Music: A Whiter Shade of Pale

Eminem taunts gays, bashes his mom and is a wizard at wordplay. Is this the face of the future of hip-hop?

There was a time--maybe it started back in the '60s, maybe it ended around the time of the L.A. uprising in the '90s--when a sizable number of people thought American culture was drifting inevitably toward a comforting state of colorblindness. Sure, the nation was confronted with myriad racial difficulties and divisions, but eventually, at some dreamed-of point in the perhaps distant future, things would work their way out: we'd learn to love our neighbors; the Census form would be reduced to one box, human; and everybody from Compton, Calif., to Greenwich, Conn., would hug, link hands and sing Kum ba yah...

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