Being Slim Shady
Has It's Priviledges

May 13 1999
by Davey D.

If I hadn't been there to witness this myself I wouldn't have believed it. The other night Hip Hop's newest sensation Eminem aka Slim Shady set it off at San Francisco's Fillmore Nite Club. No, I don't mean he set it off by doing a terrific show which showcased his clever lyrics and awesome rhyme skills.

What Slim Shady did do, was live up to all the speculation about him being a marketing tool for a music industry that is bent on finding a white rap sensation who can appeal to its large white fan base. He lived up to all the speculation that white rappers, in spite of being minorities in a predominantly black field, can be granted unprecedented privileges. Slim lived up to the speculation that he's more of a gimmick as opposed to a dope emcee.

When it was announced that Slim Shady was coming to town, I, along with a couple of thousand other folks, descended onto the Fillmore Nite Club in SF. The show was sold out and radio stations that never even played rap were scrambling to get tickets and free passes for their listeners. The audience was mostly male and about 90% white with more then a few kids sporting Slim's trademark short cropped blonde hair. The opening acts Pacewon and The Beatnuts set off a really cool vibe with their performances. Veteran rap star Greg Nice of Nice N Smooth showed up as a surprise guest and took things over the top with his stellar performance. All sorts of hip hop headz were in attendance including members of the Invisible Skratch Piklz, the guys from and Bay Area rap sensation Rasco, to name a few. Also in the place, eager to peep out the show was The godfather of funk, George Clinton. The stage was set for Slim Shady to turn it out.

Before Slim Shady took the stage, his hype man a brotha named MC Proof got on stage and talk to the crowd. He asked that everyone come out and have a good time. He then attempted to clear the air about Slim's whiteness. He noted that Slim grew up with him on Detroit's rough Eastside and that Slim was for real.. When Slim hit the stage the audience went nuts.

During the show, Slim stopped the music and asked the audience to put a lighter in the air. Some kid from the audience yelled F*&k You!' The next thing I know, Slim begins to argue with this kid in the audience. He dares him to come on stage. His crew tries to calm him down. Slim then asks the security to come and remove the kid from the audience.

MC Proof, Slim's side-kick then gets the audience hyped by telling them to boo the kid. He then explains that if he wants to, he could have the entire audience turn on homeboy and beat him down. "We roll with an army" he shouts into the mic. The kid in the audience is un-phazed. He remains in his place glaring at Slim Shady. Instead of moving on with the show, Shady exchanges some more words and the next thing you know he jumps off the stage and starts going after the kid. An all out brawl takes place as Shady's body guards jump off and start beating the crap out of some kid. Ironically it's not the guy that Shady was pissed at. The houselights are turned on as more fighting breaks out. People scramble to get out the way as house security rushes on to the floor and grab Slim Shady. He's ushered up his dressing room. The concert is shut down. People start to leave in disbelief of what took place. As people are filing out, Shady rushes back out on stage and grabs the mic and attempts to finish the show. He does about 3 more songs and makes reference on several occasions to the guy who they beat down.

I was left completely puzzled as to how and why Slim Shady was able to get away with what I just witnessed. How in the world could this guy can come to the Bay Area and pull that sort of nonsense? To this day, there are numerous local rappers who can not do shows here in the Bay Area because of fights that occurred at their concerts. Venues fearing repeat incidents have not allowed them to play and this comes years after an unfortunate incident. What sort of penalties will be levied against Slim Shady? Will they be just as severe as the sanctions placed on local acts?

Scores of rappers can't perform in venues because of hip hop's negative stigma, They have to pay outrageous insurance rates, and get a ton of security for the privilege of doing concerts. Radio stations won't play a lot of rappers because of this negative stigma. But I betcha Slim Shady will continue to get air play in spite of that little incident.

So what's this all about? How can this happen? Is Slim Shady a culture stealer? Yes most definitely. Not because he's white, but because he got on stage and claimed to be down for hip hop and then jump set off a big ruckus because some kid flipped him off.. Even worse, he lip-synched and we all know that certainly ain't hip hop. And to top it off Slim Shady had the nerve to say "Peace" when he left the stage. I guess being Slim Shady in America definitely has it's privileges.. what do you think?

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