Eminem refuses to grow up, and TikTokkers refuse to be teenagers. Somehow, these two are more similar than you think.
Eminem should change his name to Peter Pan because he’s trapped in Neverland.
Despite all of the legal dramas, the addictions, the children, the adoptions, and friends’ deaths, Eminem refuses to enter adulthood. In some ways, it’s admirable, and in some ways, it’s sad.
And maybe it’s all just an act at this point.
But a new generation of sensitive teenagers have entered the scene, and they’ve taken to TikTok to express their displeasure with Slim Shady. And, naturally, he’s responded with a giant middle finger.
It all leaves us asking the question, who are the real adults in the room? And should we be listening to either side of this ridiculous fight?
Love him or hate him; there’s no denying that Eminem is problematic.
But, you know, it’s kind of his ‘thing.’ He purposely says things to rile people up, to get their goat. And their goat was recently got.
As you may know, TikTokkers were up in arms over these violent Eminem lyrics from over a decade ago from the song “Love the Way You Lie”:
If she ever tries to f***ing leave again, I’ma tie her/to the bed and set this house on fire.
Yeah, it’s not very nice. But, newsflash, Eminem has never been a very nice guy. In fact, the concept of choosing one specific Eminem lyric to get upset about is hilarious. He’s written so many offensive lyrics in his career that this one might not even make his top ten.
And yet, the cancellers did their best:
It’s kind of adorable–and kind of ridiculous. It’s almost as ridiculous as the time Gen Z tried to cancel Tropic Thunder. Eminem agreed.
It didn’t take long for Eminem to slap together a song to respond Gen Z mob. On “Tone Deaf,” he (sort of) responds to the haters. Actually, it’s mostly just another song where Eminem repeatedly tries to say shocking things:
In the chorus, he explains that he “can’t understand a word you say” because, you guessed it, he’s tone-deaf. He drops the occasional line addressing the cancel calls:
You think getting rid of me is a piece of cake?/ I’m harder than finding Harvey Weinstein a date
If this song were released 20 years ago, nobody would’ve known the difference (except for the Weinstein reference). It just shows Eminem’s consistency and his refusal to adapt.
The fact is that even though Eminem is pushing 50, he still raps like he’s about to hit puberty. But he’s a teenager from a far different time. The recent Gen Z pushback shows just how much teenagers appear to have changed over the years.
But is it for the better or for the worse?
Society has undergone massive changes in the past decade, and, as usual, much of that change has been powered by young people. And a lot of it is good.
We’ve become more sensitive, more compassionate, and more considerate. These are all things that needed to happen.
But many of the people who identify with that cause have also become excessively fragile, militant, and eager to destroy someone else’s life if they don’t follow their strict guidelines for ‘wokeness.’
We should be holding each other accountable, but at some point, the PC police need to clock out.
And almost everyone, except Eminem, sounds prehistoric when they tried to grab our attention with shock value. And to be fair, Eminem does sound like he’s from 1999, but he’s just been doing it so long that we let him get away with it.
What the world is currently missing is a little thing called nuance. We don’t have to take a side in this fight.
We should make room for a reality where both extremes are annoying. If you don’t like someone’s music, just don’t listen to it. It’s getting exhausting watching people get offended, especially when it’s clear they’re just doing it for attention.
And while we can give Eminem a pass, it’s not the time to start embracing blatantly offensive content.
Thanks to Gen Z and Eminem. You’re both awesome and annoying, just like teenagers from every era.