His album The Eminem Show has been one of the best selling records around the world this summer. But the white rapper from East Detroit has as many enemies and critics as he has fans. Is Eminem, as his detractors claim, homophobic and sexist? Are rap musicians like him a dangerous influence on kids everywhere, or are they just misunderstood geniuses? The answers to these questions, of course, can be found in their lyrics.
Since the first rap records emerged over twenty years ago there have been only two white rappers who have sold millions of records worldwide: the truly awful Vanilla Ice (remember "Ice, Ice Baby"?) and Eminem. On his new album Eminem acknowledges that his color is one of the keys to his success. "If I was black I would have sold half as much", he raps.
Eminem, real name Marshal Mathers III, crashed into the mainly black world of hip hop in 1999 with the number one hit single "My name is" But along with the fame and the fortune came the controversy. Students at the University of Sheffield in England banned him from playing on campus due to alleged ....