A couple of days ago I was in the car and did something I rarely do anymore – flip through the radio dial just to see what was on – and as I hit a Top 40 station the DJ announced the new Eminem, so I stuck around to hear dat shit.
“Just Lose It” is generic Eminem all the way, which isn’t bad – it’s catchy as hell – but isn’t any kind of move forward either (other than the serviceable warbling Em busts out by way of a bridge) Recapitulating his whole “I’m back” thang, it’s a light, quick rap of the “Real Slim Shady” school, and I’m sure it will do just fine for itself.
Far more amusing and, naturally, controversial, is the video to the tune (watch it here, from MTV) – with cameos by Paris Hilton, Dr. Dre, and Erik Estrada – wherein Marshall impersonates and pokes fun at MC Hammer, Madonna, Pee Wee Herman, and most cuttingly, Michael Jackson. It’s funny, though the target is rather obvious. Michael – humorless bastard that he is – is not amused:
- Michael Jackson has asked TV stations to stop playing Eminem’s new video, which ridicules the pop legend, saying it is “outrageous and disrespectful”.
Eminem dresses as Jackson for the Just Lose It video, and is shown on a bed with young boys. His nose also falls off and his hair catches fire.
“It is one thing to spoof but it is another to be demeaning and insensitive,” Jackson said.
US cable’s Black Entertainment TV is the only channel to ban it so far.
The song and video make references to Jackson’s looming trial on 10 child abuse charges, which he denies.
….”I am very angry at Eminem’s depiction of me in his video,” Jackson told Los Angeles radio host Steve Harvey, according to a transcript from the singer’s publicist.
“I’ve admired Eminem as an artist, and was shocked by this.
“The video was inappropriate and disrespectful to me, my children, my family, and the community at large.”
Black Entertainment Television (BET) president Robert Johnson said he felt it was inappropriate to disparage a celebrity.
A spokesman for the network told BBC Radio Five Live their decision was “partly out of respect for the relationship we’ve had with Michael over the years”. [BBC]
Pussies – I wonder if BET would have pulled it if Eminem was black, although culturally Eminem is far blacker than Michael Jackson. The competing loyalties here are disorienting. No other stations have pulled it. Though undeniably cutting, I seen much meaner treatment of Jackson on SNL and Mad TV on numerous occasions.
- The song includes lyrics such as “Come here little kiddies on my lap” and “I’ve done touched on everything but little boys/ That’s not a stab at Michael/ That’s just a metaphor”.
…Last year, the rap star made fun of Jackson’s baby-dangling incident.
Eminem came out to his hotel room balcony in Glasgow, wearing a black and white tracksuit and a surgical mask, and threw a baby doll in the air.
The bottom line is, completely apart from the very serious charges against Jackson that take his peculiarities out of the realm of innocent eccentricity, if you are as famous, rich and flat-out fucking weird as Michael Jackson, you are fair game for parody, mockery and satire – what do you expect?