In a recent interview with Anderson Cooper, Eminem posed an interesting question: Why does he [Eminem] seem to be the focus of intense media scrutiny when it comes to his homophobic and sexist lyrics? Eminem wondered, is it be cause he’s white? That is, do people pay particular attention to his lyrics (as compared to other, black rappers) because he is white?
“I felt like I was being attacked…. was being singled out. I felt like, ‘Is it because of the color of my skin? Is it because of that that you’re paying more attention?’
Eminem’s question provoked a bit of an outburst in the media that I think reveals some interesting things about how race is dealt with in mainstream white media. Continue reading →
It’s one of the inevitabilities of music criticism that eventually, someone somewhere declares a formerly beloved genre dead. The movement usually goes something like: underground from first crossover, critically acclaimed innovation, further underground/crossover moments then a final “imperial phase” and then holding pattern as accepted – but not terribly exciting – part of the mainstream’s musical vernacular.
Counter-accusations fly forth from defenders, new evidence for the genre’s liveliness flourished, and so on. Defenders may point out that, like Denholm on British sitcom “The IT Crowd” declaring war on STRESS, the critical declaration may itself be something of an attempt to cause the very thing it is lamented – the death of the genre. Much like Michael Jackson in his final years or The Rolling Stones any time after 1980, living past your prime is just embarrassing. Continue reading →