Eminem met with the leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, for dinner at an undisclosed location in Detroit earlier this week.
Farrakhan is currently in the midst of preparation for his “Justice or Else” anti-racism rally. The huge rally will occur on October 10 and will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the historic million man march.
Although the exact details of the dinner have not been revealed, it is extremely likely that the main topic of conversation was contributions Eminem might be able to make to the cause. A report from The Root speculates on reasons the two may be looking to collaborate.
“Eminem has always rapped about social issues. He’s from a working-class background, and because he’s white, that may allow him to share insights from a unique perspective and put a diverse face to some of the social issues the NOI is trying to address.”
Other than that, though, it may at first glance seem like the two men – an 82 year old Islamic minister and a 41 year old white rapper –would not have much to talk about. However, they both have strong ties to Detroit and the black community, as well as generally extremist beliefs, such as Farrakhan with his recent verbal assaults on Jews and the American flag and Eminem with his constantly controversial and politically incorrect lyrics and themes.
In fact, said Nation of Islam member Hajj Hasaun Muhammad, the two had wanted to meet each other for a very long time.
Farrakhan called his conversation “a beautiful dialogue.”
Eminem’s decision to engage further in social activism – assuming that is what was discussed – suggests that he is maturing in the public eye. A socially conscious citizen is certainly a transformation from the drug-addled young and self-absorbed thug that we saw on the 1997 Slim Shady EP and for most of the years since.
This emotional transformation comes on the heels of Eminem’s physical transformation. Fans have been noticing for the past year that Eminem has been looking thinner and gaunter in his public appearances than he ever has before. According to an interview in U.S. Weekly, Shady’s slimmer look is due to more intelligent lifestyle choices including exercising more often and laying off drugs.
A new look and a new interest in social activism? Could this be the dawn of a modern, all-round more mature Eminem? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.