The Big Sean/Eminem collaboration “No Favors” has been getting some hysterical attention for Marshall Mathers seeming to suggest he’d like to engage in sexual relations with right-wing pundit and human scarecrow Ann Coulter. The objections have centred around the tools that the megastar-MC would like to use in the encounter.
Slim Shady raps as follows: “And fuck Ann Coulter with a Klan poster/a lamp post, door handle and a damn bolt cutter/A sandal, a can opener, a candle, rubber piano/A flannel, sucker, some hand soap, butter/A banjo and manhole cover.” How you can fuck anyone with a "flannel" is a question for the ages, but good on Eminem for giving us all something to think about.
Making one think it was a slow news days across the pond last week, those lyrics prompted the NME to post a story quoting a representative from the Ontario-based group Rape Is No Joke Foundation, whose Twitter account has just over 5,000 followers.
An RINJ Facebook post then accused “No Favors” of continuing Eminem's "long history of promoting misogyny" and for "including lyrics about raping American author Ann Coulter."
On that front O’Brien deserves credit for standing up for the alt-right poster girl.
After all, if Coulter’s September 2016 appearance—and subsequent fucking public savaging—at Rob Lowe’s Comedy Central Roast proved, she’s completely incapable of defending herself from personal attacks. Unless, that is, your idea of standing up for oneself consists of sitting there grinning like a nervous Skeletor while fellow attendees make jokes like ”Why is Ann Coulter here tonight? Answer: because the right-to-lifers wanted everyone to see what an abortion looks like up close.”
But back to “No Favors”. The real story isn’t that Eminem took an off-side shot at a subhuman who last month Tweeted “many men have no choice but to rape because they have no opportunities to date attractive women.”
No the real story—sorry Big Sean, seeing as it’s your song and all—is that Eminem has come out swinging at the man currently destroying many of the things that decent Americans hold sacred. Slim Shady used “No Favors” to declare war on the 45th president of the United States with “Trump’s a bitch/I’ll make his whole brand go under”.
What makes that astonishing is how little time Eminem took to weigh in on Mr. Orange. He waited years before finally taking aim at George W. Bush.
Thanks to 9/11, Dubya was largely immune to criticism during his first term in Oval Office, a time when he was launching wars with Iraq, bringing in the Patriot Act, and setting up the torture facility known as Guantanamo Bay.
Unless you happened to live on Cobalt-brand punk rock from 2000-2004, no one with a microphone in their hand said much of anything. Eminem certainly didn’t, waiting four years until just before the 2004 election to finally take a high-profile shot at George Jr. with the single “Mosh” and its lyrics “Stomp, push, shove, mush/Fuck Bush until they bring our troops home”.
With “No Favors”, it took a matter of weeks until one of biggest non-boomer names in American pop music decided to charge up the anti-Trump troops. Hopefully, that’s just the first of many shots across Mr. Orange’s bow.
In an era where record sales aren’t what they used to be, and artists live or die by the number of people who show up for concerts, there’s a lot to lose by announcing you aren’t going to rally ’round the flag. So most artists are keeping their mouth shut, which isn't going unnoticed.
Ask the Dixie Chicks what's at stake. The Texaas trio went from the biggest act in country music to being blackballed across the industry when they announced the following to a London, England audience in 2003: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”
The real favour Eminem has done here is stepped up where many in the music industry continue to take the Fifth. So fuck Ann Coulter. But only metaphorically—which is more than what Trump is currently doing to international refugees, hard-working Mexicans, and progressive Americans who puke every time they see a red baseball cap.