they hate fags, the answer is: there are many anti-homosexual people in this country. There are also many anti-semites, and white-supremacists, and black-supremacists, and other hateful people. There are also Christians, and Muslims, and Atheists, and Wiccans, and others, many these groups don't like one another. You complain because a guy wrote an anti-homosexual lyric in his songs and should be shunned. Well too bad! I don't agree with the sentiment, but if that's what he wants to write in his music, he shouldn't have to clean it up. What the hell is going on?

What's going on is that people can write whatever music they please, and you cannot (and should not) stop them. Besides, it's not as if he made a song that said "Hey kids, go out and shoot all the gay people. I'm serious: shoot them dead." That would be hate speech. Simply acknowledging his own (ignorant) opinion of gay people is not hate speech: it's stupidity. If you're worried about hate speech and hate mongering in the US, then there are many better places to start. Whining because Eminem won a music award is not one of them.

Endorse this! (4.00 / 6) (#49)
by aphrael on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:53:35 PM EST

If you're worried about hate speech and hate mongering in the US, then there are many better places to start. Whining because Eminem won a music award is not one of them.

I agree with you to a point, but here's the other side: if Eminem wins an award for 'best album' for an album in which he's bashing people, isn't that *to an extent* an endorsement by the award-granting entity of what he's saying? Even if you think it isn't an endorsement, can you see where someone would think that it was?

[ Parent ]

Endorsement (4.50 / 4) (#63)
by Khedak on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 12:07:45 AM EST

Even if you think it isn't an endorsement, can you see where someone would think that it was?

Certainly, and like I said I have no idea how to analyze the award givers or their opinions. If they endorse gay-bashing in general, that would be a bad thing, but my point was the author is trying to say something is "wrong with our society" because Eminem won a music award. I think that's way too broad a generalization. Perhaps the award givers should be more politically correct, or perhaps not, I don't really know what they judge based on, and as I said before I don't consider music awards in general to be a reliable standard of... well, anything.

So yes, maybe it could be construed as an endorsement. Does that fact that the award givers endorsed an album containing lyrics that describe the singer's hatred of gays mean that they endorse gay-bashing in general? No. Should people be concerned with the opinions of the award givers? No.

As I pointed out before, even if the award givers are indeed anti-homosexual zealots, they're allowed to be, as long as they don't break any laws (like certain forms of hate speech, or committing vandalism or violence). However, if they author were trying to say that the award givers have an anti-gay bias, he might have had a point, but I don't think he (or anyone else) can draw that conclusion.

The point the author was trying to make was that this award is indicative of a general societal apathy to the reality of anti-gay hate in this country, and that we should all be upset and concerned that Eminem could win such an award. My response is that this award is inconsequential in terms of anti-gay hate activities and biases in this country, and the author's response is an overreaction: there are other groups that are much more offensive and dangerous.

[ Parent ]
an official comment (4.00 / 12) (#23)
by h2odragon on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:17:47 PM EST

"He's got some pretty screwed up ideas in his head, and that's why this record is probably the most repugnant record of the year, but in a lot of ways it's also one of the more remarkable records of the year.''

-- MICHAEL GREENE, president of the Grammy-sponsoring National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, on the violent and profanity-laden recordings of controversial rapper EMINEM.

Bipolar opposite to Political Correctness (4.77 / 22) (#24)
by lucas on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:36:14 PM EST

I think Marshall Mathers is a year older than me, but we grew up listening to the same stuff. I liked NWA when I was 12, listening to stuff like "F*ckthapolice"... I listened to other stuff, too, but I mean, I was a white guy who, until middle school, went to school in the inner-city... so I really didn't feel alienated by listening to the Geto Boys talk about making some "nigga read these Nikes" or whatever because I'd seen it everyday, and not just from a 3rd party perspective -- I was repeatedly stomped for being the White Kid. It's a tough environment and teachers have no control.

I also loved to listen to Public Enemy, even when they called white people (using Farrakhan's lingo) "white devils"... because I agreed; there is a high price to pay for censoring or repressing people... slavery, dictatorships, whatever. It's natural that they would feel alienated.

I find it funny that some people who are up in arms about conservatives censoring one thing also want to censor other things because of political correctness or because it doesn't represent what suburban white america is supposed to be. Before, it was "don't say that stuff because it will corrupt society" -- now, it is "don't say that stuff because it is not culturally sensitive, homosexual-friendly and/or gender neutral, etc."

There will always be people to disrupt language, even when you remap it to politically correct terms. "Homosexuals" was brought on as a better word than "fags", just as people started using "African American" instead of "blacks" to reflect sensitivities of the time. Rappers have already played this out, referring to each other as "niggaz", which was what the African-American community was trying to get away from in the first place. Aside from slang terms for homosexuality, what other sensitive words do we have left? They're next.

Music is still about upsetting the popular paradigm, and when that popular paradigm still reeks of censorship (as political correctness does), you will still get people who will subvert it. In rap, Eazy-E and NWA created an industry from it - why are Dr. Dre and Ice Cube still looked up to? They know the strategy. Eazy-E was the businessman who originally organized it until they all caught on and went their separate ways...

