Deliverance Turns 20

“Twenty million other white rappers emerge!” That was Eminem in 2002, reflecting on the changes that he might’ve wrought on rap music. In the late ’90s, before Eminem erupted onto the national scene, white rappers were a punchline, a relic of the misbegotten early-’90s moment when record labels assumed that it would take a pale face to get rap into pop-radio rotation. Vanilla Ice and House Of Pain and 3rd Bass had all come and gone, while the Beastie Boys tended to their boho-hipster flock, leaving rap’s mainstream entirely alone. Eminem was a different story, a furious rap technician with sharp pop instincts and the backing of the biggest-name rap producer in history. When Em rapped that line, he was dealing with the immediate aftermath of his Marshall Mathers LP selling more than any other rap album ever, riffing on the idea that he might become the proverbial rap Elvis that so many feared. Eventually, Em’s prediction would come true, and G-Eazys and Macklemores and Iggy Azaleas would run rampant across the globe. In the moment, though, there was really only one white rapper who’d emerged. His name was Bubba Sparxxx.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *