Eminem freestyled an impassioned litany of grievances against President Donald Trump in a new video that aired during the BET Awards Tuesday night.
“This is the calm before the storm,” Eminem announces as the video begins. Throughout a series of extemporaneous verses lasting nearly five minutes, Eminem unleashes his anger against Trump, noting “racism’s the only thing he’s fantastic for,” and taking on everything from Trump’s alignment with white supremacy to his expensive travel budget.
“He keeps screaming / 'drain the swamp' / 'cause he's in quicksand,” the rapper declares. Eminem also references Colin Kaepernick — “This is for Colin / ball up a fist” — as well as a host of former and current political figures, from President Barack Obama to Sen. John McCain, before going on to address many of this year’s biggest and most divisive news stories.
On Trump’s warmongering personality:
“What we got in office now’s / a kamikaze that’ll prolly cause / a nuclear holocaust ... he’ll just gas his plane up / and fly around / until the bombing stops.”
On resistance against Trump:
“Yeah, sick tan / that’s why he wants us to disband / ’cause he cannot withstand / the fact that we’re not afraid of Trump / fuck walking on eggshells, I came to stomp.”
On the NFL, Puerto Rico, and the Las Vegas shooting:
“It’s like we take a step forwards, then backwards / but this is his form of distraction / plus he gets an enormous reaction / when he attacks the NFL, so we focus on that in- / stead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada.”
This isn’t the first time Eminem has taken to protest through rap. In 2004 he famously wrote “Mosh,” an anti-Bush anthem that doubled as a get-out-the-vote message. A year ago he released “Campaign Speech,” another freestyle rap with references to Trump.
The performance immediately received many accolades, including from Kaepernick himself:
Men on left: OMG, this Weinstein shit is horrifying. We must stamp out misogynistic violence— Kate Harding (@KateHarding) October 11, 2017
Also men on left: EMINEM IS EVERYTHING RN
I see you, Eminem. Thank you for being an ally on race. How about working on the sexism and homophobia? Thanks. https://t.co/yctUp44KV8— laura jimenez (@booktoss) October 11, 2017
As a BW, it’s rtough to scroll and see vehement condemnation of of Eminem’s homophobia and misogyny by ppl who adore homophobic misogynists— B.I.E. Felicia (@FeministaJones) October 11, 2017
As is often the case with Eminem’s music, his fiery message in “The Storm” is complicated by his own even more complicated history. But there’s no denying that his lyrics have touched a nerve among those who both support and condemn his beliefs.