Are they any different from the "Satan bands" of the 80's or the Disco crap of the 70's or the acid rock of the 60's? Or, how about the self-loathing-and-lesbian-feminist rock of the Seattle scene when I was a teenager?

In the 90's political correctness was new, and saying (as Kurt Cobain and a lot of obnoxious Seattle grunge bands did) stuff supporting the riotgrrl movement or whatever was not part of the dominant paradigm. It was pretty controversial. Support radical lesbianism being the norm?

Now that it is integrated within society and people are halfway understanding, there will be people to poke at it because tolerance is in the dominant paradigm.

In essence, the fact that Eminem is poking fun at tolerance to begin with is a Good Thing... because if he had done this any earlier, people might have taken him seriously and agreed. The fact that people don't only shows that our society has come a long way from earlier times in terms of accepting people in a more unbiased and non-judgmental way.

The difference you seek (3.36 / 11) (#46)
by ObeseWhale on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:35:10 PM EST

Okay, so because African American rappers call each other "niggaz" that makes it "okay" for Eminem to call people "fags" and talk about how he hates them? Talk about a complete difference! Is Eminem gay? I seriously doubt it. And I know more than one person (including me) would be up in arms if a white rapper were to start calling African Americans "niggaz". Such an act would pass as nazi-ist behavior.

We don't want to censor Mathers, or at least I don't, but the fact is that a neo-nazi would not be getting a Grammy, no matter how popular. Why should a hate-filled homophobe be getting one?


"The hunger for liberty may he suppressed for a time; yet never exterminated. Man's natural instinct is for freedom, and no power on earth can succeed in crushing it for very long."
-Alexander Berkman
[ Parent ]
Interesting Spectator article on this (3.50 / 6) (#25)
by pw201 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:37:04 PM EST

Arts and Letters Daily had a link to an article in the Spectator about Eminem. Says he's just saying what teenagers say among themselves and that's why he's so popular.

It's not just a US article: we have Eminem here in the UK too. Alas for him, he was pipped to the Christmas number 1 by Bob the Builder. But now you can hear these rivals joined together in perfect harmony (only tangentially related to the story, but I think it's pretty funny).

Look at the details... (3.85 / 7) (#26)
by theboz on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:48:42 PM EST

Don't assume that he was nominated for his songs that are that offensive. He was nominated for songs that do make MTV and such.

The next thing is that I doubt that the Grammys have anything to do with the lyrics...he was not praised for writing that, but for how many people bought his CD's...which, were not necessarily for the songs you mentioned, but for the songs that were released as singles and made videos on MTV.

Also, whining about how bad it is for people to support him is unnecessary. Humans are evil by default. We have tamed down quite a bit. At least we aren't all going to the town square to watch a heretic get burnt at the stake, or going to watch a priest cut his penis at the top of the pyramid of the moon. I think people are too sensitive. I do agree that Eminem is an idiot who is offensive. But to cry about him won't make the problem go away. Go buy other music. This is certainly a matter of "if you don't like it don't listen to it." If it appears to you that the majority of people dislike homosexuals, and you do not agree, that is your choice. I am tired of people trying to force me to like everyone. I am not a bigot, but I realize there are differences in people. Male and females have a difference that is psychological as well as physical. We think differently, I live with it. When women tell men bashing jokes (there are many more jokes circulating the internet against men than there are women) I don't get offended. Being overly sensitive serves no purpose. I do think Eminem's lyrics are stupid. However, rather than getting offended I just move on. The people that try to force me to be politically correct when dealing with everything are the ones I am against. I am against people parading in the streets to say how much superior they are for being gay. That should be their own business, but some people put the issue in our faces more than Eminem every could. Murdering women is obviously wrong, as well as murder of men. Is it any less a crime to murder a man? No? Then why is there so little protest against people who sing about killing men, as there are many more songs on this subject than there are about killing women.

So...my response to you is to leave it alone and move on with life. There are too many things to do and to enjoy to waste time whining about other people's opinions. I find it extremely annoying to see people raising hell talking about how "rich fat white christians" are forcing them to believe this and that, but a "poor black lesbian"'s beliefs should be held higher than anyone else's. I hate politically correct and think everyone should be allowed to have their own beliefs, whether they are right or wrong. Only when they actually affect someone else should we consider censorship or strongly speaking out against them to intimidate people.


Grammy - the joke of all awards (2.60 / 10) (#28)
by evro on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:59:00 PM EST

I mean really, anybody who puts any faith in the grammys is really a moron, or simply 16 yrs or younger. At least with the Oscars, if you go see the movie that wins "best picture" you have a chance at seeing a decent movie (except for American Beauty which I thought was stupid). Grammy, well, they made a separate category for everybody so everybody wins their category. Best Female Vocalist In A Band Whose Name Starts With K. And it just depends on who sells the most. Eminem, whose popularity I could not explain if my life depended on it, is going to be "best artist" or whatever. I don't think I have agreed with a single Grammy selection in the past 5 years, so why should this year be any different?
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
Money (4.58 / 17) (#29)
by rusty on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:02:07 PM EST

One thing that (skimming the comments) no one seems to have mentioned yet is that the Grammys are all about money. Grammy awards go to artists that are popular, because then people will watch the award show, and the show will make money. Now, the question of whether popular music is actually the best music around artistically could be debated forever, so I won't even get into that. But Eminem is controversial and popular, and thus will be a good draw for the Grammy telecast. Simple as that.

