Cobb, White Negro, Please

Cobb, White Negro, Please - 1 TITLE: White Negro, Please!...

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TITLE: White Negro, Please! SOURCE: The Progressive v67 no1 p32-3 Ja 2003 The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Further reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited. To contact the publisher: In the pantheon of disposable American heroes, Marshall Mathers is the man of the moment. Having turned a media double-play on the big screen and the airwaves with the high grossing biopic 8 Mile and its ubiquitous soundtrack, M.M. (or Eminem) is poised to parlay his anointed fifteen minutes into an epic run of at least an hour or two. Already canonized in the pages of The New York Times and virtually ordained by the glossies, Eminem has become the current hipness litmus. Frank Rich, in the midst of a pathos festival in the pages of the Times, praised Em’s lyrical flow and originality. En route to proclaiming Eminem as fun for all ages, he offered this observation: “In a country in which broken homes, absentee parents, and latchkey kids are endemic to every social class, he can touch some of the hottest emotional buttons. He can be puerile too, but what else is new in pop music?“ No less an authority on hip hop than Andrew Sullivan observed on that Eminem’s music is some of the most challenging, inventive, and lyrically brilliant in recent times. His movie was an excellently written and directed product, Sullivan said, and there’s no mystery why it did so well. With the minor concerns of his anti-gay and violently misogynistic lyrics airbrushed into obscurity courtesy of endorsements by critics (and Elton John—dude, what gives?), Em’s slouchy way and disaffected scowl are set to become our modern equivalent of Elvis’s hip tic. With a 252-word lead-in out of the way, conventional journalism about Eminem holds that this paragraph is where I’m supposed to start talking about his disturbing significance to our particular cultural moment and detail the important questions his ascent raises. Long pause. Truth told, the response from the hip hop cognoscenti and more than a few quarters of black America has been an audible yawn. The rapper’s cultural cache has earned him placement on the covers of underground hip hop publications, but their treatment of him has had way fewer hosannas than the
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This note was uploaded on 12/21/2011 for the course WRT 205 taught by Professor Yager during the Fall '08 term at Syracuse.

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Cobb, White Negro, Please - 1 TITLE: White Negro, Please!...

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