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News - 'Should Elton John bow out of his duet with Eminem during the Grammys?'

Yes. It doesn't take a royal title to connect Eminem's lyrics and anti-gay violence

I feel a little sorry for Eminem. Poor kid, never knew his dad, born to a teenage mom (who he claims was on drugs and welfare), raised in a Detroit housing project, started rapping to fend off high school bullies. Even his adult life is wrought with "Behind the Music"-worthy melodrama: Sued by said mother for defamation, arrested after a bar brawl, has rocky reconciliation with suicidal wife. Obviously this guy has issues
Elton John, on the other hand, has no excuse for his foolhardy decision to share the stage with Eminem, whose multi-platinum The Marshall Mathers LP routinely and repeatedly slams gays, lesbians and people with AIDS. The record somehow scored four Grammy nods — including a nomination for album of the year — despite its virulently misogynistic, homophobic and even homicidal message:
"My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge/That'll stab you in the head/whether you're a fag or lez/ ... Hate fags? The answer's 'yes.' "
C'mon, Elton, it doesn't take a royal title to make the connection between lyrics like that and a youth culture that permits the murders of gay teens like Matthew Shepard or Brandon Teena.
In a year of antiseptic pop acts such as Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, the Grammys needed a bad boy like Eminem to stir up some buzz. Tapping John to step in for Dido in Eminem's hit song, "Stan," was certainly a marketing coup, saint and sinner together on stage.
But as a gay man known for his tireless humanitarian work, Sir Elton should know better than to lend credence to this Jerry Springer-styled shockster.
On a personal level, it's a smear to the memory of John's late friend Gianni Versace, whose murder Eminem gleefully parodies in the song, "Criminal." And it makes John look like a pushover on a professional level. He called the invitation from Eminem "an olive branch" to the gay community. An olive branch? How about a "can of gas and a match," which Eminem offers to the "faggots ... in hell" in "Remember Me?"
To Eminem, the controversy over his album seems to be a big laugh. His defenders call the outspoken lyrics a clever roasting of rap in general, and the rapper himself shucks off efforts to draw the line between statement and satire.
Elton may get the joke, but do the teens who buy The Marshall Mathers LP get it? I doubt it.
And even if it is a joke, I'll bet that Shepard and Teena are not laughing.





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