By Ta-Ning Connai
First, I’d like to give my sincere condolences and a heartfelt prayer for all the rappers and rap critics that got slaughtered by Eminem on his unexpected sneak attack album, Kamikaze, on August 31:
May you Rest In Peace and know better never to cross that crazy boy ever again. May many of you always be remembered for being lyrically murdered for being lyrically wack. May the Lord forgive you other fools for not keeping Em’s name out ya mouth. In closing, may others learn from your mistakes and may your humiliation end soon. Oh and may you have enough sense to not try and diss him back. Amen.
Slim Shady is back for his spot as one of the G.O.A.T in Hip Hop and he’s throwing shade, being petty and spilling tea like no one else can. Never a fan of subliminal suggestions, he went on a name-dropping shooting spree, making sure every single bit of venom he spewed stung each enemy individually…Charlamagne tha God, Joe Budden, Migos and many other casualties got blown to smithereens by the white boy with the mad skills. For anyone who thought the 45-year-old rapper was too old for this, the career some thought was practically dead has officially been resurrected!
A lot had been said about Marshall Mathers. Some question whether he would be as successful if he were just another black rapper; some say he’s just another white person stealing from black culture; more than a few say he’s crazy, twisted, dark and demented and the positive accolades are equivalent to brilliance no doubt. But I happen to think, above all else, that the musical icon is incredibly courageous.
Hip Hop is a genre of music mainly dedicated to an exaggerated claim of greatness. And while Eminem doesn’t shy away from giving himself praise, he’s most known for being honest enough to air his dirty laundry COMPLETELY out in his lyrics, saying the kind of things only therapists are trusted to hear…dysfunctional upbringing, disdain for his moms, a near overdose, OCD, bad breakups and more…he’s got a ton of baggage just like many of us, only he doesn’t keep his behind closed doors.
Not Afraid, the single from Eminem’s 2010 album Recovery, touches on the bravest thing yet…his serious bout with drug addiction and his desire to be completely free:
“And I just can’t keep living this way
So starting today
I’m breaking out of this cage
I’m standing up, I’mma face my demons
I’m manning up, I’mma hold my ground
I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up
Time to put my life back together right now”
Eminem has been sober for 10 long years! Now that’s what I call true courage indeed.
Joshua and Caleb from the Bible weren’t famous rappers, but they were some pretty bold dudes nonetheless (Numbers 13-14)…God had promised a pricey piece of land to Moses and his entire crew. The only problem was that the people already living there wasn’t trying to hear all that. So, an unavoidable fight was about to go down. Moses was like, “I’m sending some of y’all to go peep out the land, come back and tell me what’s up. But don’t be scared and y’all better not forget to bring me some of that big fruit they got!”
So all these men from Moses camp are sweating by what they see. They go back to Moses like a bunch of punks, “That place fly as it could be! But the people are huge, man, they’ll eat us alive, we’re like grasshoppers to them, we won’t survive!”
They literally started crying and carrying on, it was an absolute crying shame. But Joshua and Caleb broke out from the crowd and made a very bold claim. “We can take them fools, we got what it takes as long as God has our back. He already said He’ll give us the land, so why y’all buggin’ out like that?”
You’re not gonna believe what happened next, God was oh so pissed! He said, “Except for Caleb and Josh, y’all gonna die here in the wilderness!” It ended up being 40 more years before the Promise Land came to pass, but Joshua and Caleb led a new generation; their courage was built to last (Joshua 1-24).
Whether it’s something you need to move forward with or perhaps you just need to walk away, the boldness to do it doesn’t quite come until some kind of faith move is made. It may be work, it may be school or it may be relational stuff; whatever it is, it all can change with a little bit of guts.
Maybe Em’s audacity to start a hip hop rivalry didn’t hit ‘til he penned the first note. And maybe Joshua and Caleb were still scared ‘til they stood up in front of those folks. God didn’t give you a spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind and the only way fear will run away is if you kick it in the behind! So come on, go pick up that phone or drive to that certain place, ‘cause like I said, courage will come if you just step out in faith!
When have you stepped out on faith and things worked out better than you could have imagined?