Il rock si tinge di rap: Eminem è stato introdotto nella Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. L’evento di quest’anno ha coinvolto sia il rapper di Detroit che il suo mentore Dr. Dre per questo particolare riconoscimento.
Eminem: l’introduzione di Dr. Dre nella Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Sabato scorso, al Microsoft Theatre di Los Angeles, è stata svolta la cerimonia di investitura per la Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2022. Tra gli artisti premiati per il loro contributo, seppure non si tratti di rock, c’era Eminem. Il rapper è stato accolto sul palco da Dr. Dre che ne ha elogiato le qualità artistiche, individuate già agli inizi della carriera rap di Eminem.
Dre ha parlato dei primi incontri e dell’ignoranza, sua e dei suoi collaboratori, nel credere che solo un artista nero avrebbe potuto rappare come Eminem ha dimostrato di saper fare. Il merito dell’ex N.W.A. è stato quello di scommettere su Eminem contro il parere del suo team, come lui stesso ha spiegato. Ha parlato di quella sintonia di intenti tra loro due, arrivata nel momento in cui Dre voleva qualcosa di nuovo a livello creativo ed Eminem desiderava che il rap diventasse il suo lavoro. Queste le sue parole:
«Over 20 years ago, Jimmy Iovine, who is also one of tonight’s inductees and one of my best friends, played a demo tape for me from a guy who called himself Eminem. The first thing I said when I heard it was, “what the fuck did he just say?” I loved it so much that I couldn’t stop listening to it.
A few days later, Jimmy called me and said, “you know he’s a White guy, right?” Fucked me up! The last thing I was thinking about when I was listening was that he was White. It never even crossed my mind. Looking back, I don’t know why it didn’t cross my mind. He certainly didn’t sound like a Black rapper, especially because of what he was saying. I guess it was my ignorance at the time, thinking that if you’re a really good rapper, you must be Black.
Not too long after that, we met for the first time. We hit it off and the next thing you know, we’re at my house working. The first time I put on a beat, he gets on the mic and says, “hi, my name is”. Boom! And that was the beginning of what became an amazing creative collaboration.
Then came the backlash. “Look at him, Dre! He has blue eyes! You can’t sign him!” There was a massive amount of resistance from my own team and from a lot of people around me: people who had never even heard the music, but didn’t want me to sign him or work with him simply because he was White.
While everyone else around me had their doubts, I knew that his gift was undeniable. His raw, dark, and humorous lyrics coupled with an impeccable cadence stood out from anything I had ever heard before, and he was hungry. Both of us were. We were two artists in do-or-die situations: he was desperate to find a way to feed his family and I was searching for something to sink my teeth into creatively. Each of us was exactly what the other needed and I was willing to bet my entire career on it.
My rebuttal to those naysayers went something like this: “he’s going to be the biggest selling artist on our label”. Little did I know he was going to be one of the best-selling music artists of all time».
Eminem: la scommessa di Dr. Dre
Nonostante non potesse averne certezze, Dre ha convinto i suoi collaboratori dicendo che Eminem sarebbe stato l’artista che avrebbe venduto di più nella loro label, ma si sbagliò nelle proporzioni: proprio quest’anno, con oltre 166 milioni di copie, Eminem è risultato l’artista con più singoli venduti nella storia della musica, diventando anche l’unico rapper in America a ottenere tre album di diamante.
Dr. Dre ha poi parlato proprio dell’importanza di Eminem negli U.S.A., della fondamentale narrazione sul disagio sociale, dei problemi con le droghe e della speranza che ha infuso a chi sperava di intraprendere un percorso artistico nel rap:
«Em would go on to overdose, relapse and recover not only on his albums, but also in real life. Let me tell you something, this guy goes through a lot of shit just to get a concept for a song.
But here is Em’s genius, with his incredible wit and wild imagination: he was able to hold up a mirror to White America while also expressing the pain of living through poverty in dysfunctional families devoid of hope. Eminem brought hip-hop to middle America and offered kids who looked like him a way to connect to it.
Hip-hop wasn’t just for Black kids in desperate inner-city circumstances anymore. People of every stripe could have the art form speak to their struggles, too».
Eminem: l’esibizione e il discorso
Dopo l’introduzione di Dr. Dre, è stata la volta per Eminem di salire sul palco. Si è prima esibito in un medley di grandi successi (da Rap Good a My Name Is, passando per Sing For The Moment, Stan e Not Afraid) anche con grandi artisti come Ed Sheeran e Steven Tyler, poi ha fatto un umile discorso di ringraziamento.
Innanzitutto, Eminem ha detto di sentirsi un privilegiato nel fare rap e ha ringraziato Dr. Dre, definendo sia la musica che il collega due fattori che gli hanno salvato la vita. Dopo questo preambolo, ha trovato due motivi per il quale non avrebbe dovuto essere alla cerimonia: il primo è che si tratta della Rock & Roll Hall of Fame mentre lui fa un altro genere, il secondo è che nel 2007 ha rischiato di morire per overdose.
