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Eminem: Is the Right Word 'Gift' or 'Stupid'?

November 26, 2002

I was delighted to read "Rap Battles of '8 Mile': Flying Words Are Better Than Flying Bullets," Jody Rosen's Nov. 22 commentary celebrating the (mostly) anti-violence of rap music and, especially, Eminem's amazing gift to communicate universally. He certainly exemplifies a great spirit of independence in addition to the "two proud American exports: rhythm and wit."

I am a 65-year-old grandmother so taken with the vital energy of the rapster battle as filmed in "8 Mile" that I must go take it in again. I noticed, by the way, that the Rabbit character is the only one in the story who doesn't drink or smoke pot. Could that have something to do with his drive for succeeding in life on his own terms?

Patricia Quinn

Studio City


So Rosen thinks Eminem displays an "ebullient verbosity" that makes Cole Porter and Bob Dylan seem "linguistically austere"? Yeesh.

Somehow I don't think Marshall Mathers goes around with a Roget's in his back pocket. To paraphrase Anatole France: If millions of people believe a stupid thing, it is still a stupid thing.

David Windhorst

Los Angeles

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