FILM

Nobody Asked for Eminem's Surprise Oscars Performance

The rapper performed his hit "Lose Yourself," which won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2003.

Considering what many considered to be an overwhelmingly white and male nominee pool, the 92nd Annual Academy Awards ended up being...not that bad?

Korean thriller Parasite made history by becoming the first foreign language film to take home an Oscar for Best Picture, and its director Bong Joon Ho was adorable on numerous occasions. Joaquin Phoenix, after being named Best Lead Actor, continued his streak of spicy acceptance speeches with a condemnation of the animal agriculture industry. Janelle Monáe's opening number saluted snubbed films like Us and Midsommar. Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph were, well, just as funny as you'd expect.

But there was one appearance at the Oscars that had many attendees and viewers perplexed. At the end of a montage celebrating iconic songs made famous by movies, clips of 8 Mile were projected on the screen as the instantly recognizable chug of "Lose Yourself" played along. And then—for reasons widely unbeknownst to the audience—Eminem himself appeared onstage to perform the 2002 No. 1 hit.

While some audience members in the Dolby Theatre happily rapped along, many seemed dumbfounded by Eminem's seemingly random appearance.

"Lose Yourself" became the first rap number to win the Oscar for Best Original Song back in 2003, but Eminem didn't attend that year because he didn't think he had a chance of winning. Although the reason for his delayed appearance is unclear, it seems Eminem just figured he was better late than never: "Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity... Thanks for having me @TheAcademy," he tweeted. "Sorry it took me 18 years to get here."

We're glad Slim Shady finally got his second shot, but why 18 years late? At this point, it feels like a pathetic and haphazard promotion of his eleventh studio album, Music to Be Murdered By, which received backlash for its audacious reference to the bombing at Ariana Grande's 2017 Manchester concert. A clip of old audio also recently resurfaced in which Eminem claimed he'd "side with Chris Brown" on the issue of Brown's infamous assault of Rihanna. Why are we continuing to bait Eminem's constant hunger for relevancy?

These audience reactions say it best:


Culture Feature

​​This Haunts Me: The Shredded Cheese Wife Guy

One Texas couple became a meme after they went 18 minutes without shredded cheese on their fajitas. What could be worse?

Courtesy of Junkee

Karens. Even if you don't know them by name, you know who they are.

Karens have been asking to speak to managers all over American suburbia ever since Kate Gosselin debuted her infamous reverse-mullet on Jon and Kate Plus 8 in 2007. "Karens"—the collective nickname for middle-aged entitled white women who love nothing more than being pains in your ass—have been walking among us for quite some time, but as shelter-in-place orders and mask mandates have taken over the world, the presence of Karens has become even more apparent.

Last weekend, a Karen went viral in a since-deleted Tweet for a reason only Karens would empathize with. Jason Vicknair, a 40-year-old man from Allen, Texas, was just trying to enjoy his first date night out in three months with his wife at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Mi Cocina. Things took a turn for the worse.

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MUSIC

Was Janelle Monáe Attacked with "Too Much Tuna?"

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll think that giving people giant mounds of tuna fish is a fun prank, but mercury poisoning is no joke

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It was announced yesterday that Janelle Monáe will be joining the impressive lineup of musical acts performing at the Oscars this weekend.

It's reassuring news for anyone who may have been concerned about Monáe's health following an interview with The Cut released on Monday. In the interview, Monáe discussed her desire to be a mother, with the caveat that she is still recovering from a recent case of mercury poisoning that she developed as a result of her pescatarian diet. She said of the experience, "I started feeling my mortality."

Methyl-mercury—which is easy for the human body to absorb, but it takes a long time to filter out—can cause serious neurological symptoms and presents a particular danger to developing fetuses. That's why doctors advise avoiding or limiting intake of certain mercury-rich fish during pregnancy. But for an adult to develop mercury poisoning requires much higher doses.

Monáe also spoke of a desire "to skydive into different parts of my life." Taking that sort of leap into unfamiliar challenges has been a hallmark of a career in which she has found tremendous success as a singer, a songwriter, a rapper, a producer, and an actor. Without that bold approach to life, would she have ever starred in Moonlight or Hidden Figures? But perhaps it was a similarly head-long embrace of pescatarianism that caused her mercury issue. In a previous interview with Glamour she attributed her smooth, radiant skin to "a really great diet, you know, lots of vegetables and fish," but according to a video entitled "A Medically Inadvisable Amount of Tuna," a serious case of mercury poisoning can cause fatigue, muscle weakness, and even… peeling skin.

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Is it possible that Monáe's poisoning was no accident? Was it part of "prank" to sabotage her flawless skin?!

That clip is part of Nick Kroll and John Mulaney's prank show Too Much Tuna, in which they take on the characters of Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland in order to surprise celebrity guests with sandwiches stacked with humiliating amounts of tuna. Past guests subjected to this indignity have included Chris Pratt, Leslie Jones, and Adam Driver. It seemed that Kroll and Mulaney's reign of terror was finally over when their Broadway show Oh, Hello closed in 2017, but with Chance the Rapper's revival of the Punk'd series, the pair may have felt it was time to reunite.

We do not currently have the evidence to prove that Kroll and Mulaney were behind Monáe's illness, but tuna is among the most mercury-rich fish, meaning that "too much tuna" is a likely cause. If they relied on Monáe's pescatarian diet and her bold approach to life—did she "skydive" into actually eating one of those sandwiches?!—in order to inflict their brand of "comedy" on one of our most celebrated musical and dramatic talents, they must be stopped. We need to send a message that there's nothing funny about acute chemical poisoning: #TooMuchTooMuchTuna

"Too Much Tuna" Luke Fontana

Monáe also spoke with The Cut about the strangeness of being a public figure and how people create elaborate stories about celebrities based on scraps of information and figments of their imagination. Janelle Monáe will be performing at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, February 9th, along with Billie Eilish, Elton John, Idina Menzel, and Randy Newman.