At the core of the song and video is a powerful anti-war statement, deeply rooted in the struggle of America’s increasingly burdened working man (and woman) warriors. After seeing Eminem perform live in front of the troops in Baghdad, a soldier returns home to his wife/girlfriend and children, only to be greeted by a “re-enlist” letter. The soldier appears to desert, donning Eminem’s ubiquitous black hoodie and joining the growing throngs following the rapper on some ominous, as yet unspoken, mission.
In another scene, a young Latina is hit with an eviction notice. In the background, Bush’s State of the Union plays on the television, announcing tax cuts for the rich.
She, too, joins Eminem’s army.
Bin Laden is depicted as a political tool, broadcasting his communiques from a sound stage. When the faux cave wall falls, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are revealed.
The video is a culmination of Eminem’s political transformation, and a sign of the times. Scores of previously apolitical or non-partisan big-time artists, from Bruce Springsteen to P. Diddy, have decided that the stakes are just too high in this election to sit this one out.
Eminem closes the video with a plea to the masses, not to revolt, which the menacing tone of the video could imply, but to take to the polls.
Let us set aside our differences and assemble our own army to disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president for the present, and march for the future of our next generation to speak and be heard.
Mr. President, Mr. Senator, do you guys hear us?
The World Wants Change: VOTE