To many parents, Eminem is a perfect culprit. Because some of his lyrics contain explicit sexual content and offensive words, it is so easy to accuse him at first at to make him look guilty when a child acts in a perverted way.
An event that happened in 2002 was giving Eminem a bad name :
In Manchester, a 12 years old boy who had listened to the Ken Kaniff skit had the bad idea to threaten a 9 years old boy with a piece of metal and to force him to perform some oral sex on him.
My question is : how many persons in this world (including teenage kids) have listened to the Ken Kaniff skit ? How many of them have acted weird afterwards ? Probably very few.
The story has been debatted here :
Who is Ken Kaniff ? Ken Kaniff is a sick character that is obviously gay. He appears several times on Eminem’s three records, the Slim Shady LP, the Marshall Mathers LP and the Eminem Show. Ken Kaniff also appears on the Slim Shady Show.
You will find more info about Ken Kaniff here :
The track that « inspired » the 12 years old boy is probably the Ken Kaniff skit from the Slim Shady LP :
[Ken Kaniff]I’m gonna call this motherfucker.
Oh fuck yeah.
Give him a piece of mind. A piece of my ass.
[Operator]Thank you for waiting. Hello, may I help you.
[Ken Kaniff]Oh thank you. I need to make a collect call.
[Ken Kaniff]Oh the number is **6-2***
[Operator]At the tone, please say your name.
[Ken Kaniff]Kenneth Kaniff, from Connecticut. Automated piece of shit.
[Ken Kaniff]Hey there, cock boy.
[Ken Kaniff]This is Ken Kaniff.
[Ken Kaniff]Ken Kaniff from Connecticut, you little bitch.
[Eminem]From Connecticut? I don’t know nobody in Connecticut.
[Ken Kaniff]Yeah, you wanna get a hotel room with me?
[Eminem]A hotel room?
[Ken Kaniff]Yeah, you want me to lick your ass, Eminem?
[Eminem]Yo, who is this, Cage?
[Ken Kaniff]You want me to fuckin melt in your mouth and not in your hand?
Melt in your ass you little cock boy.
[Eminem]Yo, shut up you little bitch.
[Ken Kaniff]Oh, you think I’m lying huh…
Ok, the language is explicit. Ken Kaniff offers a parody of a gay character. The skit is funny and isn’t aimed at 12 years old kids.
I’d say that this story is a typical example of irresponsible parenting. The mom of the teenager did not even any idea of what Eminem’s lyrics were about :
« My son likes Eminem but I have only let him listen to tracks that make the charts. When they played that awful song in the courtroom I felt sick. »
If she had known, she would have had the possibility to buy her son some clean version Eminem Cds. As far as I am concerned, forbidding Eminem to her son is not the solution. Parents should take their children’s musical tastes into account…but not only their musical choices. Parents should try to know their kids better. If they really invested themselves more in knowing their kids better, it would certainly avoid a lot of drama.
Ken Kaniff’s words are not the real problem of the 12 years old boy mentioned in this story. It is goes deeper than that. It is obvious that this teenager had some mental problems that might be solved by counselling.
Eminem never told anybody of his listeners or fans to act weird. He never cautioned crazy behavior. In his song « Stan », he advices Stan not to act « crazy ».
It is not a proven fact that music perverts people. The people who are convinced of the contrary should also accuse any creator of a « crime story » to promote violence and murder. So many people are watching violent movies that are about crime and rape. That doesn’t make criminal or rapists of them.
People accuse Eminem out of ignorance. I agree with this statement made about Eminem on a musical review website :
“Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers = M&M = Eminem = GET IT?) is a foul-mouthed, hilarious, ultra-clever white rapper who has set the flame of the world alight with fire during the past few years with his supposedly profane woman- and gay-bashing lyrics, violent situations and adult themes – targeted towards kids! He has been set up as a kind of supervillain in the press when all he really is is a really smart songwriter who sings about things that make uptight people uncomfortable for a very good reason – they’re the same things that make STUPID people violent. You and I both know that if we hear a song about raping or murdering somebody, it’s just a song. But there are loads and LOADS of unbelievably ignorant, violent, maladjusted freaks out there who may very well take this stuff a little too seriously. Right? So the uptight people are correct, right? And Eminem is just out to make money without concern for our children’s well-being? Not necessarily. He just doesn’t think that he should take the blame for society’s stupidity. The dangers of creating an unintended response in certain listeners is, in fact, the main theme of the Marshall Mathers LP. But everybody seems to miss that, harping instead on his “fag-bashing” and “woman-bashing.” He’s just JOKING when he does that crap. Those are the kinds of jokes that smart people MAKE when they’re making fun of DUMB people. So let’s actually talk about the albums, okey-dokey? Okey-dokey indeed, Mr. Prindle!”
You will also find some full comments about Eminem’s albums on the same website:
Another person said: “Look if you’re going to be forcing little boys into sodomy while theatening them with a metal pipe I think you have bigger problems that what’s in your CD player”. She has a good point.
The problem of this 12 years old boy lies elsewhere and he probably needs a serious therapy.
There is nothing wrong with teenagers in general listening to Eminem. Parents just should make it sure that their kid is mature enough to listen to his songs. If they aren’t , buying clean CDs should be a real alternative. In both cases, it supposes that parents perfectly know their kids’ character, which means focusing a real interest on them.
Don’t blame Eminem for your own failures.