What this whole argument misses is that your feelings about Eminem's content are pretty much irrelevant. Until teenagers stop purchasing rebellion and shock (not bloody likely), Eminem or whoever is currently filling the "shock-music" role will continue to be profitable. The "public prestige" of the Grammys has nothing to do with musical content or quality. It's an award the industry gives itself for making lots and lots of money.

About your specific complaints, though, I agree with the people who say that YHBT. Eminem knows he's outrageous, and pokes it in your face. To pull another quote:

"A lot of people think that I worship the devil, that I do all types of retarded shit. Look, I can't change the way I think, and I can't change the way I am. But if I offended you... good. Cause I still don't give a fuck." (from "Still don't give a fuck")

Not the real rusty
double standard? (4.50 / 6) (#50)
by SEAL on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:55:00 PM EST

I understand what you are saying, so in a way this post is more to the author of this topic. He seemed to be more concerned with the inconsistency of the music industry, and society in general.

Personally, I'd be perfectly happy if music was judged on its own merits, without concern to who might be offended by the lyrics. Instead, though, you can generally find one or two "offensive" titles which are topping the charts, while the rest stay buried. This boils down to the industry deciding that they expect X% of the market to buy this style of music this year, and Y # of artists will fill this demand. Then they pick the ones they want to push, and the teen-angst crowd buys them.

That's not to say that all teens are mindless drones. Some of them are going to buy music from those other artists that don't get the popularity nod. The lyrics of Eminem are the same old stuff repackaged. Compare that line you wrote:

But if I offended you... good. Cause I still don't give a fuck.

to a classic Suicidal Tendencies line:

... and if I offended you, I'm sorry but maybe you needed to be offended. Here's my apology and one more thing - fuck you.

Nothing new to see here, folks. It's all just a specific kind of music / lyric targeting a specific buyer. I really don't worry about finding any deeper meaning with society as a whole.

Best regards,


It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]

Good point, but not complete (4.33 / 3) (#79)
by ZanThrax on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 02:43:26 AM EST

The major labels most certainly do analyze market segments and attempt to sign artists to meet the demand that they believe exists. This does not mean that the artists themselves are marketing creations. Most popular artists started out making the music they wanted to make, and did their best to get signed to a label. Labels will mess around with their artists look and sound to a certain extent, (some more than others, of course) but the music is still more or less what the artist wanted to make to begin with. Of course, there are musical acts that are basically manufactured by their label, but the majority of the music that we hear comes from people who were creating what they thought was good, and got signed by a label who wanted an artist in that genre.

As far as the similarity to the Suicidal Tendancies lyric, well, there's nothing new under the sun. Just because he's not the first one to express the idea doesn't make the idea any less valid.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

What happened to having my own opinion? (4.40 / 15) (#30)
by h3lldr0p on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:08:37 PM EST

Okay, fine. You don't like what he has to say. That's your privilage. You don't have to listen to him. So why do people feel complelled to try and stop him and those like him from saying what he wants to? Last I checked, in the US it's still my right to do so.

Change the radio station.
Don't buy the album.
Get thicker skin.

The world ain't a nice place and it isn't going to change any time soon. There are going to people who say things you don't like where ever you go and whatever you do, so ignore them and get on with your life. Please.
And if you're actually worried about gasp! the children. Educate them. Spend time with them. Actually fucking raise them yourself. Give them a mind, and then let them choose for themselves, just like you. Don't try to take away my ability to choose what music I want to listen to just becuase you don't like what some of it says.

Even in victory, there is no beauty
And who calls it beautiful
Is one who delights in slaughter

Alright (3.50 / 10) (#31)
by Defect on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:20:11 PM EST

I reread what i wrote and still can't see how so many people misunderstood me. This is not a personal attack on Eminem, nor is it me upset that some half-assed hack is nominated for an award (well, nevermind).

The issue i tried to bring up was that his album was nominated as the best of the year. The same album that contains some of the songs i touched on above. I can see him winning an award for a single, or another somesuch category, as not all his songs are pure shit, but as an album much of it is filled with the most putrid, hate-drenched music i've heard, and that is what is up for nomination. That is what i found particularly unsettling.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
You know... (3.60 / 5) (#33)
by slaytanic killer on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:09:38 PM EST

Maybe you've touched on the reason why it should win the Grammy.

These are hate-drenched lyrics, not hate-drenched actions. There is a great deal to hate in this world, and sacred cows to destroy.

[ Parent ]
why shouldn't it be? (3.90 / 10) (#32)
by enterfornone on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:38:11 PM EST

Why should an album be up for awards just because you don't agree with the lyrics. The grammys should be ablout the quality of the music, not whether you agree with what the artist is saying.

Sort of like K5 comment moderation...

