BAD RAP SHEET
Having just read Greil Marcus’s strained apologia for Eminem [August], I must say I’m more confused than angry. Let me get this straight: Because of the author’s own divination (because it’s certainly not there on Eminem’s record) that Eminem is “pulled toward the unknown, the unclear–the homosexual otherworld,” it’s, like, totally cool that he spew out hate speech…? Sheesh. Let’s set aside Marcus’s own noblesse oblige condescension in the article (rap is actually smart!). . . . All of the self-affirmative psychobabble in the world Marcus can muster won’t transform what is at best the latest Al Jolsonification of hip-hop. “Oh sure,” Marcus seems to say, “people will complain, but they just won’t get the joke.” I’ve gotten the joke before. I’ve danced to 2 Live Crew and bobbed my head to Geto Boys, because both actually transcend their subjects. Eminem doesn’t, and he flaunts that he never will, which makes him all the more annoying and dangerous. By not paying attention to the raps and the rapper himself, the article becomes a revisionist invective of Riefenstahlian proportions.
DANIEL NESTER Brooklyn, NY
[Printed in October 2000 issue of Interview magazine.]