Eminem, a rebel with a cause

Each century has its rebels.
Although he is so often described as sugarcoated by Catholics, Jesus of Nazareth was certainly a rebel against Phariseans’ hypocrisy.
At his time, Martin Luther was a rebel against Catholic Church. He was against social injustice and the exploitation of poor people.
Marcus Garvey is a symbol of rebellion against slavery and the exploitation of Blacks by White people . At the time Jamaica was still a colony, he used to say :

“The day sall come when the Negro shall rise to power and the white nations shall fall”

Rebel one had to become. Rebels are people who don’t accept things as they are, they are the ones who –through their attitude- can make things move in our society.
If you ask me, Eminem is certainly a rebel. A rebel with a cause. Because his character Slim Shady is foolish and weird, it is easy to minterpret Eminem’s words and sentences at first.
Of course, Slim Shady is deranging, because he has so many things to say that you might not like at all.
Because he points out society’s failures, Eminem is somebody comfortable people love to hate. Powerful persons often don’t want to hear stories about white trash and underground people. They usually want to comfort themselves in the myth of the American Dream.
To me, Eminem is a social commentator who points a mirror in front of suburban people to tell them:

“We as a Americans
Us as a citizen
Gotta protect ourselves
Look at our shit has been
We better check ourselves
Livin up in these streets
Through worse and through better health
Surviving by any means
We as Americans
Us as a citizen
We are cemeritans
What do we get us in
We better check ourselves
Look at our shit has been
Take a look where you live
This is America
And we are Americans…”

(Eminem “We as Americans”)

It is a strong call for people to acknowledge the harsh living conditions of people from the ghetto. Eminem doesn’t write his lyrics to please anybody. Not even his label. If you consider “The Way I Am”, this song is also rebellious towards the label’s wishes.
There is so much realism in many of Eminem’s descriptions. He pictures and parodies violence. Although his movie “8 Mile” has brought him respect from people who used to despise him before, he’s often been accused to encourage the circle of violence that exists in the inner cities. It is completely ridiculous. Violence existed in the inner cities long before Eminem and has been pictured in many American series and movies.
Eminem wishes people to open their eyes ans to stop being such hypocrits, particularly on the topic “violence”. The same parents who allow their kids to play violent and scary games on their playstation and to watch some Schwarzenegger movies will be so negatively shocked by his lyrics. That’s exactly what he expresses, in “ Who Knew?”:

“And last week, I seen a Schwarzaneggar movie
where he’s shootin all sorts of these motherfuckers with a uzi
I sees three little kids, up in the front row,
screamin “Go,” with their 17-year-old Uncle
I’m like, “Guidance – ain’t they got the same moms and dads
who got mad when I asked if they liked violence?”

Eminem is talking about things people would love to hide. Like children abuse. Some closed minded people don’t understand that through his own example, he is addressing to the crowd of kids all of the world who actually suffer from their parents’ behavior. He wants people to open their minds, to open their eyes. Not every kid has a golden childhood. Some kids will grow up with deep wounds inside of their soul.

To his (negative) critics, Eminem has a message to deliver:

“But put yourself in my position; just try to envision
witnessin your momma poppin prescription pills in the kitchen
Bitchin that someone’s always goin throuh her purse and shit’s missin
Goin through public housin systems, victim of Munchausen’s Syndrome
My whole life I was made to believe I was sick when I wasn’t…”

(Cleaning Out My Closet)

But Eminem also shows them abused kids that it is possible to succeed despite all.
Eminem is also against the sugarcoated world of the show business. He doesn’t “give a damn about a grammy” and has also proven it: he doesn’t attend to each ceremony. He even shocked some fans in 2003 because he preffered spending some time at home with Hailie than attending to such ceremony (who could blame him for that?).
Eminem will always rebel against boy groups as he expressed it in “The Real Slim Shady”:

“I’m sick of you little girl and boy groups, all you do is annoy me
So I have been sent here to destroy you *bzzzt*…”

Some people still don’t get it, but the newest D12 single “My Band” is a parody of people who describe D12 as a band, not as a group.

No, D12 has not gone “pop”. D12 is still hip hop, don’t worry.

Eminem strongly rebels against the Bush administration. Some of his lyrics could be described as visionary. Yea, the vision is scary. But it is the truth.
To Marshall, only truth matters. He is a rebel. With a cause.