The Bengal Beat

“Off the Chain,” or Off the Hook?

The+horrors+that+Kala+Brown+went+through+were+brought+into+light+by+Eminem%E2%80%99s+song+%E2%80%9CThe+Ringer%E2%80%9D+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Pixabay%2C+photo+credits+to+Comfreak%29.
The horrors that Kala Brown went through were brought into light by Eminem’s song “The Ringer” (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Comfreak).

The horrors that Kala Brown went through were brought into light by Eminem’s song “The Ringer” (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Comfreak).

Comfreak

Comfreak

The horrors that Kala Brown went through were brought into light by Eminem’s song “The Ringer” (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Comfreak).

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On August 31, 2018, 45 year old rapper, Eminem, released his tenth studio album entitled “Kamikaze.” The surprise album features thirteen songs; throughout the 13 tracks, Eminem bashes a total of 28 of his fellow popular artists. However, famous musicians are not the only people who  were referenced in the album. On his song “The Ringer,” he mentions a serial killer survivor named Kala Brown.

“I think it was unnecessary to talk about her horrifying situation in a song; it was not okay to reference her like he did. She could have been a little traumatized to hear an artist just use her scarring experience like that,” said junior Clara Cianfarano.

On August 31, 2016, Brown, 30, and her boyfriend went missing from Anderson, South Carolina; they had gone to clean Todd Kohlhepp’s house. On November 3, 2016, Kala was found chained to the wall of a metal storage container on Kohlhepp’s property and Kohlhepp was imprisoned. He later confessed to having killed 7 people, including Brown’s boyfriend. In “The Ringer” Eminem states, “I’m off the chain like Kala Brown,” and Kala caught wind of the reference to her devastating past situation.

“I don’t think it was okay at all for him to use her name. She could have been killed, and her boyfriend actually was killed in the situation, so it definitely was not alright for him to do that. It didn’t really attack her though; it attacked her situation, and anyone else who has been in a situation like hers. He could have found a better rhyme and been more sensitive about the situation,” said sophomore Abreona Fields.

How do you think you would feel if you went through a traumatic situation, and a famous artist referenced your situation, using your name, just to make a rhyme in their song? Initially, when you put yourself in Brown’s position, you may believe that she would be, at least a little, upset about her mention in the song, but that is quite the opposite.

“I think he meant something good by it, but it was also a touchy subject. I could see why some people may not be supportive of it, but some people could be supportive of it also. I think it was a little too soon. She is probably still traumatized about it, and it could also affect her family and the people she knows,” said freshman Jaimee Smith.

According to her spokeswoman, Jenny Dial, Brown does not take any offense from the line and does not believe that it attacks her at all. The reference to Brown in the song is more like a way for people to always feel some of the struggle that Kala went through.

“It wasn’t necessarily offensive, it just wasn’t a good choice. People could start questioning her about it and she might not want that. He could have used something else besides directly using her name; he could have used a different reference, symbol, or better word choice,” said freshman Peyton Ludwig.

Could Kala’s so-called reaction of, “not wanting to take offense,” to the matter just be a forced response by her spokeswoman? Many people seem to think so, but maybe it was Brown’s genuine reply to Eminem’s remark about her; at the end of the day, if she did not view it as an issue, then it is not that serious. It looks like Eminem won’t take any criticism for the statement; Kala Brown let him off the hook even though she received no apology.

“Her reaction probably was forced so that drama and avoidable issues would not surface; I doubt it was her real response. Even though she didn’t take any offense to it, I still don’t think it was okay for him to say it, but I think that she reacted in a mature manner,” said Cianfarano.

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