Is Eminem the John McCain of rap?

The other day, a guy sent me a link to this poll over at Vibe where it was determined that Eminem is the greatest MC of all time or some such, and he was like. “Dude, you gotta say something about this?”

My guess is that he wanted me to discuss the racial implications of the fact that Eminem, a guy who hasn’t put out an album in over four years now, and hasn’t put out an album that’s worth a shit in even longer, can still be considered relevant, when a black rapper who didn’t put out an album for that long probably would have been arrested for trying to hold up a bank, or working the flour table at a Church’s Chicken or some shit.

Clearly, it’s because he’s white, right? Never mind the fact that he is a pretty good rapper, and he once put out one of my favorite albums evar. Nas once put out one of my favorite albums evar, and you don’t see him winning any greatest rapper polls, now do you?

The thing is, it’s hard to be too upset with a guy like Eminem winning this poll. I mean, I don’t doubt that his race plays into his popularity. But it just so happens that he is really good. And it could have been way worse. Soulja Boy, for example, is really popular on the Internets. What if he won this thing?

I’ll take hip-hop being taken over by white people over hip-hop being taken over by illiterate black kids every day of the week and twice on Tuesday.

However, you do have to wonder if the results of this poll weren’t influenced by the current climate in this country with regard to race relations. For example, is it only a mere matter of coincidence that Eminem is being crowned the greatest rapper of all time in the same issue of Vibe where they’re endorsing a presidential candidate for the first time evar, and it just so happens to be a black guy? (I’m sure it was his health care plan that got him the nod.)

Or could it be that this is evidence of some sort of Obamania-fueled backlash against the black communty? The same backlash we’ve seen manifested, in the past couple of weeks, in cracka-ass crackas going on TV talking about how OJ Simpson finally got what he had coming to him, as if anyone still gives a shit about the OJ trial 13 years after the fact; and mofos shouting out, “He’s a terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and what have you at Klan McCain-Palin rallies.

Would Eminem have won the same poll if it was held, say, a year ago, when most people still figured this election was gonna be another showdown between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton? (God forbid.) I guess it’s hard to say without there having been such a poll. But I will say that I’m not aware of any other such polls that Eminem has won. Just this one that’s being announced in the Barack Obama issue of Vibe.

More importantly, you have to wonder what this poll suggest about a potential Bradley effect amongst white voter in this year’s presidential election – the political phenomenon that has to do with white people fronting about whether they’d support a black candidate. If white people have somehow managed to elect Eminem as America’s favorite rapper, in 2008, what’s there to suggest that they’re not gonna select John McCain as their next president?

McCain’s supposedly way down in the polls. But it’s not like Eminem’s got any songs on the charts right now, and he just managed to beat a whole bunch of black people in an election. And keep in mind, the contest Eminem won took place in the pages of Vibe magazine. I wasn’t even aware that anyone read Vibe magazine other than 47 year-old black chicks. Could it be that white people these days are just that much more adamant about actually winning something?

What do you fruits think? Did Eminem winning this Vibe poll have anything to do with this year’s presidential election? Or do I need to cut off the CNN for a bit and go back to looking at Internets pr0n? Speak on it.

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  • these posts are racist

    No, it has nothing to do with the election. I’m assuming Vibe gave people a choice, i.e. gave a list of rappers and said, pick the best one. Do you have the list by chance?

  • damion


    Good post today. Not your usual nonsensical ranting. Although, I love reading it and responding.

    Obama subject to the Bradley effect? Maybe not. He speaks to people about the bad economy, more so than MAC. Also, look at the money he’s raising. Dude’s a cash cow. He’s not getting most of that $$ from us.

    Em is actually a good rapper, a very good one. One of the top 3. He won. I can’t be mad at that. There are a couple of other “white” rappers and they didn’t make the list. So….

  • blackcaesar

    you can’t seriously try to correlate these two things. although i have said it would be mad smart if all the white republicans and more, had people psyched about obama by claiming to be voting for him when the pollsters call their cribs and then on election day just vote for mccain. which i think people will probably do. but who knows i guess white america could be ready to give access to all the world’s money to a guy with the middle name hussein….

  • texasleen

    Em should start rapping promoting Obama now what the fuck will they do… the matchups in Vibe were really fucked da fucked up

  • DJ ReMike

    i don’t think that eminem is the greatest rapper of all time

    but definitely put him in my top 5 @ #4

    hottest rap remixes


    about time VIBE got something right. if they would have said lil wanye then i wouldny pick up another issue again. at with eminem he has subject matter (even if it is fuck up stuff). people who are complaining that he is not the best can’t name anybody better.

