Eminem and Color-Blind Ideology

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Hip hop culture created in the 1900’s has been a favorable kind of music all over the world. However, there has been a lot of discussion on the whites and their colorblindness to the hip-hop world. Colorblindness is in the hip-hop culture has had both its positive and negative aspects. Color blindness is affecting the racial dynamics the hip-hop culture appropriation because it is taking away the sincerity and importance of the meaning out of hip-hop and replacing them with a colorblind one. People all have different mind sets on many different scenarios, and in this case the norm it that only a black man can be a rapper.  Throughout the movie we can see that the impact of a white male character who has a love a passion for hip-hop, but consistently finds himself with racial barriers, and how being attached to those racial issues did not stop him. On the contrary made him able to break through, due to his connection with the African American culture.

Color-Blind ideology is a huge theme in the movie, mainly because it is a theme that takes place in a time period where the Black males were the dominant platform in the hip-hop industry. This was a time when rap had an elevation in popularity but was only done by male African Americans. In the hood of Detroit, the place where rapper Eminem known as “rabbit” grew up. It was very unusual to see a rap battle with a white man rapping. Eminem was a struggling white man, who only wanted to fulfil his dream of becoming a successful and well-known rapper, in order to able to rise from the place where he currently lived in.

“One of the ironies of the color-blind era is that it has come to dominate racial discourse at the very time that hip-hop, an unmistakably African American art form, has steadily gained popularity in American” (Rodriquez 648). Rodriguez explains how the color blindness ideology has taken over rap and its meaning. Which was something negative due to the fact that White rapper like Eminem were not being accepted by the rap industry, because of their skin color. Thought the film we can see that Eminem faces a lot of struggles in order to be accepted, but the fact that he is a white man in Detroit was his greatest struggle.

Another major theme was that Eminem was able to disintegrate himself from the racial barrier in rap. It wasn’t only about the race of the person, but rather more about the love and passion they had for what he wanted to do. “I’m a piece of fucking white trash, I say it proudly” (8 mile). This shows that Eminem expects who he is and is not afraid to hide his struggles of the music, even though, he is constantly facing obstacles in his way. There is specific scene where he chokes in his first rap battle and is not able to finish his performance. The atmosphere turned against him and the audience becomes skeptical of his rap battling skills. Eminem takes a lot of racial jokes and criticism from his opponents. “I saw Eminem get dissed badly over and over again, mostly for being White, and then come back and obliterate his competition with the next rhyme. (D,Onofrio 10). This quote makes us realize that Eminem didn’t let trace affect or decide his future. On the contrary, he strived to always be the bigger person and create a whole new level of rap which is what has made him so great over the years.

Tani Sanchez notes, “In the commercialization of Hip Hop, authenticity developed as an issue as did the issue of appropriation- or cultural banditry” (Understanding Black American Aspects in Hip Hop, 44). Illustrating that many people saw a white male rapper as some who was going to change their culture. That’s why accepting a White male rapper was so hard. It took a lot of effort and hard work for Eminem to reach the point where he was at towards the end of the film. It was very important for Eminem to know where he came from and what he had been through.

It has his identity, of being a white man in a black from Detroit in the ghetto full of hardship. There were many scenes in which Eminem was seen getting beat up, jumped, talked to in slander just because of his skin color.  Many people would not be able to withstand in similar circumstances. But instead, Eminem learned how to overcome his odds and adapt to the surrounding community. Curtis Hanson the director of the movie explained how he learned from Eminem that, he didn’t just rap while growing up, but did way much more, he adapted and survived.  This is why throughout the film he is also shown was gaining qualities of a leader, and innovator. With the constant support of his family members, and friends.

It has been his experiences and patience throughout his journey that has lead Eminem to be the person that he is now. By putting behind all of the negative aspects that associated him with being a white rapper. All of the discrimination he received, but to his skin color, because that was the only aspect that his opponents had against him. Instead of lashing out and acting with violence of giving up his dreams, he persevered and proved to everyone that he one of the best rappers that has been created, whether he is white, black, brown.


  1. Rodriquez, J. (2006). Color-Blind Ideology and the Cultural Appropriation of Hip-Hop. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography,35(6), 645-668. doi:10.1177/0891241606286997
  2. 8 Mile Movie: https://www.netflix.com/title/60024922Bucholtz, Mary, and Qiuana Lopez. “Performing Blackness, Forming Whiteness: Linguistic Minstrelsy in Hollywood film1.” Journal of Sociolinguistics, Wiley/Blackwell (10.1111), onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2011. 00513.x/full.
  3. Sanchez, Tani. Understanding Black American Aspects in Hip Hop Cinema. 1st ed., Sentia.D’ONOFRIO, A. (2013, March 23). 8 Mile: A Study of Hip-Hop Cul. Retrieved from https://donofriofilm.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/8-mile-a-study-of-hip-hop-culture/

Cite this paper

Eminem and Color-Blind Ideology. (2021, Aug 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/eminem-and-color-blind-ideology/



What is called color blindness?
There are different types of color blindness, but generally it is difficult to see certain colors or see color differences.
What is color blindness in civil rights?
Color blindness is a civil rights issue because it is a form of discrimination. It is also an issue because it can lead to unequal treatment in education, employment, and housing.
what is eminem's favorite color?
Eminem's favorite color is blue. He has said in interviews that he loves the color blue and that it is his favorite color.
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