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
Well (2.12 / 8) (#34)
by Elendale on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:32:53 PM EST

Why does Eminem get recognized when others (such as Papa Roach, Marilyn Manson, NiN, and others we haven't even heard of) get ignored? One word. One really big word, the word that makes America in general run. And do other things too, which i will not name. Money.


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

note (3.33 / 3) (#38)
by cybin on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:12:22 PM EST

papa roach and NIN are nominated for grammies too. dig this.

[ Parent ]
Hate to break this to you... (4.16 / 6) (#41)
by tewl on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:55:39 PM EST

But Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Papa Roach are all nominated for Grammys, along with the Deftones, Creed, Rage Against the Machine, Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, Pantera, Slipknot, etc.

[ Parent ]
Yes but... (1.83 / 6) (#65)
by Elendale on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 02:19:10 AM EST

Will they win? No. Unless i'm mistaken (its happened before) very few non-big name artists (and by this i mean bastard^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hbackstreet boys and kin) have won Grammys. NiN doesn't even get played on MTV (WARNING: DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES CLICK THAT LINK. THIS IS YOUR WARNING) so how good can they be? Besides that, these are relatively popular artists. What about the people we don't even hear about? They aren't called starving artists for nothing. I guess my choice of bands was not the best, but i stand by my statement: the grammys are all about $$$. I remember being forced to listen to "popular" music (WARNING: THIS CAN CAUSE SERIOUS BRAIN DAMAGE, CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE YOU START) at work and heard three songs in particular that stuck with me. Not because of the songs themselves (they were rather unremarkable works of marketing and music manufacturing) but that they were presented as 'big hits' and 'best sellers' when, in all cases, these were new songs (not even available for public release yet) by the stations own admission. Little things like that tend to send me over the edge, in case you didn't notice.


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
NIN (3.50 / 4) (#75)
by Refrag on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 03:34:28 PM EST

Nine Inch Nails got tons of MTV play when I was in college. That damned Hurt video seemed like it was played 24/7.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

MTV (3.00 / 1) (#77)
by Elendale on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 04:33:09 PM EST

MTV may be different now than it was when you were in college (however long ago that was). MTV used to be the rebellion type channel but it has (to quote a /. sig) finaly completed its evolution into a shiny things network. I'm told, however, they still play good music at night (as in midnight). I have not seen NiN played on MTV for a long time. If you want something else, find the censored version of Papa Roach's "last resort". It was used by more conservative stations back when he was on top ten.


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
college (2.50 / 2) (#86)
by Refrag on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 10:42:46 PM EST

I was obviously in college when Hurt came out. :) I don't think it played rebellious content then. MTV mostly consisted of pop music, which NIN was then.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Eminem (4.66 / 15) (#35)
by Beorn on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:48:59 PM EST

A Grammy Award, (like an Oscar), is just a sales chart echo, and I couldn't care less who receives it. And I don't really care how Eminem truly feels about women and homosexuals. He could be a troll, a genuine nutcase, or both, but that doesn't answer why so many people love his music.

By analyzing his lyrics word for word, like so many critics have done, we risk not seeing the forest for the trees. What's really important here is the overall impression his music and image has on people, and homophobia is imho not a part of that. I didn't even hear the words until somebody pointed them out. Lyrics and message are not always the same.

The first thing that strikes me when I listen to the Marshall Mathers LP is that this guy is genuinely angry, in a punkish individualist fuck off kind of way. This is very refreshing in a musical world of pretty boybands and anemic rock'n roll, and this obviously strikes a chord with his fans.

The second thing that strikes me is that his attitude towards women is totally screwed up. Unlike the homophobia, this is an important part of the music. There are women screaming and dying in practically every other song. I don't think this is an act or a joke, the sadism comes through in so many different ways.

The third thing that strikes me is that the music is dark, disturbing - and very beautiful. I can't listen to it at work, I'm too shocked to concentrate. I'm not sure I like it, but I understand why so many do.

One example of the effect Eminem has had on people was the net rumour of his death recently, the way people reacted, (have you heard?!). What other death rumour would spread that fast by word of mouth? It made sense, like the fulfillment of a prophecy, and like a true urban legend it was too good to confirm before deadline.

- Beorn

[ Threepwood '01 ]

Oscars... (3.33 / 3) (#40)
by tewl on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:47:00 PM EST

Oscars are actually not a sales chart echo, and in my opinion, have a great deal more merit than a Grammy. If Oscars were a sales chart echo, Will Smith would have a slew of Oscars by now ;)

[ Parent ]
Don't get me started on Oscars (3.50 / 4) (#67)
by Beorn on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 05:34:47 AM EST

Oscars are actually not a sales chart echo, and in my opinion, have a great deal more merit than a Grammy.

Well, the Oscar awards aren't exactly sales chart echoes, (except the FX categories, always given to summer blockbusters), but it's still industry backrubbing of the worst kind. Don't get me started on what Hollywood has become unless you tolerate heavy swearing - I read the Filthy Critic too often to discuss this like a civilized human being. Let's just say I consider an Oscar award a huge, red blinking warning sign saying "Self-importantly funny and inspirational yet sad and tragic drama approaching - run while you can!"

