Kaepernick, others react to Eminem’s Trump freestyle

Adam Graham
The Detroit News
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Reaction to Eminem’s scud missile attack on Donald Trump during Tuesday’s BET Hip Hop Awards was swift and immediate.

BET’s YouTube clip of the performance, in which Em dismantled Trump over his stance on the NFL and other recent controversies, received 6.5 million views by Wednesday afternoon, a number that was rapidly climbing by the hour. (The video contains strong language).

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is mentioned in the freestyle verse by Eminem, tweeted his support, saying, “I appreciate you @eminem,” and linked to the video. Snoop Dogg sent out a video reaction to Eminem’s seething missive, saying, “Yo, shoutout to Eminem for saying some real (expletive) ... shout out to Eminem, Detroit stand up.”

LeBron James singled out Eminem’s comparison of Trump to the Fantastic Four’s Thing and said, “Sheesh!” while J. Cole tweeted, “Whoa. Rap God. @Eminem thank you. Potentttt.”

Liberal commentator Keith Olbermann was largely mocked for his response to the video when he tweeted, “After 27 years of doubts about rap I am now an @Eminem fan. Best political writing of the year, period,” which he followed with the hashtag, “#Eminem2020.” Twitter users took Olbermann to task for his lack of knowledge on hip-hop’s history, as well as his timeline of its beginnings.

Compton rapper YG stepped up on Wednesday and tweeted, “So we don’t get no credit for dissing TRUMP a year ago?” In 2016, YG released “FDT,” an acronym whose second two letters stand for Donald Trump (you can probably figure out the first), a track which was later remixed with verses by G-Eazy and Macklemore.

One person who did not weigh in was Donald Trump himself. But an old clip of the Donald supporting Eminem at a 2004 MTV event dubbed the Shady National Convention surfaced, where Trump introduced Eminem to a cheering crowd.

“Of course I’m right. I’m always right. I’m Donald Trump, I’m always right!” he said at the promotional event, a tie-in to Em’s 2004 album “Encore.” “I know a winner when I see one, and Donald Trump is telling you right now Slim Shady is a winner. He’s got brains, he’s got guts and he’s got Donald Trump’s vote!”

Well, not anymore.

In Eminem’s four-and-a-half minute barrage, dubbed “The Storm,” Em said, among many quotables, “We better give Obama props ’cause what we got in office now is a kamikaze that will probably cause a nuclear holocaust.”

Elsewhere, Em shows his support for Kaepernick and slams Trump for attacking NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

“Plus he gets an enormous reaction / when he attacks the NFL so we focus on that and / instead of talking Puerto Rico, or gun reform from Nevada / all these horrible tragedies, and he’s bored and would rather / cause a Twitter storm with the Packers,” Em says.

The video is date-stamped Oct. 6 and was filmed inside the First Street Parking Deck at Fort and First streets in downtown Detroit. The garage is empty, save for about 10 people behind him, including Detroit rappers Royce da 5’9” and Phat Kat. Em wears all black and sports a large gold chain around his neck.

He ends by throwing down a gauntlet to his fans.

“Any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his, I’m drawing in the sand a line / you’re either for or against, and if you can’t decide who you like more and you’re split on who you should stand beside, I’ll do it for you with this,” he raps, and concludes with an obscene gesture and a two-word phrase that was bleeped in the broadcast.

“The rest of America stand up,” he says. “We love our military and we love our country but we (expletive) hate Trump.” The final line is screamed.

This is not the first time Em has gone after Trump. Last year, he attacked the then-presidential candidate in his freestyle “Campaign Speech,” and during a series of European festival concerts over the summer, he led the crowd in chants of “(Expletive) Trump.”

Eminem’s new album is reportedly due out next month, although no official release date has been announced.


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