Close to the Edge: the Representational Tactics of Eminem Essay

1572 Words Nov 7th, 2010 7 Pages
Close to the Edge: The Representational Tactics of Eminem a comprehensive essay written by Marcia Alesan Dawkins, provides a concrete, insightful examination of the strategy and tactics used by a Caucasian artist to integrate himself into the predominantly African-American and Latino dominated sub culture of hip-hop. The purpose of this document is to illuminate the methods utilized by what Dawkins calls the Other to seamlessly sneak into a racially charged social group and gain acceptance amongst its critics and audiences. This is someone who would otherwise be labelled as an outcast from the point of view of its patrons. Such methods draw from Michel de Certeau’s stages of cultural navigation, which Dawkins makes use of to support the …show more content…
Eminem’s race is of obvious concern when regarding his appropriation. The concept of sameness/otherness resurfaces when Eminem is forced to confront and industry dominated by minorities. In order to secure his appropriation he affiliates himself with African-American practitioners of the art form and in doing so not only is he accepted and deemed authentic but he is also able to spur his career. Thus, Dawkins ascertains that Eminem came to the realization that authenticity and honesty to his audience would serve to gain their respect and adulation, “hip-hop’s absorption by suburban middle- class white youths hankering for ‘‘authenticity’’ is the latest phase of a complicated history of transracial entertainment.” (Dawkins, 467) This is a valid argument that can be applied to most sub cultures, because in order to first be welcomed into any culture something must first prove its worth. Therefore this idea of appropriation can be applied to another genre of music or a new product. Dawkins following argument focuses on the “aura” a concept examined from the works of Walter Benjamin. The “aura” someone embodies is a singularity, a unique trait attributed to that person alone. When applied to Eminem the “aura” is personified through his multiple personae. The purpose of the “aura” is to distance Eminem’s

Related Documents