Open Thread: Eminem VS Mariah (yes, again)

By Special Correspondent Thea Lim

mariah

What? More Mariah Carey?

Ok before Latoya starts to get angry letters saying that I am out of control and should not be allowed to write about Eminem and Mariah again, this one came by special request, straight from head office.

To recap, Eminem released the song Bagpipes from Baghdad about Mariah Carey, Mariah released the song Obsessed in response, and now (with remarkable turnaround time) Eminem has released The Warning.

I really only have two short thoughts on this:
1) It’s clear from the Obsessed video that Mariah is singing to Eminem. The song even starts with “Will the real MC please step to the mike?” (Haha! Get it?)  And she’s uh, dressed like him in the video.  So why is Mariah denying that the song is about Eminem? (As you know from my history, comments like “because she’s stupid” will not be very graciously accepted…) Both MC’s husband Nick Cannon and Carey recently told MTV that neither the song nor the video are about Eminem. Weird.

2)  Ok, crazed fan status aside, I thought some of the lyrics from Obsessed were quite clever.  Like the line: seeing right through you like you’re bathing in Windex. Come on, that’s funny!

Meanwhile, though not surprising, the lyrics to The Warning are extremely violent and misogynist. There’s very little humour to be found there.

Yet reports of the feud characterise MC and Eminem in exactly the same way – most reports saying that they are both furious and childish – even though (at least to me) MC’s response seems playful and jokey, while Eminem’s response is frighteningly graphic and seething.

I’m not saying that there isn’t some nastiness in Obsessed (note the way the Eminem stand-in gets hit by a bus at the end…though apparently that’s supposed to be a reference to the movie Mean Girls), but it’s still light years away from the vitriol of The Warning.

If this was a feud between, say, two white dudes, would the massive difference in response also go unnoted? Are race and gender playing into how this feud is being reported? Is MC getting no credit for being lighthearted while Eminem threatens physical violence because she’s a woman of colour?

Or can we just chalk the lack of nuance in the reporting down to the fact that this is a celebrity feud, and that no one really takes either Mariah or Eminem that seriously?