    • G2

      Eminem isn’t even the best rapper in Detroit, let alone the world. Royce has and will rap circles around Em.
      And you can’t forget Kweli, who matches his rhyme skills with substance.

  • El Tico Loco

    McCain gets mad support from people even when he is talkin about nothing. But real mofos see thru that as others are blinded because of the image he portrays. That sounds more like Lil Wayne is the McCain or even Bush of rap.

  • giantstepp

    The best alive? I aint buying it. Consistency has to factor in on holding that title which would eliminate Em outright. It’s been years since Em droped some shit. Truth be told, here in DC I don’t anyone that bumped Em’s shit or was checkin for Em. His talent is undeniable, but the best alive? I demand a recount.

  • grp03

    I can’t see the correlation here. Eminem deserves the top spot or at the very least he deserves not be questioned for being there. If anything, Eminem is more like Obama because they are both relevant minorities in their respective positions. Eminem brought a fresh change to the rap scene that no one witnessed before, which is why many want to vote for Obama now. You have to remember that hip-hop is one of the few areas where white people are the minority.

    However, Bol, I think Em is still relevant for a couple reasons. I think everyone is buzzing in a real low key way about Em’s new album in the works that even this website doesn’t have a lot of information on yet. Second, hes coming out with an autobiography in a couple weeks that will do really well commercially.

  • geico lizard

    vibe supported obama because he is mixed and all of quincy jones(creator of vibe) kids are mixed so he wants to promote that as the best group of people.

    • Bol

      Good point.

  • felipesiny

    How the fuck em be the best rapper alive the king thats some bullshit he good cause a foundation was laid down for him to follow like all people rapping today he just good at rapping. Somebody needs to check out who vibes partners or parent company. And what ties to the record label vibes has due to the fact his album is coming out. I’m tired of company catering to the white suburb kids taste for what they thing real hip-hop is to supposed to sould sound like . in return live black and latino kids lost in bullshit marketing

  • OG Matt Herbz


    Who you think was on the list?! Compile all these groupie-ass nigga’s Top-5 lists and you got the fucking run down. The same names that 2 random-ass bitch asses are always arguing and pulling hair over on interner websites. Google it, my nigga…

    But seriously, why all the hate? This just some bruthaz trying to keep the White Nigga down. Fuck y’all. Eminem is my homeboy: We smoke up together and might spit a 30 min freestyle on a whim. That fool is classic hip-hop. He came from the bottom, didn’t try to fake entry as some drug kingpin, and put the world on its ear with each CD. Now, I’m not saying that all his shit was banging, I only like the Marshall Mathers LP, but he came up on the come-up, give him his due.

    –OG Matt Herbz–

  • these posts are racist

    Matt Herbz,

    I am so not your “n” word. Please don’t ever refer to me as that again. But if you find yourself in Chicago, let me know and I will direct you to a couple neighborhoods where you can try out your internet rhetoric in real life and see how that works out for you.

    You are everything that is wrong with the internet.

  • these posts are racist

    Matt Herbz,

    I am so not your “n” word. Please don’t ever refer to me as that again. But if you find yourself in Chicago, let me know and I will direct you to a couple neighborhoods where you can try out your internet rhetoric in real life and see how that works out for you.

    You are everything that is wrong with the internet.

  • amar

    i dunno if it’s so much the election that’s responsible for the status boost, as eminem retiring.

    usually the “best” talks starts coming out when rappers die or retire. People want what they can no longer have-seems like some basic sociological type shit. Blaming elections or the shittiness of rap music is putting a simple solution to something complex: the human mind. That’s some college shit right there, bol.

  • TheCo!!inB

    if you decide on the latter check out Ice La Fox…..bitch is a beast

  • Worley

    “at Klan McCain-Palin rallies.” For real. That one where the old white woman said Obama was an Arab had the feel of a lynching. I was expecting to see a rope drop from the ceiling at any moment.

    Em is good but to say he is the best is a stretch. Check out a fella named Nasir Jones. Better yet, check out some fellas named Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and KRS-One. I’m certain their talent exceeds Em’s.

  • N DOT C

    I’m not going to vote, fuck, I’m not going to vote/ You can put it on a t-shirt but I just lost hope
    Lyrics from the song ‘Its Killing Me’ by N DOT C

    It shows the anticipation that Eminem fans have for his new album. The actual election has nothing to do with it, because they’re polar opposite entities that won’t have much effect. People will not vote for McCain or Obama due to any endorsement

  • Penelope Rodriguez

    I thought you were gonna say Em was old by calling him the John McCain of rap.