- Beorn

[ Threepwood '01 ]
[ Parent ]

Hmmm.... (4.00 / 4) (#76)
by tewl on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 03:49:05 PM EST

I tend to (mostly) agree with the Oscar nominees, not always with the winners, but then again, I supposed I could be biased holding this degree in film and all. But you're right, Hollywood has become a cesspool, which is why I guess I'm heading into using my degree in Philanthropic Media, instead of just trying to make a profit.

What has always bothered me about the Oscars, is that there are actually TWO ceremonies, one with all of the hoopla, and the other usually a few days before for all of the technical awards, which I find much more intriguing and more deserved than the awards shown on television. Personally, I would rather see all of the people BEHIND the films, than just the pretty faces we are shown on Oscar night.

[ Parent ]
Ditto (3.00 / 4) (#48)
by aphrael on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:49:38 PM EST

I didn't even hear the words until somebody pointed them out

Me neither. Unfortunately I couldn't *stop* hearing them after they were pointed out, which killed some perfectly good songs for me.

Still, 'My Fault' has got to be one of the funniest pieces of music i've ever heard ...

[ Parent ]

I buried Paul (4.00 / 4) (#68)
by dlc on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 06:24:09 AM EST

What other death rumour would spread that fast by word of mouth?

Paul is dead, man. You have heard of The Beatles, right?

[ Parent ]

free speach (3.83 / 6) (#36)
by brad3378 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:03:38 PM EST

Let me play devil's advocate just for a sec.

Let's suppose that we had no "artists" like Eminem or Marilyn Manson (for the record, I don't like Marilyn). Let's suppose that the most controversial person in Entertainment was somebody like Jay Leno (just to pick an example).

Now, Who are all the self righteous people gonna go after?
Jay Leno of Course.

In a way, we need people like Eminem to protect our free speech. Yes, He does sometimes give us a good argument for censorship, but sometimes we need a few extremists to protect the rights of the majority.

Opposition is not censorship (4.00 / 9) (#42)
by noc on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:56:11 PM EST

In a way, we need people like Eminem to protect our free speech.

No, we do not. This is a common liberal argument, but it's pure fallacy. We need free speech to protect the right of scum like him to say what they want, without prior restraint. We do not , however, need to support hate speech. We should oppose it, we should organize against it, we should denounce it, we should boycott its purveyors, and we should keep our children away from its influence. We should try to create healty, vital, creative communities, where all are proud and respected.

Would we tolerate -- much less celebrate -- a propogandist who wrote songs explicitly detailing the killing of a black person, or a Jew? No, we would not. We would let him produce his hate speech, then we would speak out against it, and those who promoted it. We would not celebrate it. Why should we act differently here?

[ Parent ]

a nice point (3.55 / 9) (#37)
by cybin on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:10:28 PM EST

+1, i like seeing intellegent people talk about things like this (like us K5ers!).

i like the point at the beginning about how music (etc.) are blamed for being the things wrong with our society -- that is something that has never made sense to me. i think expression like eminem's indicates something fundamentally wrong with the culture that manifests itself in the 'art' (if we can suspend a decent definition of art for a moment) that is produced.

we live a fast life in america, and that way of living also reflects in the music people buy and listen to... what happened in 1990ish? there was a huge backlash against boy-bands, cheese-pop, and everything else the 80's brought on that was popular and people started liking dirtier sounding music like nirvana, etc. now we're back to where we were with the New Kids except this time it's N'Sync (with a republican soon-to-be in office? coincidence? voodoo economics leads to Menudo) but now we have large commercial rap markets too....

granted, eminem says he just likes getting a rise out of people... he does do that well... what i've heard of his music is also interesting in the sense that he is very self-aware -- he knows exactly what he's doing, and while he doesn't seem to really care (does an artist who doesn't care deserve credit?) it also makes for interesting discussion.

i'd like to say also for the public consumption that i think it's sad that american music makes its way into every nook and cranny of worldwide life (people listening to led zepplin in indonesia, for example) but foreign music is rare here. i just picked up a CD by a finnish group called Varttina -- it's great.

American music abroad (2.66 / 3) (#43)
by evvk on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:03:45 PM EST

> i'd like to say also for the public consumption that i think it's sad that american music makes its way into every nook and cranny of worldwide life

It is not like we get marketed (or even imported) all the american music or movies. (But most the MTV and Hollywood crap.) And, what is not marketed and thus may go unnoticed is usually the better stuff.

Another thing that is sad is that it is usually thought that for a band to be successfull abroad, they have to sing in English. The domestic market isn't that big for non-popular music, although we occasionally have even metal or otherwise non-MTV music as chart#1 (eg. Nightwish and CMX; and they still don't get that much airplay). Of those Finnish bands that I listen to, only CMX sing in Finnish.

[ Parent ]

i disagree... (4.25 / 12) (#39)
by starbleam on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:28:51 PM EST

you stated: "Some say that both are shock artists, they're only in it to rile people up, and that's hard to disagree with."

