Last night, Eminem unveiled a vicious freestyle against Donald Trump at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. The middle-aged rapper, in his trademark ill-fitting hoodie, attacked President Trump on issues ranging from “draining the swamp,” gun reform, Puerto Rico relief, racism, the NFL, Steve Bannon, and even his limp response to the KKK. The a capella freestyle impressively checked off most issues voiced by critics of Trump, and won him a surprising new fan.
Keith Olbermann, a former MSNBC host who wrote a book called Trump Is Fucking Crazy (This Is Not A Joke), was smitten by the Detroit rapper’s forceful statement on Trump. He called it the “best political writing of the year,” so one might wonder if Olbermann simply doesn’t read, since this freestyles qualifies. But the tweet raised a slightly different question: Why did Keith Olbermann start doubting rap 27 years ago?
Back in 1990, Olbermann was still a local Los Angeles sportscaster. Maybe he didn’t care for the musical stylings of N.W.A. at the time? Perhaps the pop-rap crossover of LL Cool J didn’t connect with Olbermann? Not a big fan of “U Can’t Touch This” or “Ice Ice Baby?” We won’t speculate too much more about what made rap in 1990 so unappealing for the broadcaster, but it appears that Eminem purged all of his bad associations with the genre.
Either way, welcome to club Keith! Rap is cool, the kids love it, and even though your #Eminem2020 hashtag is a bit alarming, it’s fun to get a little carried away with your fandom. Now maybe you’d like to listen to some black rappers, Keith?