Friday, April 11, 2008

Former South African president, Nelson Mandela is turning ninety this year and to mark the occasion former Queen band member Brian May is throwing him a massive concert party like the one thrown for Princess Diana, except he’s clearly not dead. The great part about it is that confirmed to perform is Eminem.

Everyone’s caught up in the fact that Eminem has been in trouble for making for writing racist and misogynist lyrics not to mention the pervading sense of violence that ran through a lot of his early work but you know, that aside, I think this is one of the greatest completely random celebrity collaborations since Miss Piggy worked with Joan Rivers…or, for that matter, anyone.

The first thing that came to mind for me really though, in my emotionless, cynical reading of all things celebrity, was in line with the way Senator Hillary Clinton led her campaign to find the official song for her campaign. Things like that are just thinly veiled market research techniques and allow the marketing analysts to ascertain who their subject is appealing to by dissecting the cultural appeal of the song. It's really just like getting Ozzie Osbourne to rattle off a performance of "Paranoid" for the Queen's Jubilee Concert. Let's not pretend for a second that happened for any other reason than to boost the Royal family's popularity.

So, my question here is, what is Mandela marketing? What’s his motivation? What’s he getting out of this? This celebrity pairing is too random for no one to be hard core profiting.

Actually, I never really thought Eminem was as bad and unironic as everyone made him out to be. My editor at the Village Voice hated him with a passion and went on Fox to challenge him to a fight after he threatened Moby but that was good for ratings.

Plus, I hear Eminem is fat now. Fatter than hell. [source]

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