2004 may as well be ancient history. In that bygone era, Justin Timberlake blew our precious, old-fashioned minds by showing us a split second of Famous Nipple, Green Day had once again awoken from its ritual 10-year slumber, Facebook was a website you were actually excited to use, and Donald Trump, as an old Eminem special shows, was someone PR people wanted to book for pop culture events.
What a difference 13 years makes.
Following Eminem’s surprise return to our cultural consciousness with a taped freestyle aired at last night’s BET Hip-Hop Awards (which, regardless of personal opinions on its quality, is certainly good enough for Noted Music Critic Keith Olbermann), Slim Shady is having something of a resurgence, with people happy to once again enjoy statements from a rapper white enough that his anger doesn’t make them uncomfortable.
Lest we forget 2004, though, Eminem’s stance on Trump hasn’t always been quite as hardline as it is now. In those heady days of Paris Hilton and The Apprentice season one, Trump was broadly thought of as just another rich shitsack (rather than the world’s foremost rich shitsack), apparently harmless enough to endorse Eminem for president in an MTV special called The Shady National Convention.
Watching now, seeing Trump make the same hand motions and type of statements (“I’m always right. I’m Donald Trump. I’m always right”) in a parody of an election campaign rally is eerily reminiscent of the more recent past and its far more disconcerting parodies of election campaign rallies. The best moment, of course, is the man himself proclaiming “Slim Shady is a winner!” before yelling out, “He’s got brains, he’s got guts, and he’s got Donald Trump’s vote!”
A mashup of that last sentence alongside Eminem calling out Trump’s racism and hypocrisy (ending, of course, with a hollered “Donald the Bitch”) must be on its way.