Eminem’s performance at the BET Hip-Hop Awards won the notice of plenty of rap fans and TV pundits, but it failed in its main goal: trolling Donald Trump. “I feel like he’s not paying attention to me,” Eminem said in an interview after he called Trump “a kamikaze that’ll probably cause a nuclear holocaust,” among other things, in the viral clip. “I was kind of waiting for him to say something, and for some reason, he didn’t say anything.”
To another reporter, Eminem hinted that he had comeback lines prewritten in case the president had called him out in Twitter—which, in turn, led the president’s son to tweet, “WillTheRealLoserPleaseStandUp.”
Eminem has been trolling celebrities for his entire career, but there is something new in his reasonable expectation of presidential reply. In 2017, entertainers spoke out against the commander-in-chief like rarely before—and like never before, the commander-in-chief relished in speaking back.
Madonna kicked off the year in political-pop squabbles by confessing, at the Women’s March, to daydreaming about blowing up the White House, a remark Trump called “disgusting” and claimed, not incorrectly, had hurt her cause. This came after the president turned a polite 2016 Hamilton statement into a national football, and before he made football itself a public enemy by attacking the athletes who kneel to protest police brutality and an ESPN journalist who tacitly agreed with them. It also came before he blasted Snoop Dogg for a music video in which a toy gun is pointed at a clown Trump, and before he nicked Kathy Griffin for her faux-beheading photo.