    Now, is Em very talented, but I am not sure about calling dude the greatest rapper alive

  • Thizzin


    I’m white too and using the internet box as a safety net to drop them n words just doesn’t work. After TPAR gives you a tour of the windy city I can drop you off in east oak. And no i won’t give you tour cuz I don’t wanna fuck around and get my hood stomped out when you start saying “sup my ninjas, you be slangin pop rocks on da block, you so cool!”

    Pick up that new E-40, shit slaps like an open hand!

  • John

    the real question is how did jay-z nuthuggers let eminem win in the finals ? lol … but seriusly eminem best rapper alive give me a brake…. four albums and only 2 are good ….. at least lil wayne didnt win …. am i the only one who finds him an absolute atrocity and embarrasment to music

  • capcobra

    shady maybe top 5…but the greatest rapper dead or alive is “the nigger” nas….man don’t be surprised..we know hip hop is dead but we will survive…that’s quotes from the goat…so fuck quincy and his vibe..gone

  • HaHa

    Yeah, I have to cosign that Nas is the best, and am just here to point out that he was closer to Eminem than Jay, not that I dislike Jay, I just hold a grudge like that. Your not really going to beat someone that had a diamond record, and for a record a lot of the best weren’t even put on the list. DMX may be fucked up as shit, but pretend you don’t like his music, at least what he had from the era when Eminem was putting out his best shit. Eminem is the shit though, and when it comes down to it, more people are going to relate to him, and thus vote for him.

  • Pierzy

    By the way, the poll was for The Greatest Rapper Alive, not Ever.

  • OG Matt Herbz

    Shiiiit… these niggaz just mad because the white boy got more shine, MORE SWAGGER, than they asses do. It ain’t a mystery. And pussy niggaz like you and TPAR who can’t do shit themselves, but “know of some places” where I could get my ass handed back to me is what’s wrong with hip-hop in general. A bunch of non-violent MLK Jr. muhfuckas who can’t swang them thangs, but know where all the bad parts of town are. I know you know where they are–how else you been avoiding them parts all your lives? Oh, and in case you didn’t know, nobody East of the San Andreas fault line fux with E40. That nigga rap like he’s being perpetually tickled or some shit. Fuck him.

    –OG Matt Herbz–

  • Gil

    Bol you know the game. There probably was no consideration to votes. Its a way to kiss his ass to be on the cover. NO BIG DEAL.


    The list is valid for 3 reasons….

    1 – not a single rapper in the game would want to fuck with Em in battle mode…not one
    2- fuck a classic album (although MMLP was one), he changed the game. He made mainstream, lyrical and undergraound cats unite. He gave a glimse into white struggles in the hoods. He made a bum group like D12 hot.
    3- greatest sellin rapper of all time…without dropping in 4 plus years.

    TOP 5 Alive: IMO
    Luda or Jada

  • Weasel F

    Thank God someone realised that the CAPS LOCK sucked in this site.
    Anyhoo, there’s no way Em is the greatest rapper of all time, except perhaps in white surburbia. In fact he’s not even on top 5. Album sales don’t translate into best talented.
    Nas, Jay, Andre 3000, Biggie, Rakim are way better than Em in my opinion.

  • grant ny

    em is best rapper alive, 2nd ever behind pac, i think this dude a lot better than big, not a lot of white people read vibe or will go on the site sooooo, hes been voted best by majority blacks, ems the best i have yet to hear an arguement to prove that wrong, anyone who has im willing to hear? na or jay only 2 who come close maybe luda?

  • internet thug slapper

    am I the only one who notices that the BG’s posts always come tied together is this some white kid with two thread names get ur funky bologna and cheese sammach smellin’ ass back to the trailer park wit all that nonsense rap knowledge. oh and “matthew” I got somewhere you can get your ass beat by me its where I reside my crib bitch!

    p.s. E40 been flickin’ game at these young niggas for 2 decades white boi, get ya shit togetha! pop ya colla on that one if you smell me….

    • Og Bobby J

      negative fuck boy….I only do the OG Bobby J…let herbz do him.

      by crib i assume you mean a room in a large building, the size of my bitch’s walk in closet. Madd little nappy welfare kids on dirty rugs…

      Do your foster parents know you using the online connection?

      E-40 is pure ass….PURE

      you must be from the same west coast that thinks gayme is a lyrical rapper…..