In séguito, Eminem ha sottolineato quanto ha dovuto sgomitare per sfondare nella musica, ma non l’ha fatto con superbia, anzi: nel suo discorso, ha colto l’occasione per celebrare oltre cento artisti che hanno avuto importanza e influenza nella sua carriera, attribuendo loro il merito sia della sua presenza all’evento che della sua educazione hip-hop. Ha, poi, espresso il desiderio che in futuro quegli artisti vengano presi in considerazione per essere inseriti nella Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Queste le parole di Eminem:
«This shit’s crazy. So I wrote some shit down tonight that I’m never going to fucking remember, so I had to read it off the paper and shit, but it’s from the heart. I realize what an honor it is right now for me to be up here tonight, and what a privilege it is to do the music that I love, and the music that basically saved my life.
Where’d the man, where did Dre go? The man who saved my life, ladies and gentlemen, Dr. motherfuckin’ Dre. So I’m going to try to make this as quick and painless as possible. I’m fucking stuttering and shit, I mean Jesus Christ.
So I’m probably not supposed to actually be here tonight because of a couple of reasons. One of them that I’m a rapper, and this is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And there’s only a few of us right now that have been inducted in already, but there’s only a few of us.
Secondly, I almost died from an overdose in 2007, which kind of sucked. Hailie, plug your ears: because drugs were fucking delicious, and I thought we had a good thing going man, but I had to go and fuck it all up and take too many. God damn. OK Hailie.
OK, so. Hold on, I lost my motherfuckin’ spot. Paul, did I say, I said drugs were delicious, right? And finally, I had to really fight my way through man to try and break through in this music, and I’m so honored and I’m so grateful that I’m even able to be up here doing hip-hop music, man, because I love it so much.
And they say you won’t work a day if you love your job and shit. This part I’m not crazy about? But, OK.
My musical influences are many, and they say it takes a village to raise a child. Well it took a whole genre and culture to raise me.
They say success has many fathers, and that’s definitely true for me. So whatever my impact has been on hip-hop music, I never would have or could have done this shit without some of the groundbreaking artists that I’m about to mention right now.
And this is a list man, I put this list together yesterday. And I kept adding to the shit, adding to the shit, and if I forget anybody, I apologize. But these were my teachers right here:
I’m gonna start with the 2 Live Crew, 2Pac, 3rd Bass, Alliance, Apache, Audio Two – Milk Dee, what up! – Awesome Dre, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Big Pun, Big L, Biz Markie, the Notorious B.I.G. of course, Black Moon, the Boogie Monsters, Brand Nubian, Brother J from X Clan, Buckshot, Casual from Heiroglyphics, Chill Rob G, Chubb Rock, Chuck D and Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, D-Nice, Dana Dane, De La Soul – now I’m about a third of the way done.
De La Soul, did I say De La Soul? Def Jef, Del the Funky Homosapien, DJ Quik, Dr. Dre of course, Dres from Black Sheep, Ed O.G., EPMD, Fat Boys, Fat Joe, Fu-Schnickens, Gang Starr, Geto Boys, Heavy D, House of Pain, Ice Cube, Ice-T, the Intelligent Hoodlum, JJ Fad, Jaz-O, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Just Ice, K-Solo, Kid & Play: I’m a tenth of the way done.
King Sun, King Tee, Kool G Rap, Kool Moe Dee, KRS-One, Kwame, Lakim Shabazz, Large Professor, Leaders of the New School, the one and only LL Cool J – love you bro. Lord Finesse, Lords of the Underground, Mantronix, Masta Ace, MC Breed, MC Lyte, MC Shan, Melle Mel, Merciless Ameer, Mobb Deep, Monie Love, Nas, Newcleus, Onyx, Organized Konfusion, Outkast, Andre 3000, Paris, Pharcyde, Queen Latifah, Rakim, Redhead Kingpin, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, I’m almost done.
Redman, Roxanne Shante, Run-D.M.C., Salt-N-Pepa, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, Snoop Dogg, Souls of Mischief, Special Ed, Stetsasonic, now I’m all down to the S’s. Super Lover Cee and Casanova Rud, the D.O.C., the Roots, Black Thought, the Skinny Boys, Tony D, Too $hort, Treach from Naughty By Nature, A Tribe Called Quest, U.T.F.O., Whodini, Wise Intelligent and the Poor Righteous Teachers, Wu-Tang Clan and YZ.
Those were my rock stars man, and I just want to say, like, those are just a few of the names that I hope will be considered in the future for induction. Because without them, a lot of us wouldn’t be here. I know I wouldn’t.
So that’s all I had to say, man. I know this induction is supposed to be me talking about myself and shit man, but fuck that. I would not be here without them. I’m a high school dropout man, with a hip-hop education, and these were my teachers. And it’s their night just as much as it is mine. So thank you».
Tutti gli artisti inseriti nella Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2022
Non solo Eminem. Ecco tutti gli artisti introdotti nella Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2022:
- Pat Benatar
- Duran Duran
- Dolly Parton
- Lionel Richie
- Carly Simon
- Harry Belafonte
- Elizabeth Cotten
- Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
- Judas Priest
- Allen Grubman
- Jimmy Iovine
- Silvia Robinson