Rapper Eminem has returned fire against Gen Z keyboard warriors who launched a contentious campaign to get him canceled over lyrics to a song that's over a decade old.
What's the background?
A battle emerged last week between cancel-happy Gen Z militants who took issue with a line from Eminem's 2010 song "Love the Way You Lie" and older millennials who know better. Gen Z youngsters wanted Eminem canceled over his lyric "If she ever tries to f***ing leave again / Imma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire," which of course boasts of misogyny and murder.
But millennials know that Eminem has trod this path in the past, saying the the 48-year-old rapper — whose real name is Marshall Mathers — has withstood efforts to silence him long before many of his present-day detractors were born.
Eminem returns fire
Amid the dust-up, Eminem on Friday released an animated video for his 2020 single "Tone Deaf," and many of his lyrics cleverly answer his critics as if the rapper just penned them: "I can't understand a word you say (I'm tone deaf) / I think this way I prefer to stay (I'm tone deaf) / I won't stop even when my hair turns grey (I'm tone deaf) / 'Cause they won't stop until they cancel me."
Other lyrics order detractors to "get offline, quit whinin', this is just a rhyme" and then challenge, "But ask me, will I stick to my guns like adhesive tape?" and "You think gettin' rid of me's a piece of cake?" before dropping references to Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein that don't sugarcoat their crimes against women.
Content warning: Profanity and sexually explicit lyrics:
Eminem - Tone Deaf (Lyric Video) youtu.be
The clip has garnered 4.7 million views as of Tuesday afternoon. Indeed, Esquire pointed out that as of Monday afternoon Eminem held seven of the top 30 spots on Apple's Hip Hop and Rap albums chart.
"Eminem has always used these conversations as a way to promote and brand himself as an outsider. And as we've seen in recent months, any serious attempt to 'cancel' someone can seriously backfire, which has been the case with Morgan Wallen's domination of the charts after being filmed using a racial slur and Dr. Seuss books occupying 13 of the top 20 best selling books on Amazon after the Seuss estate suspended production of six rather obscure Seuss titles," the magazine added. "It seems that, at least for now, Eminem isn't really going anywhere."