Eminem has garnered great success over the years with his hostile and aggressive lyrics. His ill-humoured Slim Shady persona has strangely entertained many for so long without much protest of his homophobic and misogynistic views. Recently, look in a cypher to promote his album, Eminem takes it too far this time. The forty-two year old rapper threatens to punch songstress Lana Del Rey in the face.
“Bitch I’ll punch Lana Del Rey right in the face twice, like Ray Rice in broad daylight in the plain sight of the elevator surveillance/ ’Til her head is banging on the railing, then celebrate with the Ravens.”
The chilling lyrics are hard to listen to for many reasons but may be even more chilling for the women in question. Janay Palmar, wife of American Football player Ray Rice, was recently captured on camera being brutally punched by her husband in an elevator. The incident alarmed the world into the distress that women who suffer from domestic abuse encounter on a daily basis. To say that Eminem’s latest stunt is unpleasant to listen to is an enormous understatement. It is truly sick.
For years Eminem has been celebrated by MTV and other fundamental music outlets. His insensitivity to domestic abuse has long been a topic of discussion but nothing or no one has truly protested or done anything about it. Obviously Eminem is not the only rapper that’s guilty of misogyny in rap, but he’s by far the most ubiquitous. The music industry has always found some way to justify this behaviour. How have we as a society accepted this kind of music acceptable to listen to? How far must a musician go to upset and disturb their audience? Clearly not far enough because unfortunately this behaviour has been a while for a long time and there are a plethora of records degrading women. This rap titled ‘’Shady CXYPHER’’ is only a speckle of dust in this problem. We have always encountered demeaning attitudes towards women in music. Therein the problem lies. There really is not a lot we can do but to encourage that radio stations thoroughly examine music presented to them.
What irks people most is how blasé rappers like Eminem are about violence towards women. The inconsiderate attitude is frightening. There comes a time when we must ask ourselves as a whole; are we the ones who have created this ethos in music that it is okay to be homophobic and misogynistic in 2014? Many will argue that this is just a ploy to build up hyper for Eminem’s new album but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is we have a forty-two year old male rapping about punching a woman in the face. There is no other way to see it. Violence in music has always been a complex notion. Some including Eminem himself will claim that these lyrics aren’t ‘’that bad’’ and that ‘’there are worse lyrics out there’’. If that’s considered tame then maybe it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate the morals of today’s music industry.
by Chloe Murphy