KXNG Crooked recorded a video analysing Eminem’s legacy as a lyricist, his role in spreading the culture and shaping careers of the legends.
Slaughterhouse MC and one of the greatest hip hop pens spent 16 minutes to articulate his points clearly, convincingly and passionately so there is nothing better to do than let you read his words:
Rap connoisseurs, what’s good? Hope y’all hit that subscribe button. First and foremost I’d like to say: justice for Breonna Taylor and for all victims out there.
You know, it’s a lot going on in the world, some things are more important than others, so I’m gonna just set it off like that. Let’s talk some rap.
I’ve been noticing something over the past couple of years. It’s been creeping up, it ain’t just like super in the face to me and I’ll explain to you why I don’t believe it’s just plain as day but it’s been stirring up. A couple of years ago a wave started, a wave that I never really saw before inside of the culture. Now, outside of the culture, I’ve seen people not liking this particular artist because of his content, because of the controversial things he was saying in his music. I know outside of the culture a lot of people had a problem with this particular artist. But inside the culture, a lot of people respected this artist because the skill level was immaculate. The writing was masterful. And that artist that I’m talking about of course is the homie, Eminem. A couple of years ago I started noticing people making little comments… That was kind of weird when it came to talking about Marshall. It started to seem as if somebody had an agenda to try to push him out of the culture and I noticed this like in 2018-2019. But it was just like a small movement and then it started growing. It started growing and to me, it’s just odd.
As a guardian of hip hop, I talk about everything. First of all, let’s get that straight, when it comes to rap music I talk about everything under the whole spectrum of rap. The connoisseurs, y’all know we discuss all types of projects, all types of rappers, all types. But when I start talking about Marshall – people get bothered by that. But I’m not here to care about how people feel about something that I want to express. Take it or leave. Now back to this issue that I’ve been checking out. A couple of days ago I saw a tweet and I usually don’t talk about tweets because everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. But I started seeing people that I was following retweeting this particular tweet. And people that are verified, with big platforms spreading this tweet around. The tweet, and this ain’t verbatim, had something to do with a question asking “If we erased or got rid of Marshall Mathers, Eminem’s entire discography right now would hip hop be affected? If you just totally deleted his existence from hip hop would hip hop skip a beat? Would it be affected? What would happen? Now, of course, his fans were like, “Hell yeah, would be affected!” And some people were saying, “No”. A lot of people said “No” and that’s made me sit down and do this video because I was surprised that the certain people who were saying hip hop would not be affected.
These people aren’t experts, they’re just verified accounts with big platforms but that’s where it starts. That’s where you start normalizing shit. People with big platforms start saying certain shit and it becomes something normal to say. People who aren’t really qualified to answer that question. Now, we get online and we answer a bunch of shit we’re not qualified to answer. I’ll engage in a conversation if somebody hit me and ask me my opinion and I might not be an expert on the topic but I still might just give my opinion, so that ain’t nothing, we all do it. So I ain’t mad at that. But I was really surprised that so many people said that we could get away with Eminem’s whole catalogue in the game and it wouldn’t affect the hip-hop game whatsoever. That’s crazy, that’s crazy right there. We’re starting to get into crazy town a little bit, we’re starting to go into some goofy shit. And I’m only saying this type of shit ‘cause I’m a guardian of hip hop. Y’all who follow me and know me, you know I’mma speak on the health of hip hop, I’mma speak on being there to support people’s sobriety, it ain’t just about going in the booth with me. If we gonna be guardians of hip hop it’s about giving flowers, you know what I mean. I just send out appreciation tweets for different rappers that motivated me, inspired me or just touched the world. I have no problem giving the next man his credit he is due, his props. Guardian shit. And me being on my guardian shit and seeing that people are attacking Marshall’s legacy… I gotta say something.
You’re gonna miss out on a lot of shit. We could go down a hypothetical rabbit hole real quick and say, “Okay, what does that put 50 Cent if there’s no Eminem?” Dr. Dre, of course, was already Dr. Dre, let’s not get it twisted, he was already one of the greatest rap producers of all times before he even met Marshall or was doing anything with Marshall and Em knows that, the whole world knows that. But it was beneficial for him to sign Eminem, a phenomenal writer, and to stamp Eminem was beneficial for the Good Doctor too. You don’t want to go and just sign somebody who’s not gonna have an impact and not gonna eventually be a legend in the game. It was beneficial for Doc to do that and we don’t know what we don’t know, what that chapter of Dr. Dre’s life or career, I should say, looks like if he doesn’t put out Marshall Mathers. We don’t know. Yes, he’s successful as fuck up until that point, let’s not get it twisted, but that relationship with Em, that collaboration is a big chapter in the life and career of Dr. Dre, period. You take Eminem away – we don’t know what that chapter looks like. We don’t know what the 50 Cent situation looks like.
