TikTok Is Trying To Cancel Eminem Who Stays Tone Deaf’
I am certainly too old to be on TikTok, but I know there is currently a trend: TikTok is trying to cancel Eminem. This is coming from Generation Z, while others (mostly millenniums who grew up listening to the famous rapper’s songs) are responding and defending him. Cancel culture is all the rage these days, and the young generation is finding Eminem’s lyrics controversial; in particular his song ‘Love the Way You Lie’ featuring Rihanna is seen as glorifying domestic violence and toxic relationship. What’s new?
In response, Eminem has released a new and aggressive song ‘Tone Deaf’ with brilliant lyrics to shut up the entire generation. It’s simple and direct, he simply doesn’t understand them and has no intention to even try, despite their relentlessness: ‘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 (Yeah, yeah)’
Ironically, the song that started the entire fight is not even the most controversial Eminem song. Isn’t ‘Kill You’ much more controversial? ‘Bitch, I’ma kill you! You don’t wanna fuck with me’… And what about ‘Kim’? ‘ Sit down, bitch! You move again, I’ll beat the shit out of you!’ …or ‘Guilty Conscience?’ ‘Okay, thought about it? Still wanna stab her?/Grab her by the throat, get your daughter and kidnap her?’ There’s no shortage of questionable examples, there are countless lines that can be the subject of controversies regarding sexism, assaults, and even homophobia. Eminem was even visited by the Secret Service because of some serious hatred toward Trump in his song ‘The Storm.’ But that’s another story and probably not something he would be in trouble for with the TikTok crowd.
As usual for Eminem, ‘Tone Deaf’ is an avalanche of words and clever pop culture references that only he can assemble together. The song puts everyone at their place, starting from the mumbling rappers he mocks at the first lines with a few profanities… After reading these amazing annotations from Genius, I am quite clueless.
In the end, Eminem says he will continue to write whatever he wants, and that should not surprise anyone. Isn’t it the right attitude to have toward cancel culture? But Eminem can do that because of his status in the music business: he is basically uncancellable. Nobody can cancel a man with songs that have received a billion streams on Spotify, not even a TikTok mob.
Strangely, songs are always perceived as personal, despite songwriters often protesting this completely autobiographical interpretation. Movies are not perceived the same way, probably because they are seen as collective works? However, all the movies I love are from real authors and, in this sense, they are no different from songs. Tyler the Creator has compared his work to Quentin Tarantino’s movies in this sense, and he is completely right. Nobody wants to cancel Tarantino right? Oh well, don’t speak too fast, he is in trouble too.
Eminem may be uncancellable now, but you have to wonder what will happen to him and any so-called controversial art when Gen Z is the dominant one.