RZA Gains Another Level of Respect for Eminem After Trump Freestyle: “He Put His Balls on the Table”
Eminem's freestyle at the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards was the most talked about moment following this year's show earlier this month. For the better part of a week, every rapper, fan and commentator (and a few politicians) had a take on Em's verbal takedown of President Trump and his supporters. RZA and DJ Mathematics were no exception. The Wu affiliates shared why they were impressed with Em's approach in a new interview with XXL.
"I thought he had a platform and he used it. He had something to say and he said it," Math tells XXL. "Hip-hop was founded on expression and he expressed himself. He was genuine about it and he took the whole time to address it. It was really something weighing on him that he really wanted to get out there. I dug it."
"I dug it as well," RZA concurs. "When you write a lyric, you know, you write, erase, scratch and go back and you keep going. You may even write a lyric, like a email. You ever write an email, then look at it and go, 'Nah, I'm not gon' send it.' He wrote it, got it to where it was, memorized it and then performed it. So that means he was committed. I appreciate him being committed to it because for a White man to say that has different weight than a Black man sayin' it. A Black man sayin' it, all of a sudden we’re complaining. A White man is like, “Nah, bro." This is a reflection that is hitting your children now, hitting your people.”
RZA joins Snoop Dogg, J. Cole and Diddy, among others, who applaud Marshall Mathers for taking a stand.
Admitting that he doesn't bite his tongue, RZA's take on Trump is one of frustration. He explains that "I got respect for the President of the United States," and that respect is born of a belief in American solidarity.
"I travel around the world and my passport says 'American,'" he says. "If I’m in a country and they say 'Americans is getting beat up,' they’re gonna beat me up, too. So I respect my President. But he’s doing things that’s making us feel unrepresented. We could feel that through every presidency. My hood didn’t change that much, bro. You go to Brownsville—we still lost 90 bodies last year. You go to Chicago—we still losing 150 kids every summer. That didn’t change from Clinton to Carter to Barack to whoever was there."
Believing that mainstream America is being made to face its own demons, RZA feels Em forced some deaf ears to hear.
"When it starts leaking over…now this lack of humanity is being recognized by their community. And Eminem became a voice for that. And I’m glad Em did that. I gained another level of respect for Em. He put his balls on the table."
Watch RZA and DJ Mathematics share their thoughts on Eminem's President Trump diss below.—Todd "Stereo" Williams