Eminem, “My Name Is”
Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, is recognized for his work as a rap artist who is able to connect with his audience through humor and rhythmically dicey lyrics. Eminem’s “My Name Is” music video is able signify whiteness and rearticulate race with the use intertextual editing techniques that parody common representations of whiteness. Eminem is using his “My Name Is” video as an approach to solidify his style of rapping and thus create new political and cultural authenticities that entice questions of race representation in the 1990’s and beyond. (Kajikawa).
The release of The Slim Shady LP was the beginning of Eminem’s ride to the hip-hop hall of fame and it was with this album that Eminem was truly able to transcend racial boundaries. Hip-hop as a sub-culture more specifically its product, rap, had set racial boundaries early on with many of the popular artists being of African American decent. Rap music is unique and different from typical pop music because “most rappers write their own lyrics, because the lyrics represent their feelings and true life” (Satriawati 3) and the black artists wrote about the struggles in their lives such as, overcoming race and unequal representation of all black people living in the United States. Eminem, having grown up with similar conditions, but with a different skin color writes about his own struggle and about some of the controversies dealing with white men and women in the 1990’s. Eminem’s “My Name Is” music video explores the realm of controversy surrounding whiteness with clips of Eminem mocking the Clinton scandal, Marylin Manson, homoerotic sexual relations between students and teachers and of course drug abusing mothers along with several others. Eminem uses these controversy generators as ammo for his weapon of whiteness self-realization. (Stubbs 37)
Eminem’s ability to make people take a step back and look at themselves and the realm of whiteness that surrounds them...
Cited: "Eminem -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminem>.
Kajikawa, Loren. "Eminem 's ?My Name Is?." Journal of the Society for American Music 3 (2009): 341-63. Cambridge Journals. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract>.
Satriawati, Rahma W. HATRED TOWARD WOMAN IN EMINEM?S ALBUM THE MARSHAL MATHERS LP: A SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACH. Rep. University of Surakarta, 2008. Print.
Sexton, Jamie. "Music, Sound and Multimedia: From the Live to the Virtual." Music, Sound, and the Moving Image 3.1 (2009): 129-32. Project Muse. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://bert.lib.indiana.edu:2178/journals/music_sound_and_the_moving_image/v003/3.1.deaville.html>.
Stubbs, David. Cleaning out my closet: Eminem : the stories behind every song. Thunder 's Mouth, 2003. Print.
Vernallis, Carol. Experiencing Music Video: Aesthetics and Cultural Context. Columbia UP, 2004. Print
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