Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Mosh by Eminem
Ifeoma (Ify) Nwachukwu
TAMUCC Comp-T/TR Felicia 9:30
In this essay, you will be reading about Eminem’s stance on Bush, what his lyrics mean and the analyzed meaning of it. The song will talk about racism, and the young generation. How America should use their voice and vote, and how Eminem is helping them find their voice.
Eminem has always been known as the rapper who is never afraid to speak his mind and stir up drama. And in Mosh, he did both just that. His music video Mosh, “portrays Eminem as a powerful rebellious figure who just by using his voice and music has the ability to mobilize people who are fed up with the president” (Reid, 2004). When hearing this song, a listener can most likely get off the bat that Eminem is a strong advocate for the voices of the common people and his song, "Mosh" speaks volume on how our voices deserved to be heard and taken seriously by the government. His song goes from talking about Bush, to the war, how racial profiling still exists. Not only does his dialect give out strong emotions, but the images play a great factor of expression as well. Eminem made sure his song was going to cause a reaction, and a reaction from the people he got.
The political message being displayed verbally is how the government is using the people as toys and how we never voice our opinion. This is relevant to society because yes a lot of us voice our opinion, but we don't do much to back it up with our actions. The government isn't really doing much because this song is criticizing them. It is kind of a rude awakening to the young people to let them know that if you do not voice your opinion the government will rule over your lives. He is trying to persuade the young people of America to use their voices. If we have a problem with the government, don't just sit back and but exercise your freedom of speech and fix what we they have messed up. Eminem clearly states we have “created a monster” and that we should take responsibility and own up to it. The monster he is refereeing to is Bush.
In the beginning of his song, Eminem starts off with a little bit of the pledge of the allegiance. On his first stanza he describes himself on how he was nobody but look at him now, a entrepreneur. His chorus is about how the audience should follow and trust in him about what he has to say. He will help them find their voices, and through all this they will make a change in Washington because millions of voices has to be heard. His second stanza he gets into talking about the war, and people of all gender and race to come together and saying stop the war. He says F*** bush in a verse, so it definitely is an anti-bush/war song. The third stanza he is definitely going hard on Bush and really trying to speak to his audience and get a reaction. He states how we should no "more shed blood for oil and how Bush should strap on an AK…, etc." His order is somewhat escalating in emotion. It is calm at first but as different scenes go on, the tension builds and builds until finally they get to the last scene which has a powerful message.
Eminem’s message was for the whole nation! But primarily directed towards the young people of America. The song was released during the election period of 04 during the Bush and Kerry campaign. Eminem has always been the one to speak on what he feels and I feel he came full throttle with this song about his views. In his song Eminem states, “They tell us no we say yea, they tell us stop we say go. Rebel with a rebel yell, raise hell we gonna let em know.” Eminem means that no matter how many times congress and the government says no, the people should and will continue on. In reality the people are very much larger and can be influential on congress, and for them to finally say no more leading us in the wrong direction will be a big step. He also says “rebel with a rebel yell”, he does not mean go up to congress and start knocking people out but to use their voices. Do the opposite of what they’re supposed to do, and let congress know that they are done being silent.
Em is preaching no matter how tough reaching congress will be, they are not going to stop until they get to their destination, which is the white house.“Till the light, at the end, of the tunnel, we gonna fight, we gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna March through the swamp. we gonna mosh through the marsh, take us right through the doors" They're going to keep pushing through the darkness, until all their voices are heard. This relates to today’s time because us young people have really lost the sense of drive to change or care about issues that are not important to us. A lot of them feel that their vote won’t even count or change anything but that is what Eminem is trying to tell us, that your voice is important and that every vote counts. And they are going to let us be heard no matter how much effort it takes.
"Let me be the voice, and your strength, and your choice.” Eminem is suggesting that he is willing to be the voice of the people who are not able or courageous enough to speak out. Even though Eminem is an advocate for all the American people to say what they feel, so do not have that ability. He says “strength and your choice” he means by that he is going to listen to the people’s thoughts and ideas. Eminem is a powerful figure and when he speaks people listen. So I feel by him representing what most people view is right or what should go on in congress, he is help strengthening and representing their ideals. Also, “Eminem sets himself up as a “messiah”, walking the city streets, gathering "disciples" who follow and dress like him. The song features lines such as "I give sight to the blind," and"…put your faith and your trust as I guide through the fog to the light at the end of the tunnel” (Doe, 2004). Em is not setting himself up as playing the role of Jesus, but as a positive leader.
