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Newsday from New York, New York • 198

New York, New York
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I TTrrTirprrrrTDii Sr'-V 'v -1 iy SISfcV Vv -Wf l-A -V'S Phato hyJimathaa llsMiiasi witty controversial and to soma In the music Industry bad boy nppar Eminem is hoir apparent RomaEdmg IS EMINEM THE NEW ELVIS? By Glenn Gamboa STAPT WRITER black artists However not everyone is sold on the idea tempting to look at the says Murray Forman professor of communications and cultural studies at Northeastern University I see Eminem in that framework whatsoever He is not opening the field or the industry to whites not in some sort of vanguard He is an original and he has been given enough room to bis the star that he is helped by Dr- acceptance But anyone who think he is on the same level as Elvis Presley is operating under a mimindrtniling of role and Forman says the two are stars on different scales rap is wildly successful not the music of an entire he says may be the music of the entire black youth generation but that does not match the across-the-board resonance Elvis and rock and roll had in the There is only one Elvis Presley However since the passing of The King many have laid claim to his pop-culture throne The latest entrant is bad-bay rapper Eminem On his current album Rminwn he lays out his case: Tin not the first king of controversy 1 am the worst thing since Elvis Presley to do black music so selfishly and used it to get myself he raps in his hit In his manifesto he says at my sales do the math If I was black I woulda Bold Like Presley Eminem has stirred up his share of controversy though the the brouhaha seems so tame in the face of the murderous fantasies and politically incorrect slurs of raps Like Presley Eminem is a white artist from a working-class family who took a predominantly black music to the mainstream and received more success than the black artists that came before him They also both owe their initial breaks to ambitious Svengalia who were looking to put white faces on black music producer Sam Phillips and black hit-making mentor Dr Dre The similarities are enough for many in the industry though similar talk swirled around Vanilla Ice when he first appeared on the scene is the new Elvis because num-bre 1 he had the respect for black music that Elvis says Public Enemy frontman Chuck thing say about Eminem very witty very sharp very much respectful of stepping on toes in black music take being called Elvis Public Enumy rapper and musicologist Chuck dlscussas hip-hop and rock and roll past prassnt and future 1m gone before ridiculous But what you get when you turn it into a domestic thing and you realize outside your head I think the anniversary might focus on what given to music I think than more important than that he died some National Enquirer What he gave to music in the period in showing how he helped uck Berry develop into rock and roll alongside Cht Audiences swoon at Eminem concerts the way they did in the early days of rise and Forman says the bond between the rapper and his friends may not be as deep Forman author of the recent book Hood Comes First: Race Space and Place in Rap and Hip which examines the role that location plays in rap says that Eminem will never reach international icon status all the claims he might make not going to have the international impact that rappers like NWA or Public Enemy had in other countries where the gangs ta posture or the posture of resistance is much more popular Forman says is important to think about his position in the pantheon of artists If you talk about him in purely racial terms he is alone But when you consider what his role is and little Richard He go past those guys a peer of those guys You would see pictures of Elvis and Bobby Bland and BB lung Elvis had to come up through the streets of Memphis the black of Memphis in order to be accepted He was good because he just a white boy that have to work to get there He through blade crowds and had to turn them out What he offered to rock and roll being a combination of rhythm and blues aad hillbilly music those dynamic contributions should be recognized as opposed to when he was a farting old fat cat in 1 was in 11th grade then and 1 was like is the big deal?" smart and Elvis was smart Beyond every- sathet- thing I think courteous and sympat what his brand is he is really an angry rapper He makes some and that is not that unique ic to black music and unfortunately more sympathetic to black music than many very lofty claims but he cant back that.

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