I thought I’d chime in on the Eminem controversy. Madison at Diesel Nation has done a great job of rounding up some pertinent information about this situation. And I generally agree with his opinions of Eminem and Benzino.
My take is that I doubt that Eminem is a racist right now. I can accept Eminem’s explanation that he was just an angry kid when he said those words. When you read his words they come across as very juvenile and it’s seems clear that he was just venting steam because some Black girl played him. However, unlike some, I’m not the least bit surprised to learn that Eminem would say such things. Given his background (not to mention some of his other lyrics) I’d almost expect that kind of sentiment from him.
As Madison points out, if we’re gonna hold Em responsible for his words we have to do the same for other (Black) rappers. Which is more damaging, a lower class white kid talking shit about Black women or some black men dissing (what can be assumed to be Black) women? I say the latter, by far. Compare Eminem’s lyrics (which were never meant for public consumption) to the misogynistic lyrics on oh so many commercial CDs by Black rappers.
As for Benzino, I’m not sure what his goal was in releasing the Eminem lyrics. (I won’t get into dissing him… that’s already been done to death.) But if he was expecting to negatively affect Eminem’s record sales I doubt this method will be very effective. I doubt that the majority of Eminem’s (mostly white) fans will be moved enough by this to not buy his music any more. And if Benzino was trying to boost sales of the Source it looks like that may backfire too. He just can’t win from this.