Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A quick hip-hop primer for Keith Olbermann, now that Eminem finally made him a fan

Photo: Lou Rocco/Getty Images
Photo: Lou Rocco/Getty Images

Last night, Eminem unleashed a four-minute anti-Trump freestyle that has been roundly praised for voicing the frustrations of so many, while also explicitly calling for his fans to outright condemn the president. Eminem hasn’t done much of worth in the past, oh, 15 years, but this new political bent has already garnered him many new fans—like #Resistance leader Keith Olbermann, who tweeted:


To which we say: Welcome aboard, Keith! Hip-hop has a long, rich history that you’re surely eager to dig into, now that this one Eminem verse has made you reconsider ignoring it. If you’re hungry for more lucid, angry, purposeful rap music that speaks directly about systemic oppression and the possibilities of organized dissent, please avoid pretty much everything Eminem has ever done, and cast your new, doubt-free, rap-loving ears toward artists like the following:

Dead Prez
Kanye West
Talib Kweli
Mos Def
Lauryn Hill
Pharoahe Monch
Killer Mike
Kendrick Lamar
J. Cole
Vince Staples
Jedi Mind Tricks
A Tribe Called Quest
Vic Mensa
Ice Cube
The Roots
Open Mike Eagle
Billy Woods
Mobb Deep
Arrested Development
Saul Williams
Das Racist
Cannibal Ox
Jay Electronica
Immortal Technique
Lupe Fiasco
Brother Ali
Mr. Lif
Lil Wayne
Young Jeezy
Poor Righteous Teachers
The Coup
Chance The Rapper


All of whom have created albums in the past 27 years that may strike your fancy, now that Eminem has converted you.

And if you’re willing to stretch your ears beyond that arbitrary 27-year limit, we’d direct you toward the explicitly political rap released prior to 1990 by the following:

Eric B. & Rakim
Afrika Bambaataa
Boogie Down Productions
Public Enemy
Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five
The Geto Boys
Gil Scott-Heron
Kurtis Blow
Big Daddy Kane


You might also check out:

The Notorious B.I.G.
Wu-Tang Clan
Ski Mask The Slump God

There’s probably also some political writing you could brush up on, but we’ll stick to music.


Clayton Purdom is a writer and editor based in Columbus, Ohio.

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