      I been flickin booger on your backpack for years at the bus stop….unlace your timbs if you smell that….pussy.

  • Cal

    I’m surprised DETROIT hasn’t left a comment on here yet.

  • DV8

    Vibe is a R&B mag for the most part, so who can really take that shit seriously? Also if you took a look at the brakets, some names dont even belong on there and then it was also set up so that most of the good rappers take each other out in the early rounds. It was basically a popularity contest. The thing that sickens me is that alot of people who are to brainless to form a opinion of there own and/or dont really know hiphop are going along with it and believe it because “Vibe magazine said….” SMH at these brainless/programed zombies.

  • these posts are racist

    Matt Herbz,

    You see that’s the fundamental difference between us. I would never threaten you because I would never do you harm in real life – so I don’t lie about it on the internet. The only time I would ever resort to violence is in an absolute self defense situation and even though, I would cease once the threat abated.

    My point was, you use the “N” word like you get paid 1.00 for each use – on the internet – but you would never say it in front of real black people. What does that make you?


    there are so few mcs that im actually interested in hearing a new verse from, and of that list so few of them are actually commerically viable enough to be considered the best rapper of all time.

    sure he fell off, and his style did a complete 180 from when he came out…but all the battles and all those rallying cry sing-alongs from 8 mile and the eminem show show a level of diversity not found in most mcs who only flex two styles, hyper thug and songs for the ‘yatches.

    best is, of course, a vague term – these polls are meant to spark discussion, not be a definite concrete answer in my opinion.

    there are so many elements that make up a rapper onces personal preference ofter clouds their ability be to objective, even when that is the intent.

    me, I’m still checking for Jada, Ghost, MOP, Nas (I hold out hope) and very, very few select others that are even on the radar of your average vibe reader…

  • Cal

    but all the battles and all those rallying cry sing-alongs from 8 mile and the eminem show show a level of diversity not found in most mcs who only flex two styles, hyper thug and songs for the ‘yatches.

    Co- fuckin Sign!

  • anutha_level

    much betta than that young herb post bullshit…definitely more worthy of thought/discussion

  • jay

    for once i dont like one of ur posts.. not that i dont like it but i disagree on a couple things…

    on i feel that yah em’s success is partly due to him being a good white rapper but lets get into this.. on thing is eminem is GOOD not good hes a fuckin beast on the mic even if he is white if he was garbage he wouldnt b there look at paul wall n whyte boy there white rappers and they dont get shitt em came out beastin on it and with different topics(not sayin there good). but not sayin the same shit now adays rappers cant even touch eminems style .. yah cuz hes white he got looks but now when u hear eminem u think of an amazing rapper who is probably in the top 3 of lyrists of all time..

  • jay

    n no hes not john mcain because ppl actually like eminem lol..
    eminems a monster dont try 2 downplay his lyricism and talent with the cuz hes a good white rapper shit.. nah its cuz hes raw when it comes down 2 it and hes REAL!!!

    why do we know about his family cuz he raps real shit u never hear him rap about sumthin n sayin nahh thats not him he dont do that noo em spits real shit n tahts what NO other rappers do there all fake..cept em whos white go figure

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  • Brownie

    All it took was a white guy in some election for u to think its all white people voting. Thats very simple minded if u ask me. Its nothing about white people wanting to win something more than black people, its about eminem having undoubted talent. Which mccain doesnt have stop frettin n start talkin bout how his talent might of won him that poll

  • ASID

    man…come on….the finals was between pac nd EM…..Soulja didnt even qualify in the poll


    Did I really just read that buncha dog shit? lol C’mon XXL. Get off the high horse. Y’all need to pop in that Relapse again and actually listen to whut boys sayin’, and the way he spits it. Seriously you gotta accept the fact it’s a whole different level, when Em comes in on ‘Forever’ with that Nutso flow, you don’t even here the beat no more ’til his verse ends, and you ask yerself is he actually spittin’ harder than he was in ’99-’02, on some ‘We All Die One Day’ type hunger. Track 4 Track, Skills 4 Skills, boys’ the frickin’ Alfred Hitchcock of this shit, shout to BIG. Imagine for a minute u wake up tomorrow morning, turn on the tube, and u hear the words “Rapper Eminem is Dead.” The last 2-3 years everyones been ridin’ weezys jock, but when u listen to ‘Drop the World’ u know weezy’s thinkin’ SHIT! why even try an go that route and match that shit, he just murdered me on my own shit. damn. Let’s really do the math here.