In the usual fashion of most commercial releases from Detroit MC Eminem, supporters and detractors have raged off into discourse about his 10th studio album, Music to Be Murdered By.
The Dr. Dre-produced album not only garnered mixed responses from both fans and critics alike, but also landed Em in some controversy over its lyrical content, including a reference to the 2017 Manchester bombing incident.
Hot 97’s Ebro Darden chimed in on that discourse when the radio veteran shared his thoughts on Em’s place in hip-hop. As one of the most-respected voices in hip-hop, Ebro’s words undoubtedly carry weight within the community. But many felt the radio veteran might’ve missed the mark when he tweeted on Thursday (Jan. 23) that he felt Em hasn’t been respected enough within hip-hop.
“Eminem treats rap how Black folks have had to treat life...be 5x better, work 5x harder than everyone and still not necessarily get respect,” he wrote.
Ebro’s tweet quickly went viral and spiraled into a fierce debate as people weighed in with their own opinions from both sides of the aisle across the social platform. Many did not agree with Ebro’s comparison, which prompted the radio host to further elaborate on his stance.
Although Ebro acknowledged that Eminem’s success comes from him being white, a point that Em himself has acknowledged over the years, Ebro simultaneously felt that the “lack of respect also comes from [Eminem] being white.”
“The disdain for him comes from him being successful [at] something Black people own,” Ebro said, doubling down. “His love for the culture is why he worked so hard to be great and get respect.”
Still, his comments didn’t sit well with many who were quick to point out that Eminem is one of the most celebrated rappers of all time, to which Ebro responded, “People confuse success and respect.” Others also pointed out that Eminem is regularly namechecked by his peers, industry insiders and hip-hop heads as one of rap’s greats with a high level of respect for his musicality, both technically and lyrically.
With those points made, Ebro acknowledged that drawing a parallel between Em’s talents and the Black experience “was a complete false equivalency.” But in his words, “that was not the point.”
“The point really is Eminem cares enough to keep sharpening his skills!” Ebro concluded.
See the responses to Ebro’s comments regarding Eminem below.
(Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for REVOLT)