Eminem Talks Race, Power, and Justice in New Single “Untouchable”

at 12:10 pm | By


For about six minutes, Eminem weighed in on America’s worst social issues. In “Untouchable” —
a track broken into two parts — he uses his platform to examine this country’s complicated relationship with race, power, and justice. During the first half, he speaks from the perspective of a “white boy,” walking listeners through the thought process of a white person profiling a black person on the street.

“Pull up on the side of you/Window rolled down, ‘profile’/Then we wonder why we see this side of you,” he rapped. “I keep tellin’ myself, keep doin’ like you’re doing’/ No matter how many lives you ruin/ It’s for the red, white, and blue.”

In the second verse, he moves into the way black culture is viewed by a white person who doesn’t understand the circumstances, emotions, and pressures that come along with black identity. He even touches on police injustice and profiling in the process, addressing the fact that police officers stop black citizens in unlawful and violent ways. He ends the first half of the song saying that America is moving backwards, rapping that it feels like the country is back in the ’60s, and that “there have been times where it’s been embarrassin’ to be a white boy.”

After the chorus and a killer beat change, Eminem switches to rapping from a black person’s point of view. He insinuates that modern day prejudice is simply better disguised before suggesting that blacks have a harder time doing better for themselves because they are not afforded the same opportunities as everyone else.

From the perspective of a black American, Eminem discussed several hot button issues, making this one of the most controversial rap songs of the year. Some called it “genius,” but others thought… Well, just keep reading.

Eminem on stage hands raised

Credit: Christopher Pol/Getty Images