The provocative Eminem video that got banned from MTV
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The provocative Eminem video that got banned from MTV

Eminem, often called Slim Shady, has always been a controversial artist. From his lyrics to his aesthetic, Since he first emerged on the scene in 1999, the Detroit emcee’s tense and angst-filled music was refreshing. However, at times, his material has been highly toxic, and many consider it a byproduct of Em’s poisonous childhood.

The musician (real name Marshall Mathers) was heavily scrutinised during the 2000s. There was a vast amount of backlash concerning his music, especially his alter-ego Slim Shady. However, he never held back or censored himself. Specific individuals push the envelope in provocative, anti-establishment genres such as hip-hop, and Mathers is one of these figures. Still, one of Eminem’s music videos was so outrageous MTV took it upon itself to ban it. 

During his prime in 2002, middle-class Americans and hip-hop cynics highlighted Mathers as a rapper who happily promoted violence against women, self-harm, homophobia and more.

Still, the musician didn’t care and (even though it wasn’t a single) upon the release of his album The Eminem Show, decided to release visuals for his track ‘White America.’ The song was edgy and was Shady’s response to critics claiming that he was responsible for exacerbating criminality and delinquency among young White Americans.

Eminem had an audience that transcended race and, as an artist of Aftermath Entertainment, was part of a label that boasted some of the most successful hip-hop artists of the 2000s, such as 50 Cent. Due to Mathers’ mass appeal, The Eminem Show went multi-platinum worldwide and is certified Diamond in the US. With such a far-reaching audience, when the Detroit act released the track and video for ‘White America, ‘ alarm bells began to ring. 

The video is an animation and depicts Mathers being lynched as well as the desecration of America’s constitution, white police officers beating a young man and an Uncle Sam poster with his middle finger up. It also depicts then-president George W. Bush as a string-pulled puppet.

With so much anti-American content that alludes to the nation’s contentious history, as a major corporation with young viewers, MTV was obligated to ban the video from being played on the channel. However, you can watch the visuals for ‘White America’ in the video below.