Nick Cannon won't be picking up Eminem's new album, Relapse, when it hits shelves on May 19. "Bagpipes from Baghdad," one of the songs on Relapse, takes aim at pop stars, including Eminem's ex-girlfriend and Nick's current wife Mariah Carey. As expected, this didn't sit well with Nick Cannon. The song includes the following lyrics, "Mariah whatever happened to us. Why did we ever have to break-up?" He then turns his attention to Cannon, "Nick Cannon, you better back the f--k up. I'm not playing, I want her back, you punk."
Nick Cannon responded via his blog with a long-winded rant about Eminem (he later removed the post). "Not only has his music not evolved, but also homeboy is still obsessed with my wife," he said. He then criticized Eminem for being racially insensitive. "I realized that this so-called man has just disrespected, one of the world's most significantly influential artists, one of the most notable BLACK females of our time, the incredibly cherished, globally loved and world-embraced woman of color, Mariah Carey."
Mariah Carey is undoubtedly one of the greatest vocalists of our time and Cannon is justified in his disdain for Eminem. But racism has nothing to do with anything in this case. Eminem disses pop stars, black or white, all the time. Why then did Nick Cannon bring it up? Well, it reeks of an attempt to ride on the recent wave of racial tension in hip-hop, thus gaining the moral high ground. History has taught us that it's always advantageous to control the high ground in combat. Nick can't match Eminem's level of lyricism in a rap battle, so he resorts to cheap shots.
One way to gain this upper hand is to portray your opponents as hopelessly unethical. Or racist. Cannon's remark is nothing more than blind ignorance and overblown rhetoric designed to mask the lack of substantive support, ultimately obscuring relevant elements of the presumed battle.
Take it to the mic, fellas.Photo © Frederick M Brown/Getty