Grammy-winning rapper Eminem opened up about feeling singled out as an outspoken white emcee during his early upbringing in the hip-hop in his “60 Minutes” special.
In his televised feature, Em explained his discomfort for being targeted over controversial lyrics.
Em also said he believes race may have been an issue in terms of thecriticism he has endured for his lyrics. Explaining that anti-gay slurs were cavalierly dropped in the hip-hop scene he came up in and citing the frequent use of offensive language by many other high-profile spitters, he said he felt targeted because he is white. “I felt like I was being attacked. I was being singled out and I felt like, ‘Is it because the color of my skin? Is it because of that you’re paying more attention?’ ” he said. “Because there’s certain rappers that do and say the same things and I’m saying and I don’t hear anyone saying [anything] about that.” (MTV)
Prior to the 2001 Grammy Awards, Em was cited for his controversial lyrics.
The Detroit rapper has been dogged by protest and publicity ever since the release of his album “The Marshall Mathers LP.” The furor was ratcheted up further after he received Grammy nominations for album of the year, best rap album, best rap solo performance and best rap performance by a duo or group. Eminem’s lyrics, which his critics have called violent, homophobic and misogynistic, are at the root of the controversy. A group of organizations led by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Organization for Women plan to lead a protest outside Los Angeles’ Staples Center before the February 21 live broadcast of the ceremonies. (CNN)
Over the summer, Em’s Interscope Records labelmate Yelawolf talked about hip-hop’s racial barriers.
“I still face it at every show, dog. There’s always somebody. It never fails, never. Until I’m selling out my own shows and I’m going to be demo-ing for somebody. And somebody is not going to like me because I’m a white boy on stage rapping and I look different. That’s something I will experience until everybody that came through the door came to see just me. I’m used to it though, when you’re traveling with groups, you just have to be prepared to deal with it. Do your best to snap and walk off the stage holding your nuts. Always! That’s how you got to be. I grew up in Alabama so I’ve heard and seen it all. Knowing your talent is probably one of the keys to be successful.” (VIBE)
Recently, Yela said he felt it would take years before white rappers could be treated equally.
“Years and years of great white artists. It’s going to take more classics from white artists that make international impacts,” Yela said about clearing out discrimination. “I mean Rock n’ Roll is black music, but there were plenty talented white Rock n’ Roll that just kind of made that line disappear. It’s going to take decades. It won’t happen in my lifetime. The odds are just slim for a white artist in Hip-Hop. This is a black culture… it’s just something you have to respect and appreciate. Have to be thankful that you’re able to do it. Do what you do and love what you do. You have to be passionate about what you do and let it live.” (All Hip Hop)
Check out footage from Eminem’s “60 Minutes” special below: