|Song by Eminem|
|from the album The Eminem Show|
|Released||May 26, 2002|
"White America" is a political hip hop song by rapper Eminem released in 2002 from his fourth studio album, The Eminem Show. The song was also performed at the MTV Video Music Awards. It is the first full song on the album, and describes Eminem's rise to prominence and allegations from parents and politicians that he had influenced criminal behavior on young white Americans.
"White America" is segued into by the opening skit "Curtains Up" on The Eminem Show, which involves Eminem walking up to a microphone to make a speech. It addresses the controversy stemming from Eminem's lyrical content, and impacting white youth, expressed with lines such as: "I speak to suburban kids, who otherwise would've never knew these words exist." "Eric" and "Erica" are representations of any white youth. Eminem also expressed his belief that his music is controversial only because it appeals to white kids, with lines such as, "Hip-hop was never a problem in Harlem, only in Boston / after it bothered the fathers of daughters starting to blossom."
Eminem also states his belief that his skin color helped with his popularity, and in effect introduced white fans to his producer, Dr. Dre, although earlier in his career it had prevented him from being taken seriously. The song also discusses the freedom of speech of the US Constitution through attacks on the then-Second Lady of the United States Lynne Cheney and her predecessor Tipper Gore, who questioned Eminem's legitimacy to freedom of speech and introduced the Parental Advisory sticker respectively.
"White America" had an animated music video that featured imagery related to the lyrics, including Eminem on a wanted poster and later being lynched while the US Constitution is torn up in the foreground.
Mother Jones magazine has stated that the song is used in American military prisons to disorient and cause sleep deprivation among detainees. A second Eminem song, "Kim", is also used.
"White America" was mashed up with "Fistful of Steel" by American rock band Rage Against the Machine in DJ Vlad & Roc Raida's mixtape, Rock Phenomenon. It was released on the mixtape on March 27, 2006, and, due to much critical praise, was re-released on July 10, 2007.
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000|
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.