Eminem’s Anti-Trump Rap: Communication Efforts Supporting Movements

Type
Essay
Pages
6
Word Count
1423
School
Boston University
Course
Theory of Communication
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Eminem’s Anti-Trump Rap: Communication Efforts Supporting Movements
Living in the Digital Era, a time during which information and news spread at an
incomparable speed, understanding the workings behind each major communication event is
critical for developing movements. Analyzing the various communication theories at work
during these events provides insight into the impact of the tactics chosen when making and
spreading substantial statements, especially in regards to cultural, social, and political themes.
Eminem’s freestyle rap diss at Trump during last years BET Hip Hop Awards exemplifies the
power of a unique platform and voice when taking stance on a political movement, as
perceived by its instant widespread coverage and feedback through many digital channels. By
focusing on and discussing all coverage, support, and backlash arising out of this single event
and interpreting how certain theories apply to this specific communication phenomenon, this
paper will further expand an understanding on what constitutes effective communication that
constitute and support broader societal movements.
Annually, as urban artists are granted awards for their musical talents and
achievements in the BET Hip Hop Awards, a few of them of them are selected for break
performances. Eminem, though absent from last years award show in October 6, was
presented to the crowd through a pre-recorded 4-minute freestyle rap cypher, or informal
gathering of performers, called “The Storm.” During the short yet notable rap, Eminem slams
President Trump and his ineptitude regarding subjects such as the Black Lives Matter
movement, Puerto Rican crisis after Hurricane Maria, NFL attacks, foreign policy conflicts,
among others. After its original screening receiving approximately 1.5 million viewers, the
video has been uploaded to YouTube, making it easily accessible by virtually anyone online;
thus, besides social media users’ leisure sharing in platforms including but not limited to
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, online magazines, newspapers and news channels have also
linked the video to their own stories and articles. With the engaging and relevant message of
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the song, as well as all the possibilities for dissemination, the extent to which the cypher has
been viewed and commented upon since comes as no surprise. Additionally, as the event
becomes shared and catches the attention of more users, Eminem has inevitably garnered
backlash and opposition (predominantly from Republicans and advocates for Trump) asides
from support from those who align with his views.
From a subjective viewpoint, the tactics and acts of communication surrounding this
event in order to get the message across were clever and successful. Mainly, the creative