It's not that hard for me to disagree with it. He probably couldn't care less what people do or how riled up they get. He's doing it for himself not for everyone else. Probably for the same reason you post your thoughts on this forum. To vent. And the more people who hear someone vent, the better it makes that someone feel. Plus he's getting paid for it! If someone offered you millions to cut dow artists on kuro5hin everyday you know you'd be all over it! :)

you also stated: "This is a matter of asking what the hell is going on. How can an album with the lyrics "hate fags? the answer's yes" possibly be up for one of the most prestigious musical awards in the US?"

You ask what the hell is going on but you don't listen to the answers if they aren't what you wanted to hear. What is going on in that particular song is that someone is actually speaking their mind and being honest for a change. That's what he really thinks and he may be crazy and insensitive but he's not making up lies like your beloved 'mass public'.

Besides, homosexuals shouldn't care either way if some anti christ rapper badmouths them, should they? I wouldn't. And I doubt Eminem would care if a homosexual badmouthed him either.
Re: i disagree... (2.66 / 3) (#52)
by broken77 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 06:20:09 PM EST

He probably couldn't care less what people do or how riled up they get.

I could agree with this statement if Eminem hasn't already been publicly quoted as saying "I was put on this world to piss people off"...

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

"I was put on this world to piss people off&q (none / 0) (#90)
by starbleam on Thu Jan 03, 2002 at 04:30:09 PM EST

a) apparently he succeed (because you guys allowed it - it's not like you're obliged to get angry)
and b) his agent probably told him to say that to get more ratings (and apparently he suceeded at that too)
like he said when he won that award, you guys were the reason he got so popular, not the people who like him.

[ Parent ]
Anti-progressive (2.66 / 6) (#44)
by noc on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:06:14 PM EST

What makes this even worse is that this is happening in a time of such progressive revival (both musically and in content) for hip-hop and soul music. Disgusting.

Ummm... (3.80 / 10) (#45)
by Anonymous 7324 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:12:32 PM EST

Marshal Mathers (aka eminem) has recently received four Grammy nominations, including one for best album. In a time where music, television, video games, and movies are blamed for everything that's wrong in our society, what kind of message is being sent by offering such praise to possibly the most openly hateful musician on the charts?

Grammies and Grammy nominations are nothing more than musicians patting each other on the back, and kissing ass. It's merely a leg in the organized politics of the music business, designed to do nothing more than sell more CDs by creating interest, and possibly controversy. To expect the Grammies to make sense is useless, and for that matter, so is caring about the Grammies in the first place.

Listen to music on its own merits, not when others decide that an artist is good or bad. 'Nuff said.

There are two seperate issues here: (4.53 / 13) (#47)
by aphrael on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:48:36 PM EST

One of them having to do with eminem, and one of them having to do with the grammy's understanding of rap.

As far as eminem's offensiveness is concerned --- he's an equal-opportunity assailant; he attacks *everyone*. And he's funny, on top of it; while Marshal Mathers was darker than Slim Shady, my reaction to both was to laugh hysterically.

More interesting, though, is the question about the Grammys and hip-hop. Eminem was clearly the highest profile release of the year; and in some ways it was the most entertaining --- but was it the best, lyrically or artistically? Hell, were *any* of the albums nominated for best hip-hop album? I find it hard to defend that ... Spectrum was better, or Nia (ok, yeah, so I have a thing for Quannum); Like Water for Chocolate was great, as was the new J5 ...

What you see when you look at Grammy nominations for hiphop over the past several years is a pattern: they really only see the high-profile, popular stuff; the mass-market hip hop which is watered down to appeal to a pop audience. This makes sense; the people selecting the nominees aren't part of the hip-hop community; they don't live and breathe the stuff, and are no more qualified, really, to judge what is good *as hiphop* than I am to judge what is good *as country*. So they judge hiphop by the standards they think make sense, which lead to repetitive nominations of Will Smith (who isn't *bad*, by any means, just ... boring).

This seems to be more generally true of the grammys. How anyone can argue with a straight face that You're the One was one of the best albums of the year is beyond me (and, as a huge Paul Simon fan, I found this nomination more offensive than any of the others --- the album *sucked*, but nobody seems to have the honesty to admit it).

Awards shows (4.40 / 5) (#58)
by finial on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 09:53:20 PM EST

I know I'll be showing my age here, but I lost all interest in all awards shows in 1977 when Best New Artist of the Year went to Debbie "You Light Up My Life" Boone who won over Boston "Foreplay/Long Time" "More Than a Feeling" "Smokin" &c &c. (That was the year Hotel California and Rumors won the big ones.)

The awards - Grammys, Emmys and Oscars included - are not to recognize greatest achievement in the art, but to recognize greatest return on investment. When, in those rare cases a truly gifted performance wins over something that had a higher gross, it's characterized as a "surprise," a "come from behind" or a "dark horse" victory. Then there's the even worse case: the "sentimental winner," as Carlos Santana's awe-inspiring work last year was characterized. This implies that the work would not stand on its own merit and had to rely on sentimentality to win. While you could possibly make an exception for the technical awards, this is certainly true for the so-called major awards.

