Hip hop and how Eminem made it as a successful Rapper



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Hip hop and how Eminem made it as a successful Rapper

Rap has been argued as the most dominant force in popular culture (Edward 111). In fact, most teenagers in America rate it as their favorite music genre. It is evident that rap music is widely spread as almost all countries have some form of rap music. The biggest star in this is Eminem, a name common in almost all regions of the world. Throughout his music career, the rapper has established significant hope in the music industry. The rapper has worn big awards in music, which have earned him so many honors. The rapper’s talent and skill make the rapper gain considerable admiration from his fans. This paper discusses hip hop and ho Eminem became a successful rapper. The paper focuses on three main aspects including the fact that the rapper uses past failed and successful white artists’ efforts at creating hip hop. In addition, Eminem refers to himself as the other rapper, not a white or black rapper, but a rapper who is based on his natural talent. Eminem uses his position as a white male in order to be able to become the success story that he is and also by utilizing a black manager, Dr Dre, to gain more African American acceptance and fan-base.

Hip hop music is mostly associated with African Americans. For Eminem, the case is quite different as he has successfully stood out in the industry despite his cultural orientation. He stresses that he should not be referred to as a white rapper, rather he emphasizes on being categorized as a rapper with skill and talent. The rapper’s success has to do with his authenticity since the beginning. The question of authenticity has always been reflected in many areas. This notion has been in existence in the history of popular music. The question focuses on the link between the performer and composition. There is some significance of authenticity attached to authenticity in the music industry. There are three kinds of authenticity that Eminem is firmly grounded in. The first one is that there is a concern on what pertains to on being true to oneself. In addition, rap music illustrates individuality and self-creation as a value (Edward 120). This is because the music prioritizes the territorial alliances and local allegiances of the artist. The third kind of authenticity is on the question of whether a performer has proximity and requisite relation to an original source of rap.

Eminem distinguishes himself from other rappers for whom he is keen with his lyrics and this represents a form of authenticity. For instance, the rapper is not in the business of committing offences detailed in the lyrics of his songs.  This implies that the lack of correspondence between lyrics and actions is essential to standard rap discourse. Authenticity claims that an individual is natural that is without artifice. This process is referred to as naturalization. A means of accomplishing naturalization, for artists to legitimize themselves in the industry is to illustrate the historic relations between them and others that are already recognized as main figures in the music field. This is what has made Eminem successful in his rap music where his links with Dre have established his authenticity. This even made his producer to testify that he was not worried that people would react against Eminem based on his white race. Eminem has a lot of skills and clearly understands what he does as concerning music. Authenticity, in this case is not as simple as one may tend to think. Rather, it is a social construct that is agreed-upon. Lack of this consensus implies that the notion is wrong. This has cleared out the problem that he is a white involved in music that is associated to the African American culture. In fact, people have now begun to acknowledge his work as the best worldwide. The rapper has established his image firmly in the industry and presents himself as a distinct social cultural and identification subject (Erick 190).

The rapper uses the efforts of white rappers who have failed and succeeded to create hip hop. This is a tactic or strategy that is exceedingly useful in the music field as it enables the rapper come out in a unique way that gives his fans something to talk about. Through this process, the rapper is able to understand essential themes to include in his music. This is an aspect that differentiates the rapper from others in the same field. In short, this is a talent or skill that the rapper has got and uses it to his advantage. Standing out as the best in a field where matters of socio-culture are involved is not an easy task, but Eminem blends these aspects perfectly to produce the best results (Marcia 475). In most cases, as mentioned earlier, this type of music is associated with the African Americans and mostly, viewed negatively especially by the older generation in contrast with the younger generations. This means that authenticity is not sufficient in this. Rather, the rapper’s passion and ability for hip hop music add to the authenticity notion of the rapper to create success.

Acting as oneself cannot be ignored while discussing the success of Eminem. The rapper’s idea of oneself is what has made his albums including ‘The Slim Shady’, ‘recovery’, ‘Just Lose It’, and ‘My name is’ among many others to be successful after their launch (Marcia 481). Eminem introduces himself as a rapper who has just got the skills and talent. The lack of establishing himself as a white rapper is crucial for his success. This is because he establishes the idea that music is not for a particular type of social culture or class. Eminem, therefore, appears and he is represented as a unique character in the hip hop music, who does not depend on what people say about the music. This does not imply that Eminem is not concerned with how people think or feel about his music, rather, the rapper ensures that he remains true to what he does as it is part of him (passion). This is the reason why his manager Dre has so much faith in the rapper, as well as, what the rapper does (Fraley 38).

Dr. Dre has played a significant role in the .success of Eminem. The fact that he is black has enabled Eminem gain acceptance and fan-base from the African Americans. Being a white, it is difficult for him to penetrate the industry especially in African American cultures. Thus, Eminem has gained considerable support from these groups as he is represented by the knowledgeable Dre. His position as a white has also played a key role in the rapper’s success. Using this position to his advantage has brought significance to the world of hip-hop music (Fraley 40). The identity aspect does not become a thing of question anymore as the rapper does not identify with culture. Instead, Eminem identifies with his talent and skill in his hip hop music, which has differentiated him from other rappers in the industry.

The three main aspects combined are significant in explaining the success of Eminem in his hip hop music. Eminem represents a character that has attained adoration and admiration from so many fans across the world. Gaining this success was, however, not an easy thing especially because of obstacles such as socio-cultural factors involved. For instances, the circumstances under which the rapper was brought up were somehow challenging. The same circumstances are what made him develop passion for music. Challenges during the first times of his profession were overcome later by his authenticity and ability to maintain his position in the industry. The name Eminem is common among many people and especially the younger generations who are fond of his music. The rapper insists that race is a made up thing, and this is why he denies that he is neither a black or white rapper. This should establish a strong basis upon which other upcoming rappers in the industry should base their ideas upon.


Works Cited

Edward G., Armstrong. “Eminem’s Construction of Authenticity.” Popular Music and Society 27.3 (2004): 111-130. Print.

Eric King, Watts. “Border Patrolling and ‘‘Passing’’ in Eminem’s8 Mile.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 22.3 (2005): 187-206. Print.

Fraley, Todd. “I Got a Natural Skill. . .: Hip-Hop, Authenticity, and Whiteness.” The Howard Journal of Communications 20.1 (2009): 37-54. Print.

Marcia Alesan, Dawkins. “Close to the Edge: The Representational Tactics of Eminem.” The Journal of Popular Culture, 43.3 (2010): 463-485. Print.



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