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Pop Goes the Rapper: A Close Reading of Eminem’s Genderphobia
Popular Music (2005)
  • Vincent L Stephens, Bucknell University

This article argues that controversial hip-hopper Eminem is more properly termed a genderphobe than a homophobe. Eminem consistently uses homophobic language to critique gender behaviour, not sexual orientation. Focusing on genderphobic lyrics more accurately reveals hip-hop culture's emphasis on gender behaviour rather than the emphasis on sexual object-choice that homophobia implies. The focus on genderphobia also highlights a discriminatory practice aimed toward external behaviour that is related to homophobia but operates differently in certain cultural realms. I ground my discussion by focusing on the centrality of authenticity in hip-hop and gender propriety's centrality in comprising hip-hop notions of authenticity. Additionally, I emphasise how all pop stars rely on personae to convey convincing images to the public. I conclude by analysing the Pet Shop Boys and Mariah Carey's 'answer songs', which directly address Eminem's genderphobia and authenticity.

  • Eminem,
  • genderphobia,
  • homophobia
Publication Date
January, 2005
Citation Information
Vincent L Stephens. "Pop Goes the Rapper: A Close Reading of Eminem’s Genderphobia" Popular Music Vol. 24 (2005)
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