By: Will Burchfield
Eminem’s now-famous freestyle video was playing from someone’s phone in the background when Golden Tate, perched on a towel bin in the Lions’ locker room, was asked if he’d heard it.
“Yeah, I saw it this morning before I came to work. I’ll have to go back and review it again,” said Tate, ever a football player.
“‘Wow,’ is what I thought. Eminem’s always had some real cold lyrics, but this time he brought pure fire,” Tate said.
The freestyle, a scathing attack of Donald Trump, was released at the BET Hip Hop Awards on Tuesday night and has since gone viral. Arguably no one in hip hip — or pop culture, for that matter — has come at Trump harder.
Among lyrical barbs questioning the President’s patriotism and excoriating his policies, Eminem stands up for Colin Kaepernick and, by extension, all NFL players who have protested racial injustice during the national anthem.
Lions tight end Michael Roberts was seeing the video for the first time, watching it on his phone while seated at his locker, and noted many of the lines “resonated” with him.
“I agree with a lot of it,” said Roberts, adding he’d have to listen to it again to offer a full review.
Darius Slay, a hip-hop enthusiast, simply smiled when asked if he’d seen the video. Of course he had.
But he couldn’t be goaded into a response.
“I ain’t got no comments on that, not getting into that,” he said.
Okay, politics aside, was it a freestyle or a slam poem? People have been calling it both. (Roberts, for his part, went with the latter.)
“I don’t care if it’s a freestyle or not,” said Slay. “It was nice.”
“Yeah, that’s Eminem! That’s the GOAT,” Slay said.
Tate said he’s never met Eminem but wants to.
“He’s a legend. There’s a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame, right?” Tate asked.
“He’ll definitely be in it,” he said.
Both Glover Quin and Steve Longa, the latter of whom took a knee during the anthem in Weeks 3 and 4, said they had not yet seen the video.