Eminem got busy last night with a blistering BET Hip-Hop Awards freestyle that’s gotten mixed reviews. The verse was impassioned, and continues his firm anti-Trump sentiment — but his observations aren’t really groundbreaking. From undocumented people and immigrants to women denied reproductive rights, to “the Blacks,” to Muslims, to indigenous people, to Puerto Ricans suffering in the aftermath of hurricane season and more, there are plenty of groups who have explained in myriad ways why President Trump is failing them.
Hip-hop is no exception, as artists have come out against Trump in droves since his election. Killer Mike goes in on Trump and Pence all the time. Joey Badass dropped “Land Of The Free” on inauguration day. And perhaps most controversially, there was YG and Nipsey with “FDT,” a song that had the secret service on YG’s ass. All of that was lost on media personality Keith Olbermann though, who tweeted out that Eminem’s freestyle was apparently the moment that legitimized hip-hop music for him after 27 years.
His tone-deaf compliment immediately drew a backlash from people letting Olbermann know hip-hop is rooted in social and political commentary, and it shouldn’t have taken an Eminem freestyle (that isn’t even his best) to drill that fact home for him. His comment made him come off like the typical out of touch talking head that only associates hip-hop with crass misogyny and violence.
At this point, Olbermann hasn’t replied to any of the backlash. Hopefully, he’s at home listening to Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Dead Prez, and any other politically charged hip-hop acts. Also, it’s unclear what his “27-year” remark is getting at, but hip-hop is 40 years old. Just thought we’d enlighten the chandelier.