Hip Hop News
July 28 '98


Folks may wanna check for this artist-Eminem.. He's a white kid outta of Detroit who used to go by the name of Slim Shady. He's signed to Dr Dre's Aftermath label.. and thus far he's creating quite a buzz.. Everyone I spoken to who's heard his material is really hyped about this kid.. All I keep hearing is that he has skillz.. My question/concern is are we hyped about Eminem because he's a white rap artist or because he's got mad skillz.. Nowadays there are a lot of white kids who can get busy.. but are we within hip hop still fascinated with a white kid who got skillz because he's a minority?

Here in this country there has long been this perverse attention given to white kids who can hang and mimic Blacks especially in the world of music. Were groups like the Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass and House Of Pain given props because they were white kids within a predominantly Black environment or did they really represent? With hip hop having such broad appeal do white acts get their props because they have an appeal to the white hip hop audience?

Hip Hop as ideally been something that spoke directly to and reflected the musical heritage, lifestyles and spoken to a respective audience... Hip Hop over the years has become more regional because artist who come from a particular neighborhood or location more accurately reflect the vibe of their part of town. A lot of people can relate and hence they get into the local music more... Is this the case with rappers along ethnic lines.. Do white fans relate more white artists? Do Latino fans relate more to Latino artists? For example, The Beastie Boys have just released some new material that is blowing up the spot.. In a city like Berkeley or San Francisco where you'll find a lot of white kids.. You'll find people checking for the Beastie Boys.. In a predominantly Black City like Oakland or Richmond, the Beastie Boys is definitely not happening compared to other rappers. Is it prejudice or just a thing of being able to relate?

The other question I have to ask is do white rappers get undue credit from the media? Back in the early 80s I recall Blondie getting mad props for INVENTING' rap.. I remember how pissed kids from around the way felt when the Daily News in NY came out and made that statement. Just the other day MTV went on and on about how the Beastie Boys were responsible for innovating rap.. I recall brothers mixing rap and rock long before the Beasties hit the scene.. Why play up the Beasties and downplay Run DMC or even the Cold Crush Brothers who did the song 'Punk Rock Rap'?

The other day I was choppin' it up with fellow writer Adissa who happens to be a big Beastie Boy fan and he remarked how it was cool for the Beasties back in the days to do msygonistic things like have women dancing damn near naked on stage in cages.. and how they could get crazy stupid drunk and tell everyone to 'fight for their right to party'..etc When the script was flipped and Black rap acts did similar things the penalties were severe and swift. I recall how Run DMC back in the days were considered hardcore rappers who invited trouble while the Beasties were classified as fun loving, wild and zanny. Why was that? Was it white privilege or just a whole other vibe that they brought to the table? This is not meant to dis the Beastie Boys .. but they are the most glaring example of what I'm speaking about- a double standard. Have things changed or are they still the same? Will a white rapper doing a drive by in a song be seen as a gangsta rapper or just a 'rebel' with a cause?

get back at me.. so I can share your thoughts.. kingdave@sirius.com

written by
Davey D

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