Dr. Umar Takes Aim at Eminem on Instagram Live, Doubles Down on Controversial Comments
Amid widespread criticism for his initial remarks, Dr. Umar took to Instagram Live on December 27 to defend his stance. He clarified that his comments were not a personal attack on Eminem, acknowledging the rapper's talent but emphasizing the need to protect the integrity of African culture.
Speaking directly to Eminem, he expressed,“My comments had nothing to do with Mr. Marshall Mathers personally. And I want Mr. Marshall Mathers to understand that Dr. Umar Ifatunde harbors no personal ill will towards you. You are a talented musician, lyricist, producer. You seem like you are an okay guy.”
He continued: “So my comments are not personal; they apply to any non-African. This is about business — the business of protecting the integrity of African culture. Dr. Umar questioned whether non-African individuals have taken enough from African culture throughout history and highlighted the need to stop naming non-African people as the best in any aspect of African cultural expression.
In a podcast appearance on The Joe Budden Podcast, Dr. Umar criticized the reverence for Eminem in the rap community. He stated, "No non-African can ever be the best of anything African. It is an insult to the ancestors, it is an insult to the race, and it is an insult to every Black person." Dr. Umar emphasized that acknowledging Eminem's talent is one thing, but placing him at the top is a manifestation of white supremacy.
He concluded by pointing out the lack of philanthropic contributions from certain individuals in the music industry, saying, "I don’t see Eminem building no schools and hospitals. I don’t see DJ Khaled building no schools and hospitals."
Dr. Umar's remarks have sparked a broader conversation about cultural appropriation, artistic recognition, and the role of race in determining greatness within a specific cultural context. The controversy raises important questions about cultural sensitivity and the ongoing impact of historical injustices on the perception of achievements in art forms rooted in African heritage.