Rapper Eminem took the knee as he jointly headlined the Super Bowl on Sunday with Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige and Kendrick Lamar. File photos: Kathy Hutchins, Tinseltown, Shutter Stock, licensed.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Hating on America has become tired, derivative and cliché and it’s now infected our SuperBowl entertainment. Nothing screams #FirstWorldProblems more than the mess that transpired at Superbowl’s halftime show this past weekend.
While it certainly got its share of accolades and evoked nostalgia for the 35-44 demographic, it also goes to show how much America has fundamentally changed, not for the better.
I get it. These overpaid music stars from the late 90s and 2000s have still not transcended their teenage rebellion stage but when they’re middle aged and taking a knee or throwing gang signs, it really just screams “privilege” and feels contrived, especially when they’re walking advertisements for everything corporate.
Context matters. It’s amazing how removed from reality these celebrities are. How quickly they’ve forgotten the streets they come from. Or if we are really honest, their motivation to make a political statement, may come from actual delusion about how the rest of America lives and struggles. A delusion that could stem even back to their days “in the hood”. After all, a generation has grown up only with urban problems but not seeing the cause and effect of bad policies perpetuated by the same political side Eminem and Snoop shill for. I worked hard and spent my early adulthood in the ghetto, with gangs tagging my front door in Canoga Park but I worked hard to get out.
One’s unresolved pain and one’s celebrity status doesn’t make their faulty statements any less false. It just makes it an emotionally charged tantrum that looks immature to the rest of us who work hard to pay our bills, and never achieve the level of wealth they do, which we are okay with. But when we want to chill and enjoy our time off on SuperBowl day, all this tone deaf politicking by the elite celebrities is slightly insulting. Most importantly, does it stop being entertainment?
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Of course, Snoop and Eminem, you guys have every right to express yourselves how you see fit. And can we blame you for the delusion? These rappers have been rewarded for bad behavior.
The true sad part is the reaction from a significant amount of people who saw only the nostalgia. I could have been happy enjoying the music. “Lose Yourself” was one of my favorite songs 18 years ago. But there are bigger things in life than teenage rebellion and sticking it to the man. I think the 35-44 demographic that loved this so much may need their priorities checked.
John Axford’s tweet was especially cringeworthy. “I’ve never felt cooler in my entire life than I do right now while watching this #SuperBowl half time show and singing all the lyrics and my kids looking at me like I’m some sort of rap god!”
I’ve never felt cooler in my entire life than I do right now while watching this #SuperBowl half time show and singing all the lyrics and my kids looking at me like I’m some sort of rap god! 😎
— John Axford (@JohnAxford) February 14, 2022
The SuperBowl music performances over the last decade have also become more about quantity over quality. Getting all these big names on stage to make up for the fact that one star can’t carry the stage is a statement on the declining quality of our entertainers. There was a time when artists truly pushed interesting boundaries. Now, Eminem and Snoop are basically corporate shills.
If you have to try that hard to explain why you took a knee after the fact, Eminem, and you can’t do it in a creative way, you’re simply derivative and lack true inspiration. Maybe because fundamentally what you are fighting for is hypocritical and showcases your privileged entitlement. Rant off.