He expanded rap music. He wasn’t the first global artist by no means. I see a lot of stans saying that and that’s incorrect. He was not the first global rap artist, there’s plenty of rap artists who penetrated other countries outside of the US before and after Em. But he did help expand the reach of rap music. He brought more fans to the table and you gotta give him his respect for bringing those fans to the table. He brought more fans to the table, more people got interested in hip hop because of Eminem. His fan base, a lot of them never even listened to rap music before they discovered Eminem’s music and that’s what got them open to going listening and checking out other artists. Facts.
We don’t know where he’s at if he’s nowhere to be found in hip hop, we don’t know where that leaves 50 Cent, we don’t know where that leaves the fans, the millions of fans that were exposed to rap through him, we don’t know what that other chapter of Dr. Dre’s career looks like.
What about all the rappers he influenced, who have said publicly that some of his albums change their lives? Like Kendrick, like Tyler the Creator? Where do they draw that inspiration from now? True indeed, they can go draw it from anywhere they could find it but they found it in him. So it would be a ripple effect, it would be a domino effect if you took him out of the equation. If you took “Stan” out of the equation, if you took “Lose yourself” out of the equation, if you took “My name is”… A lot of people in the hood wasn’t bumping “Nine Inch Nails”, they didn’t know what he was talking about but it made some kids in the hood go research and look and see who are these people that he’s name dropping. Expanding they their knowledge of music.
So my whole thing is and what I want to say from my personal perspective: when mumble rappers was getting all the record deals, all the advances, the marketing budgets, everything that every rapper aspires to get at some point in a career (even though it’s a lot of independent rappers who don’t want deals, true indeed), but when the labels was given that back to mumble rappers Eminem was signing real spitters. You want to take that off the table? Do you want to take that off the table?
And from a writer’s perspective. See, I could sit here and talk this shit ‘cause I’ve been in the game for 20 plus years busting them syllables down. So I can sit here and talk this writer shit all day from a writer’s perspective, my perspective. If you delete Eminem’s entire discography you are erasing a master class on lyricism and how to write. You’re erasing it. The next generation of writers, hip hop writers, lyricists. Not somebody just looking for a cool melody that they could sell a catchy fucking rap with. I’m saying the lyricists. If we gonna get down to the bones of this situation – the lyricists. You erase Eminem’s catalogue and you are getting rid of decades of a master class in lyricism. Gone. Those records are there for the next generation to study, to build upon. Where would I be lyrically if there was no Rakim, if there was no Kool G rap, if there was no D.O.C., if there was no Big Daddy Kane, if there was no Ice Cube? Where would I be lyrically if there was no E40 and Spice 1 and 2Pac? Where would I be? I don’t even know where I would be. I’mma make sure that I put my best foot forward at all times but I can’t stay here and tell you where I would be if you took these guys out of the game. You took G Rap out the game, I don’t know where I would be syllable wise. First of all, I don’t know where rap would be syllable wise if you took Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and g G Rap out the game. And you say Em whole discography don’t exist no more… I don’t know where rap would be!
So the person that helped take that is torn from the G Rap cloth. The syllable cloth – that’s G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, that’s Rakim, that’s Kool Moe, that’s Caz. Em is cut from that cloth. I’m cut from that cloth, Royce is cut from that cloth, Joell is cut from that cloth.
Em helped expand that, he helped evolve that flow, that style, he helped evolve that style of writing. Period, point-blank. If you take that off the table the next generation has been done a huge disservice. The next generation of writers and listeners, they will be just… A huge disservice done to them straight up and down.
We need Marshall Mathers whole catalogue in hip hop. If you took it out we would miss it, trust me on that. Let’s stop all the foolishness. He’s part of the culture. I don’t see none of y’all rocking 50 000 people, wearing a Lakim Shabazz t-shirt. I don’t see y’all doing it. I don’t see y’all exposing y’all fans to all the old school greats. I don’t see it.
Y’all know me, I’mma say what I’mma say, I’m gonna keep it all the way real with y’all every single time. We’re not going for that. We’re not going for that. I’mma push back every time. Y’all think it’s gonna just be easy, to take people out the culture. His legacy ain’t going nowhere. He earned that.
Watch KXNG Crooked talking about Eminem’s place in hip hop and attempts to cast a shadow on it: