The radio host was responding to Em's newly published letter in which he addressed the criticism of Music to Be Murdered By. Ebro showed support for the Detroit rapper by making a controversial comparison: "Eminem treats Rap how Black folks have had to treat life," Ebro tweeted. "... be 5x better, work 5x harder than everyone and still not necessarily get respect."
Naturally, many people criticized Ebro's assertion, claiming it was unfair to equate Em's perceived struggles in hip-hop to the struggles of everyday black people. Some also argued that Eminem's race was a big factor in his commercial success. But Ebro insisted that a big bank account doesn't indicate respect.
During Friday's episode of Ebro in the Morning, the titular host further explained his stance and reiterated that people's disdain for Eminem was largely based on his race.
"There are people who will fix their lips to say that Eminem is a whack rapper," Ebro said. "... You may not like his music, which I would debate is probably because he's white and it's racial anyway, but let's assume that it's not ... If he is privileged—and he is—the fact that he cares this much about being great in hip-hop and being respected? Yo, the entire album that he just put out: shouting out the greats, paying homage, flexing his rap skills."
Ebro went on to say he wasn't a fan of every Eminem record, but admires the rapper's commitment to his craft. He also admitted that the initial tweet was intended to cause a stir among those who question Em's abilities.
"Eminem operates in a space that's dominated by black folks. He's had to pay his , be made fun of, be second guessed," he explained. "... That's just how it works. Black folks have had to do that every single day. And he's also had to prove himself over and over and over again. You know what black folks still have to do right now in America? We still have to prove ourselves all the time."
Co-host Peter Rosenberg then pointed out the difference between Eminem's so-called struggle within hip-hop and black people's struggle in the real world.
"I can relate to this, on some level: The difference is when you're a white person in hip-hop, you're opting in. Black people have to do that every day to live life in America. No option," Rosenberg said. " ... I'm opting to chose with my privilege to be involved in hip-hop, so I can't sit here and cry when people go, 'Shut up, Rosenberg, you don't know what you're talking about.' So the same with Eminem, but he's not crying about it."
He continued: "What makes Eminem great is that he didn't want that, he wanted the respect from black culture. That's what Eminem cared about. That's what makes him so iconically great: He cares about what matters."
You can hear Ebro's full comments above.