Society and Culture

The 21 greatest conservative rap songs of all time (part 9)

Image Credit: Mika-photography (Wikimedia Commons) (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Image Credit: Mika-photography (Wikimedia Commons) (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Contrary to popular belief, much rap music espouses conservative values and themes. Stan Veuger has taken on the task of ranking the best examples; his list continues here.

13. Eminem featuring Dr. Dre – Guilty Conscience (1999)

This second appearance for both Eminem and Dr. Dre reaches back to the medieval European tradition of the morality play. In a sequence of internal dialogues playing out in the conscience of three protagonists facing an urgent dilemma, Mr. Mathers personifies Evil, while Dr. Young performs the role of Good (or at least non-Evil). “Eddie” has to decide whether to rob a liquor store and hurt its clerk; “Stan” is faced with the choice of taking advantage of an intoxicated 15-year-old; and Grady must choose the correct punishment for his adulterous wife and her lover. The latter is the only conundrum with a conclusive ending within the song: even Mr. Young, the voice of moral reasoning, ends up embracing the (appropriately medieval) retribution Mr. Mathers suggests (“What am I sayin’? Shoot ‘em both Grady, where’s your gun at?”). More importantly, in the first two segments, consequentialist and deontological modes of moral reasoning are employed to illustrate that not only do actions have consequences, they ought to be firmly rooted in ethical principles (e.g., “Man, don’t do it, it’s not worth it to risk it! / You’re right!,” versus “Yo! This girl’s only fifteen years old / You shouldn’t take advantage of her, that’s not fair”). This is not a world of moral nihilism, and say what you want about the tenets underpinning Dr. Young’s interventions, at least they suggest the existence of an ethos.

Read Part 8 here and Part 10 here.

2 thoughts on “The 21 greatest conservative rap songs of all time (part 9)

  1. Haha cool author you can use big words to analyze an Eminem song. Conservatives are not the only people in the world who have morals. If you got off your high horse maybe you could have a better understanding of rap.

  2. The song is a masterpiece and intellectual tour de force. The terrifying tale of internal struggle with nihilist tendencies is reminiscent of the classic Nagelbett by Autobahn.

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