Eminem detailed his new album Revival last week, which, to put it lightly, I am not looking forward to. In addition to the tracklist, our new woke warrior released a song called “Untouchable,” continuing the mission statement of his incensed anti-Trump freestyle by unpacking white privilege and the ways in which black Americans are disproportionately disadvantaged in 2017 and every preceding year.
It’s very long, it’s very heavy-handed, and it contains several more missives to his heartland fans that Eminem himself could’ve used, say, 20 years ago. “Untouchable” also packs a quick punch at Die Antwoord, the freeky, sometimes racist South African rap duo. (Fun fact: both Die Antwoord’s Ninja and Eminem could’ve starred in that Matt Damon movie Elysium if they wanted??)
“I’d rather hear ’em say ‘die n-word’ than Die Antwoord/ Ninja, now it’s better disguised banter,” Em raps, with botched pronunciation, at one point on the track. As Uproxx points out, this sure seems like a reference to when member Yolandi Visser sported blackface in the 2012 video for “Fatty Boom Boom.”
Instead of doing nothing, always the best course of action in this type of situation, Die Antwoord dug themselves a little deeper with a series of Instagram posts. They mostly just took issue with the mispronunciation, instead of addressing the fact that Eminem brought up an unsavory and probably racist slice of the duo’s past.
“How would you feel if I called you e-eminem,” Visser says in the video. Then Ninja comes in with this line, which made me feel like I was too harsh on Em’s infamous freestyle: “E-eminem went to jail and got a bit of semen in his bum and was never seen again.”
Something something pot calling the kettle black, at least in 2017 Eminem is trying to right the ship and isn’t still perpetuating this shit? I don’t know!