There are certainly exceptions to this, like Carlos Santana's win last year, and it's less true for the Grammys than it is for the Oscars and Emmys.

As far as Eminem goes, we'll see if he can stick around. My guess is that he'll either self destruct or become a Calvin Klein underwear model and go on to give a stunning performance in a high budget tragi-comedy staring George Clooney.

And as for Marilyn Manson, he should give up touring and get a gig on CNN's Crossfire or maybe sit in for Larry King. While I like his music, I liked it better the first time around when it was sung by Iggy Pop.

But in the meantime, I think the award really ought to go to David Niven's fridge.

[ Parent ]
Carlos Santana's awards (2.50 / 2) (#71)
by error 404 on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 12:10:37 PM EST

Kind of sad he had to wait so long, and then get them for a relatively weak piece like Smooth.

Relative to other music from last year, yeah, Smooth is a winner. But pop Abraxis on the turntable, and Smooth is B-side material. The guy has done much better.

Still, better late than never. It's not like he didn't deserve it.
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

SImpsons: (4.64 / 14) (#51)
by egregious on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 05:14:59 PM EST

Homer: (seaching for tip money for a bellhop and finds nothing but his recently won Grammy for his partcipation in "The B Sharps") Here...

Bellhop: Wow! An award statuette! Thanks mister! Oh... It's a grammy (throws grammy of balconey).

Grammy is thrown back with a cry of "Don't throw your trash down here!

Or the disclaimer in a show last season: "The preceding comments are not meant to reflect the opinions of the producers, who don't think that a Grammy is an award at all.

Summary: I didn't nail the quotes, but the sentiment it there and I whoeheartedly agree with it: The Grammy isn't an award worth anything. Ignore them because they don't reward anything but dollars earned and lack of artistry.

Wow, tangent, anyone?

From 'The Real Slim Shady'... (4.20 / 10) (#56)
by AdamJ on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 07:59:10 PM EST

More than a few people have quoted lyrics in this thread, I haven't seen these yet, but I think it sums up one of the reasons why Eminem is so popular.

(whoops. Heard another relevant one first..)

Will Smith don't got to cuss in his raps to sell records,
Well I do, so fuck him and fuck you too.
You think I give a damn about a grammy?
Half of you critics can't even stomach me, let alone stand me.

Too lazy to actually transcribe this verse, so I dug up on the lyrics from a page.. this looks like it's slightly altered from the originally, but it's the sentiment that counts. ;)

I'm like a head trip to listen to
cause I'm only givin you things
you joke about with your friends inside you livin' room
the only difference is I got the balls to say it
in front of ya'll and I aint gotta be false or sugar coated at all
I just get on the mic and spit it
and whether you like to admit it
I just shit it better than 90% you rappers out can
then you wonder how can
kids eat up these albums like valiums

Angry white guys sell to angry white guys.

And that being said, I love Eminem. ;-) (Who couldn't love the person who introduced you to Dido?)

Dido :) (4.00 / 3) (#80)
by jeffg on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 02:59:21 AM EST

Who couldn't love the person who introduced you to Dido?

I'm terribly sorry that you weren't introduced to Dido by someone more deserving of the association.

That said, I certainly hope that readers don't take your comment above as any indication that Dido didn't exist before being sampled in "Stan".

I have enjoyed Dido ever since being introduced to her by a friend. I recognized her music from having been in the movie "Sliding Doors", and enjoyed hearing more of her work.

mmm... Dido.

[ Parent ]
Oh, come on. (4.50 / 2) (#83)
by AdamJ on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 09:39:44 PM EST

I'm terribly sorry that you weren't introduced to Dido by someone more deserving of the association.

It worked as a perfectly fine introduction for me, otherwise I would not have been introduced to her.

That said, I certainly hope that readers don't take your comment above as any indication that Dido didn't exist before being sampled in "Stan".

I believe the majority of people didn't have any idea she existed until "Stan" was released. I'm a fan of several artists that seem to have a similar fanbase (Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos), and even then I had never heard of Dido until Stan.

[ Parent ]

Slim Shady needs an Eminenema (2.28 / 7) (#59)
by 0xdeadbeef on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 10:10:22 PM EST

Don't you realize all the little wanker wants is more controversy?

The best way to diffuse his message is to mock him. Destroy his credibility with the TRL set by exposing how weak and untalented he really is. He is nothing without shock value, so rather than get your panties in a bunch over stupid lyrics, ridicule him like the has been that he is.

I've provided some links for inspiration. First, there is this little diddy I saw on memepool. You simply must hear Scott Thompson's hilarious send up of Stan. Also, check out The Real Greg Brady and My Reply, both written by radio DJs.

It IS a matter of "YOu dont like, dont listen (3.42 / 7) (#60)
by Daemin on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 10:31:07 PM EST

Only reversed. Some people do like it, and do listen. And apparently enough of them do to win him an award.

One ocould just as easily cast this into a good light by saying "Here is an artist who, although sings offensive lyrics, has been welcomed into the fold and given an award rather then being silenced. Isnt it great that his first amendedment rights are so secure?"

Its a double edged sword.

