Eminem’s war of words against Donald Trump in his 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher ripped through hip-hop and the White House alike as the Detroit rap icon spit a scorching freestyle for the 71-year-old president, his administration and his supporters.
But he’s not through with White America just yet, and his brand new “Untouchable” single from his long-awaited ninth studio album, Revival, is keeping his political momentum in the name of racial justice fully charged.
The track’s intro places you in the middle of political chaos, as police sirens and crowd murmuring ensue while Em silently improvs a conversation between a Black citizen and a cop.
“Hands up, officer, don’t shoot,” he says. “Then pull your pants up, promise you won’t loot/ We may never understand each other, it’s no use/ We ain’t ever gonna grasp what each other goes through.”
That’s when the classic spazzing Eminem approaches the first verse speaking from the mind of a bigoted, white American police officer. From a first encounter to a traffic stop, to blind stereotyping to an unloaded pistol, he stages the scene for another unarmed Black man gunned down by hatred disguised in a badge.
“Black boy, Black boy, we ain’t gonna lie to you/ Black boy, Black boy, we don’t like the sight of you,” he rhymes. “Pull up on the side of you/ Window rolled down, ‘profile’/ Then we wonder why we see this side of you/ Probably comin’ from the dope house/ We could let you slide but your tail light is blew out.”
Bringing racism’s obsession with the “War On Drugs” into the exchange, as it’s targeted toward people of color, Em even recites the unjust stigmas attached to Black bodies that some police officers have used as a basis for their trigger-happiness against Black people.
“We know you’re hidin’ that Heidi Klum/ On you another drug charge, homie, it’s back inside for you,” he spits. “And just in case a chase might ensue, we got that tried and true/ Pistol drew right at you, we’d be delighted to unload it/ In your back, then walk up and lay that taser on the side of you.”
The track’s chorus, assisted by a sample of comedy duo Cheech and Chong’s “Earache My Eye,” further indicates the mindset of an ego-inflated white boy whose privilege and entitlement taints reality and the people around him. Perhaps to make it more relatable for white America’s anti-Black citizens, Marshall Mathers throws in heavy metal, rock-and-roll guitar chords on the chorus as well.
“White boy, white boy, you’re a rock star (My momma talkin’ to me, tryna tell me how to live),” he raps. “White boy, white boy, in your cop car (But I don’t listen to her, ’cause my head is like a sieve)/ White boy, white boy, you’re untouchable.”