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Running Head: Untouchable 1

Untouchable
Walter Aguirre
Arizona State University
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Untouchable
Abstract
Even though Eminem is well known by a variety of people due to his childhood events
and his songs, some of his raps have a deeper meaning than many might think. Untouchable
touches on the issue of racial inequality by comparing the different perspectives between a
white man and an African American. Eminem uses a variety of different techniques to touch
on this issue to help the listeners of this song fully understand what is going on in our society
today and how the issue of racial inequality has not changed in the minds of some people.
Thanks to Eminem’s background, he is able to touch the lives of many through his
powerful songs like this one. He has been able to surround himself with African Americans and
is able to relate to what they are going through at this time. Because he can relate to what
African Americans are going through at this moment, his points in this song are pretty valid and
will always be valid as there is always someone around us that still views people from
different cultures completely different than their own.
Keywords: Untouchable, Racial Inequality, Eminem
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Untouchable
Eminem has been known by a variety of people around the world due to his raps that he
performs to express himself and what he went through during his childhood years. In some, he
talks about his mother and how abusive she was to him during his childhood. In others, he
addresses about social issues that are occurring in our generation expressing his voice regarding
to one of these social issues. During the rap “Untouchable,” Eminem addresses the issue of racial
inequality and what our society thinks about regarding this specific topic. In this rap, he
alternates between the perspective of a white person and a colored person. It helps us visualize
what exactly is going on in our society due to some events that have occurred in the past year.
Eminem uses several argumentative techniques to help the world understand how our country is
changing regarding racial inequality.
During the rap, there are several instruments that are used to symbolize the emotions that
a white person may have towards an African American. In the background, an electric guitar and
drums can be heard and the tempo is faster compared to some of his other songs. Just by
listening to the tempo and the instruments, you can feel the anger that a white person may have
towards an African American. Even in the lyrics, Eminem states, “Black Boy, Black Boy, we
don’t like the sight of you.” (Eminem, 2017) By listening to the instruments and reading these
lyrics, it helps us feel that hatred or anger that goes on in our country towards black people.
Not only do the instruments used in the rap help us feel some of the emotions, but also
the lyrics. Some of the lyrics are pretty powerful and actually help us feel that sadness that some
African Americans may be feeling due to the racial inequality that is going on in our country.
Eminem raps, “Cause America segregated us, designated us to an area Separated us,

Section-Eight'd us. When we tear it up’s the only time attention’s paid to us.” (Eminem, 2017).
After hearing this, it made me feel sympathy towards African Americans. It made me realize
what exactly they are going through. Segregation is occurring again in our country and Eminem
does a good job opening the eyes of our country to understand how we are going back to our
history where there was racial inequality.
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Untouchable
It is clear that this rap uses the rhetorical strategy called pathos to make sure that some of
that hatred and sadness from both sides can be felt by the people hearing this rap. There are also
some supported claims that Eminem uses to continue making his statement that “Black Lives
Matter.” He referenced several situations that occurred that sparked outrage in the African
American community.
In one sentence, Eminem stated, “We done seen 'em beat Rodney King unconscious, and
got off so we don't need all you crooked police officers' peace offerings.” (Eminem,
2017). During this sentence, Eminem is referencing an incident where “Rodney King, a black
taxi driver, was struck repeatedly by four white members of the LAPD during the 1990’s”
(songfacts.com). It was a topic that was overlooked and wasn’t treated by our country. Using
this claim, it helps us understand all of the situations that have occurred to prove that racial
inequality is still going on even though it was supposed to be fixed by our American
government.
Another statement that Eminem used to prove this was, “But that's life, strapped 'cause
we're strapped financially and can't find answers we're applying, but McDonald's seems to be the
only franchise that'll hire so how can we have higher standards?” (Eminem, 2017). By rapping
this, I can understand how difficult it may be for African Americans who don’t have a high
education to get a job and be able to provide for their family financially. It shows that our
country may expect African Americans to have a higher standard than they are used to, but yet
the opportunity is not given to them.
Both of these supported claims, help Eminem make a valid argument that African
Americans are not treated the same as everybody else. The fact that their education is not the
same or that finding a high standard job is not as easy as it would be for anybody else helps
prove this point. By hearing this, my eyes were opened to fully understand what an African
American may be going through as we as a country don’t truly understand what their life is like
or is consisted of.
Thanks to Eminem’s background information, he is able to make all of these valid points.
Even though Eminem is white, he was with several African Americans during his teenage years.
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“In Detroit, he entered rap battles where two rappers take turns insulting each other”
(Biography.com, 2018). It was a hobby that only African Americans were involved in and yet he
was the first white person to be a part of it. He has always been around African Americans so he
has been exposed to their culture and what they have gone through in their life. He has lived in
Detroit which is filled with African American communities. If it wasn’t for his background,
many of these points would not be considered by many people as he is the opposite of the race
that he is defending.
Eminem is also famous around the country as “he has won two Grammy awards and
four MTV Video Music awards” (Biography.com, 2018). With all of these accomplishments,
Eminem’s albums are heard by a great variety of people. Thanks to his accomplishments, his
views can be shared with anyone as he tries to prove the wrongs of our country.
This rap came out in 2017 when there were still several problems in our country relating
to racial inequality. In his rap, Eminem mentioned the “Black Lives Matter” movement which
was created in 2013. This rap is still valid in our day because there is still racism going on in our
country and it will continue to go on. There are still communities out there filled with African
Americans that feel like they are not being treated equally. No matter how much time passes by,
this rap will continue to be valid as it is an issue that will never fully disappear. There will
always be a race that will feel inferior to another. It is part of who we are as humans and nothing
can change that. This is why this rap will continue to touch and open our eyes no matter how
much time passes by.
As Eminem uses the argumentative techniques during his rap, he expresses himself pretty
well to help our country open their eyes regarding racial inequality. By reading the lyrics, and
listening to the instruments in the rap, it can be fully understood exactly the difference on how
our country treats white people and African Americans. His point of view is valid and the
evidence that he uses supports his claim that African Americans are not treated the same as
white people.
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Untouchable
Reference

N.A. Biography.com. “Eminem Biography.” A amd E Television Networks.

www.biography.com/people/eminem-9542093 April 2, 2014. Web. Accessed September

23, 2018

N.A. Songfacts.com. “Untouchable by Eminem.” N.A.

www.songfacts.com/facts/eminem/untouchable. Web. Accessed September 23, 2018

“Eminem – Untouchable (lyrics).” Youtube, uploaded by FutureHype, 3 January, 2018,

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwKBgk1Jn10