But why did you stop there? Hell lets go on! What about all those movies that show violence? People killing each other? People fucking? Hell aving Privet Ryan had more gore in the first ten mins then id seen in all the movies that year combined! Why the hell did such a violence filled movie win awards? Thats intorlerable!

To seriously answer your question, he has the prestige already. THe artists that "win" (and i use the term very loosly) generaly do so because of a large fan base, well selling albums, etc. etc. Id consider the show no more then dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

The simple fact is, he is winning the award because he has fans, alot of them, and they like what he says.

Besides, denying hm the award would not alter the number of fans he has, nor would it change his opinion. Banning hate speech wouldnt make hate go away, it would just push it into hiding.

In closing, i like his music cause i think its funny. I dont take his lyrics seriously, and even if he is serious thats irrelevent to me. His preeching wont affect my opinon.

Society and the Media (3.60 / 5) (#66)
by exotherm on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 05:15:22 AM EST

I couldn't give a rats ass about what Eminem says in his songs, or that he won a worthless award (it's only worth something if you believe the hype), but that Eminem seems to be one of the many "individuals" encouraged by the media to behave this way. Apparently, Eminem isn't the first to stir up controversy, considering that people like Howard Stern and the folks at South Park (yes, I do watch their shows, knowing full well they're no role models) are huge successes. The problem I see here is that there are going to be copycats pissing people off just because it's "popular" (or they think they'll land a multi-million dollar record deal). Then, when they're being held accountable, they'll start bitching that "it's not my fault, pop culture made me do it!" Oh, sure, I don't mind true individuals voicing their opinions, but when masses of mindless, wanna-be drones start voicing "their" opinions, then it's gonna be difficult to separate them all.
Those who can are driven mad by those who can't.
Another quote ... (3.80 / 5) (#69)
by Philipp on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 07:48:49 AM EST

... from the very same song:
So much for quoting out of context. Maybe you should dig deeper.

alias kn 'killall -9 netscape-communicator'
Bzzz! Wrong! (4.00 / 2) (#73)
by Vladinator on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 03:31:35 PM EST

It's "Right Ken?" as in his fictional character "Ken Kanif" from Conneticut.

Also from the same song,
"Hey it's me, Versace, WHOOPS!
Somebody shot me!
And I was just checking the male.
Get it, checking the male?"
LRSE Hosting
[ Parent ]
Eminem to be topic on CNN tonight (3.00 / 2) (#78)
by bi5hop on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 05:43:23 PM EST

Thought this might be of interest in this discussion. I just saw advertised that Eminem's Grammy nominations will be the focus on "To the Point" on CNN at 8:30p EST tonight.
Michael J. Russell

God, what a vapid story (3.75 / 4) (#82)
by kumquat on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 04:50:53 AM EST

I won't even bother responding to most of what was written above, but I would like to point out, since you obviously completely missed it, that Eminem's recordings have also been huge critical successes. Yes, those same people who get disparaged for being elitist and never liking "popular" music overwhelming swarmed Eminem with praise for his work. No, not Time or The Christian Science Monitor, I mean serious rap and pop music critics.

Why? Because, among other things, he is one hell of a great rapper. His delivery cadence and the structure of his rhymes are fascinatingly complex, often coming together in the most unexpected and pleasantly suprising ways that can only be compared to great jazz.

So before you get lost in your own alarmist rhetoric, remember that Marshall Mathers displays incredible musical talent.

Eminem is a Great Artist (3.00 / 3) (#84)
by DJBongHit on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 03:11:50 PM EST

Eminem (a.k.a. Marshall Mathers, a.k.a. the Real Slim Shady, and whatever other stupid nicknames he gives himself) is a great artist... he has a ton of talent and the critics love him. He also is singing his message... are you saying that censorship is good? It doesn't matter whether it's TV, radio, books, magazines, or the internet, something that begins with censorship never ends well. If people want to hear Eminem, they will hear Eminem. Regardless of whether or not the radio plays his songs.

Also, the Grammies should not be about the message you convey in your music, it should be about the musical talent you show while doing it. Eminem has tremendous musical talent, and in my opinion, deserves to win a Grammy (whether or not winning a Grammy is a good thing is up to endless debate...)

This is not a matter of censorship or free speech. This is not a matter of "if you don't like it don't listen to it. I don't. This is a matter of mass public appeal to hate-filled music.
You keep saying that this is not a matter of censorship or free speech, but it absolutely is. To sum up your message: "I think that Eminem's music has a bad message, so I don't think that the radio should play his songs or that he should be recognized for his talent."

Does this sound like censorship? It does to me.


GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

Lame-o story. (1.66 / 3) (#85)
by nusch on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 05:53:18 PM EST

(potentially US-centric story) Eh? How so? This story, although continually stated as not being about free speech, is indeed all about free speech. how is that US-centric? Sapless discussion. I see you watch Hannity & Colmes on Fox News a couple of nights ago, too. nusch.

EMINEM OFFENSIVE (5.00 / 1) (#91)
by SHADY on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:33:02 AM EST


Eminem: "Hate fags? The answer's yes." | 91 comments (85 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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