Eminem uses visual effect that corresponds with his lyrics. I like how the characters were all animated. The main color theme of the video was black which was somewhat mysterious. In the video, it displays a remake of when Bush was reading to the elementary school during the attacks of the world trade center on September 11th. In the background of the video you see the plane flying over the school and you hear it blow up. The book was actually turned upside down as well, poking fun of Bush’s intellectuality. Those were some strong and controversial statements. During those times, some people gave Bush a lot of flak for not responding immediately when he learned that the World Trade Center’s were attacked by “terrorists”. They felt Bush should have automatically reacted when he learned about the attacks. Some can argue that his actions of remaining calm in front of the kids was the best choice, but others can differ saying he was not interested and unresponsive. So for Eminem to open up with that scene spoke volume!
The following scene is Eminem in his room with newspaper cutouts, facts and information that deal with Bush and his administration’s actions. During the scene some of the cut outs said how Bush already knew about the attacks during 9/11, how sick wounded troops were being held in a squalor, which means being held in filth and misery. Other cut-outs had Bush declaring war and one article had the patriot act (after 9/11 it gave law-enforcement officials greater ability to tap telephones and track Internet users) crossed out and replaced it with the word death. Even if one was for or against Bush, those were some bold accusations in the video and the statements had you thinking which the whole point of Eminem’s video was to get you thinking and learning about the truth, and then voicing it the president and government.
In another scene, the black cartoon, played as one of Eminem’s friend and business partner Lloyd Banks, was walking down the street and was harassed by two cops because of his skin color. They pat him down, kind of smirk at him and drive off going about their business. Lloyd banks then flicks them off and continues on walking home. As he enters through the door, he sees his father watching TV, and on it, there is KKK, which is a white supremacy organization whom is racist against minorities, gays, etc, protesting and burning the cross. Lloyd Banks gets fed up with all the injustices and puts on a black hood, as did Eminem did in the previous scene and begins to march with him.
During this scene Eminem was performing to a group of soldiers. Everyone in the crowd was responding to his music by lifting up their hands and cheering along, but the camera focuses on one particular soldier who does not look into it. He is standing there with his arms folded with a uninterested look on his face. As the soldier was coming home, there was a sign on his house that said “Welcome Home.” As he is being greeted by his wife and two kids, his wife hands him a letter with tears in her eyes, and it said that the private has been re-assigned to the war in Iraq. As the viewer is watching this scene, you here Eminem’s verse say, “Stomp, Push, Shove Much, F**k Bush, until they bring our troops home come.” The soldier in the video mouths the two words, “F**k Bush” and right away you sense of sadness and pity for the soldier. By Eminem having that soldier curse the President of The United states at the time was a suggestive, yet bold move. One is not used to see a soldier bad mouth their President during times of war and that scene took on an empathy role because you did feel sorry for the soldier. The soldier then puts on a black hood and joins in on Eminem and Lloyd Banks and hundreds other marching.
In the final scenes of the video when you see everyone marching with Eminem leading, you see Bush on a big screen TV, they then change the satellite so that it is facing them. So now on the big screen you see them marching and singing. During this scene you hear the verse “"Let the President answer on high anarchy. Strap him with AK-47, let him go Fight his own war, let him impress daddy that way" and the screen shows Bush in the combat uniform with the gun having a puzzled look on his face. Eminem goes on to say, “No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our soil, No more psychological warfare to trick us to think that we ain't loyal, If we don't serve our own country we're patronizing a hero” He means by this that we are killing our troops and other middle eastern citizens for what? Oil? “Psychological warfare” is saying how the government is making the people feel if they do not support or join the war, they are not an American and does not support the American Country.
Before the video ends, everyone who was marching outside charges into the white house with picket signs saying End the war and peace signs. You here Eminem’s last few words, “if they should argue, let us beg to differ, as we set aside our differences, and assemble our own army, to disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president, for the present, and mosh for the future of our next generation.
The people of America should not be afraid or hesitate on what they believe. We need to be more aware of who we are voting for, for the leadership position. Voices and opinions add up. If one person just stepped out of their comfort zones then so can the next. Eminem might be some rapper from Detroit, but he is a person who has a lot to say and by him making this song where young people can relate to it because one, it’s music, and two the video is put together well, a person just by watching the video and hearing the song has learned great amount of information and took in a lot to think about unintentionally, which is the goal Eminem probably wanted.
Doe, J (2004). Eminem's Mosh. University Center of New York City: New York Press.
Retrieved from http://www.nypress.com/article-10541-eminems-mosh.html
Marshall, M (2004). Mosh lyrics. Sing365.com. Retrieved from http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Mosh-lyrics-Eminem/
Reid, S. (2004). Eminem's Video for Anti-Bush Song 'Mosh' Hits the Internet. Clip shows rapper leading an uprising against the president, 10541. Retrieved from http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1493010/eminems-mosh-video