"White Privilege" is one of the buzz terms of our time. Scholar Boyce Watkins dropped the catch-all phrase on Eminem during a recent interview with Vlad TV.
Before he did, Watkins made clear that he thinks Em is a great emcee (although not the best), as well as an authentic voice who respects the culture. But he also believes Shady benefits from white privilege, not just commercially but artistically.
"One, he does get a little bit of that Elvis effect," Watkins explained. "You’re a white rapper. You're as good as the black guy. People are gonna love you more because you’re white, same thing Larry Bird ... The other thing about Eminem that I think is an artifact of white privilege is that Eminem gets something that a lot of black artists don't get. He gets to be a pure and true artist. Eminem, if you listen to his music, he raps about everything that's in his soul and in his spirit. There’s not sort of this very programmatic, predictable, continual music that comes from him. Where he’s always talking about the same thing. Went to the club, got drunk, met some hoes, made money, whatever .. And so, what I see with a lot of artists who've become corporatized is just sort of the same old stuff. And it gets old after a while."It would be difficult to dispute Watkins' first point. Em himself has conceded in verse that he gets the Elvis effect. But that just gets to his popularity. Watkins also asserts that Shady benefits as an artist because his white skin allows him to escape being "coporatized."
What do you think about that much bolder argument? See his words below.