On October 28, 2004, in Music, by mugen

I’ve never really known what the hell to do with Eminem. But finally, I can support something he’s doing and saying:

I didn’t like his style when “My Name Is” came out, but I could appreciate his commentary on American pop culture. He continued with that pop culture critique, though it was often marred by hate speech and stupidity (what was that Moby thing?). But “White America” pointed out to me that he gets it. Not just about Batman and Marilyn Manson, but about where he stands in relation to the Hip Hop scene and the fratboys, both.

It’s about time some artists finally have something to say. I’m pretty ignorant of most HipHop music, so I don’t know much about the protest music coming out of that scene beyond “Where is the Love” by BlackEyed Peas and the contributions of Public Enemy and Beastie Boys. Skinny Puppy’s latest album is called The Greater Wrong of the Right and Ogre acknowledges that at least one interpretation of “right” is to link it to “-wing.” And even Green Day’s “American Idiot” says something… but where’s the rest of the protest music? There’s the activism and concerts in things like Rock Against Bush and the Bruce Springsteen concerts. But where have the songs been all this time?

In the meantime, let’s revisit some late 1980s and early 1990s songs that are still relevant:

“N.W.O” by Ministry
“Thieves” by Ministry
“VX Gas Attack” by Skinny Puppy
“Tin Omen” by Skinny Puppy
“Surgical Strike” by Queensryche
everything by Rage Against the Machine*

* this band is such an ironic feature of pop culture: their popularity and the intense anger of their music seems to have been mostly for naught in shaping the mindset of 20- and 30-somethings in America, particularly those frat boys who love to jump up and down to “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” and yet still march off to foreign soil or the voting booth at the beck and call of the NeoCons and Bush/Cheney. Maybe we just need to wait it out–people don’t believe anything until they learn it for themselves?


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