My 11-year-old self sat there in pure shock, fully engaged at in the final rap battle of 8 Mile and how B-Rabbit, the protagonist of the film played by Eminem, had just lyrically destroyed Papa Doc, the film’s main antagonist. I looked around at my two friends, whose faces were also locked in awe, all of us realizing we had just heard more swear words in 90 minutes than most of our entire lives. Of course; my friend’s parents thought we had been watching Iron Man 2, not aware that we had just witnessed gang violence, illegal drug use, nudity and constant profanity — on a screen.

Now how did three prepubescent 11-year-olds that hadn’t quite graduated from Capri-Suns and Silly Bandz get a copy of 2002’s hardcore blockbuster hit 8 Mile? Well, to this day I will forever be grateful to the cashier at Blockbuster who accepted my bribe of 15 extra dollars for a DVD of the movie that everyone in my history class had described as “wicked cool.” At that time, I had mainly been into rock and roll, and as much as I enjoyed Bon Jovi and Aerosmith, I wanted to find another genre that would revolutionize my pre-teen mind. As fate has it, my brother introduced me to Marshall Mathers (aka Eminem) by showing me the song “Lose Yourself” via iPod Touch. From that day, there was no going back. 

His critics often cite that he is a misogynist and encourages illegal drug use. While his lyrics are certainly too explicit for any child, it is worth noting that many of his songs tell a story of his own tumultuous upbringing and how he beat the odds that had always seemed to have been stacked against him. Long before his major label debut album The Slim Shady LP went triple platinum, Mathers faced struggle after struggle such as being abandoned by his father as a baby, almost beaten to death by bullies during grade school, and constantly being ignored by the predominantly African-American hip hop scene in Detroit.

Despite rapping about purple pills and claiming to not be a role model, Eminem is no stranger from offering his two cents about America’s political atmosphere. Since releasing ‘Mosh’ in 2004, a politically motivated song that criticizes former President George W. Bush and his decision to send more troops to Iraq, Mathers has made it clear that along with celebrities, politicians are also fair game in enduring the wrath of his vicious rhymes. 

In yesterday’s BET Hip-Hop Awards, Eminem released a five-minute video appropriately titled “The Storm” where he bashes President Donald J. Trump, from calling him the “racist grandpa” to his lack of a response to recent tragedies such as the Las Vegas mass shooting and Hurricane Maria. Since its release, the video has gone viral, and celebrities and athletes alike — such as J. Cole, Lebron James and Snoop Dogg have all tweeted their support for Mathers. Most notably, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who started the #TaketheKnee movement and was referenced in approval several times throughout the video, showed his support for Eminem. Overall, “The Storm” unified many of those within the hip-hop community and at the same time created divide within his own fan base, considering Eminem said “F**k you” to any of his fans who supported President Trump — what a time to be alive. 

Since Eminem released his eight-minute political tirade titled “Campaign Speech” nearly a year ago, it’s no secret that Mathers has strongly disliked President Trump. Whether you love or hate Eminem, it is hard to deny that many of his points in the video were, in fact, true. Mathers may have never passed the ninth grade, but he sure as heck would’ve aced his social studies class, considering he is more aware of what’s going on in this country than many others are. He hits it spot on with several points on how President Trump disgustingly praises the klansmen at Charlottesville this summer and is too busy feuding with the NFL and NBA to shield the real issues going on in our country today. So thank you Eminem, for giving all of us a voice especially to those who don’t have one, because it’s like you said: we love our military, and love this country, but don’t support Trump. 

Akash Bakshi is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. How do you feel about the bars dropped by Slim Shady? Let Akash know by tweeting him @akashmbakshi.

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