Eminem's back to challenge white rapper Macklemore

Eminem's back to challenge white rapper Macklemore
Macklemore (left) and Eminem

SINGAPORE - It is 2013 and there's a white rapper at the top of the charts and on stage at a music awards show, receiving trophies and wolf whistles.

But he's not Eminem.

He's a 30-year-old fur coat-wearing guy called Macklemore.

Together with DJ-producer Ryan Lewis, he took his cute indie hit Thrift Shop all the way to the top of the Billboard charts, winning three Moon Men at the recent MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), including Best Hip-Hop Video.

A white rapper beating people like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole and ASAP Rocky to a hip-hop award is a surprise, unless of course its Eminem.

The original outsider of the rap scene has taken home 11 Moon Men, 13 Grammys, and, ahem, an Oscar (Best Original Song for Lose Yourself in 2003).

As it happened, on VMAs night, as Macklemore and Lewis were celebrating their rise to the top of hip-hop, Eminem, 40, was waiting in the wings to remind the world who's really boss.

Though he didn't attend the show this year, two brief ads that ran during the telecast in the US got music fans going a little crazy for Eminem's new single, aptly called Berzerk.

The first single from his upcoming album Marshall Mathers LP 2 - out Nov 5 - sounds like a throwback to the wisecracking, name-dropping "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?" Eminem of old, before he became the moody, thoughtful man on later albums Relapse (2009) and Recovery (2010).

With Berzerk out, Eminem seems to have stopped the chatter about whether Macklemore is the new incarnation of him, reminding everyone with the four-minute song just how different the two US artists really are.

Looks like it's time for Macklemore to relinquish his brief reign on the throne.

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