Eminem stepped up to offer a quick pep talk to Detroit.
In an unannounced appearance during the city’s Everybody vs. COVID-19 online festival, the homegrown rapper paid tribute to the city’s tenacity and grit while urging people to remain diligent in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve got some work to do in order to stay safe,” he said.
In his audio message, Eminem also chimed in on the importance of the 2020 census — lending his support to the “Be Counted” campaign that city officials have touted as crucial to federal funding, congressional representation and other matters.
“Detroit isn’t just a city. It’s also a feeling, a hustle, a state of mind. But mostly, Detroit is a city where we fight for what we believe in, and we don’t take (expletive) just lying down,” Eminem said in his taped piece. “And COVID-19 is no different. So we’ve got some work to do in order to stay safe.
“One way is that we have to be counted — and the census is your way to do just that. So this month, we’ve got to bring the city together, man.”
Detroit was among the hardest hit U.S. hotspots in the early phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Local officials have since touted the city’s success in “flattening the curve” while stressing that citizens should continue to embrace social distancing, face coverings and other safety measures.
Eminem’s PSA aired on the closing night of the Everybody vs. COVID-19 Unity Festival, a two-day online event staged by the city of Detroit to drive home safety messaging and census awareness. He was part of a Saturday lineup that included appearances by Icewear Vezzo, Mayaeni, Sam Austins, Rocky Badd and La’Britney, with Mayer Hawthorne, Sada Baby and DJ Godfather set to feature later.
Most of the participating artists and politicos hit the stream decked out in “Everybody vs. COVID-19” gear from Tommey Walker. The Detroit designer introduced the line in March as a timely twist on his celebrated “Detroit vs. Everybody” apparel — the namesake of a 2014 hip-hop hit by Eminem, Big Sean, Royce da 5’9″, Trick Trick, Danny Brown and Dej Loaf.
Eminem promoted the online fest to his 53 million combined Twitter and Instagram followers shortly before the stream started Saturday evening, with a straightforward message:
“Unity in Detroit is more important than ever.”
This article is adapted from USA Today.