Redman Blasts Critics Of Eminem’s BET Cypher & Says EVERYONE Should Respect It (Video)
Redman and Eminem are friends. Over the years, each has showered the other with praise, great MC to great MC. It started with Eminem showing his love for Reggie Noble’s music by remaking “Pick It Up” in 2002, alongside Proof. Years later, Redman returned the favor, by flipping Em’s “Just Don’t Give A F*ck” in 2012. Their admiration was not just exchanged by covering each other’s songs, however. Em once cited Red as his favorite MC of all-time, and, similarly, Redman has listed the reasons why Eminem is also one of his top rappers.
Given the depth of their relationship and mutual respect, it’s no surprise that Redman would come to Eminem’s defense when presented with Em’s detractors, and that’s exactly what has happened, in the wake of Eminem’s BET Cypher heard round the world last week. In the freestyle, titled “The Storm” and dedicated solely to ripping Donald Trump, an emotional Eminem chose to rap a cappella, so that the focus would be on his words, and nothing else. He used dramatic pauses, raised his voice to a scream, and adopted a cadence that was more battle rap than radio record. Though the impact of the verse was undeniable–it was picked up by virtually every major news and music outlet in the country–after the dust settled some critics began to say the freestyle itself, notwithstanding the message, was nothing exceptional. Vince Staples, for example, said the verse was “trash” and he thought Eminem “could do better.” Similarly, Charlamagne Tha God also said, while he appreciated the message, the verse was not great, technically, and he thought Mysonne had the best verse of the Cyphers. These sentiments also were reflected by some fans on social media.
When asked about critics of Eminem’s freestyle, Redman told BET that he just spoke to Em the day before. “I talked to Eminem yesterday. Yesterday was his birthday.” In offering his assessment of the verse, Redman said “The delivery was great to me. It wasn’t bad. I didn’t read the comments, like I said, but what I saw from it and talking to him yesterday…When Eminem does something, it’s not just a song. It’s not just a freestyle. It’s a statement. Even the way he talks, it’s a statement. He talks to state things, not just to be talking sh*t. Not just to have a gang of words come out your mouth and not mean it…He likes to get the point across the board heavy, just as I do.”
As he continued, Redman spoke about the significance of Eminem making such a powerful statement as a White artist on BET, one of the largest platforms for Black audiences. “As I watched that BET Cypher, I’m like ‘Wow.’ Eminem could have went up there and blacked out on rhymes with flows and killed sh*t, but he felt, as a person–Of his color! Of his color! to represent us on BET, with a rhyme addressing the President…He has power, and he used his power on that BET Cypher to make a statement for us [Blacks], as well, as a people. For all of us as a people, but especially for us [Blacks]. And, EVERYONE, ANYONE should respect that man for that. ‘Cause he didn’t have to do it! It’s not even many of us that would have stepped out of the box and did what he did. It took that opportunity to use that platform on the BET Cypher to make a motherf*ckin’ statement.”
Redman goes even further with an assessment of himself, saying “He could have used that platform just to black the f*ck out. If BET had asked me again [to be in the Cypher], I would have been up there blacking the f*ck out. I wouldn’t have said sh*t about what’s going on. I would have been blacking it. But, he used it to make a statement. And that’s one thing we should respect about that man. We should not criticize him.”
Eminem himself has not spoken about the freestyle, since its release.
#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For Heads’ most recent LAST 7 episode looks at the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards, especially its cyphers: