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CNN Today

Is Eminem's Grammy Nomination Fair?

Aired February 21, 2001 - 4:31 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN ANCHOR: It is Grammy night, or as some are calling it, Eminem's night. But even if the rapper does not take home a single Grammy, all eyes will be on him.

Joining us now to talk about the Eminem controversy is deputy editor of "Transition" magazine, Kelefa Sanneh. Thank you for stopping by today.

KELEFA SANNEH, "TRANSITION" MAGAZINE: Thank you.

SYDNEY: Kelefa, I know that you don't believe in what Eminem stands for, but do you definitely believe that this is a just and fair nomination and that he indeed deserves it?

SANNEH: Well, yes, I mean, I do think it is a great pop album and the eight million people who bought it could probably tell you the same and as for what he stands for, one of the things that makes it such a great pop album is that it's very difficult to tell what he stands for.

He gives you lots of different voices, lots of different viewpoints. For everything he says that's offensive, he has another voice saying, hey, that's offensive. And that's what makes the album so interesting.

SYDNEY: And because it sold eight million copies, does that mean he's going to take home a statue tonight?

SANNEH: Well, it doesn't necessarily mean he's going to take home the statue, but it certainly gives him a better chance than it otherwise would have. Obviously, the Grammys is not in the position of finding obscure artists and recognizing them. The Grammys recognizes achievement in the music industry.

So, the eight million is enough to get him the award -- to get him the nomination, excuse me. Whether or note the voters actually vote for him, that's another question.

SYDNEY: Now, what about all this brouhaha between the duet that Eminem's going to do with Elton John? Is it warranted?

SANNEH: Well, I mean, I think their idea of them teaming up is a great idea. As you know, the Grammys are often pretty sleepy. I don't know how long the ceremony is, four, five hours, a bunch of people in gowns, singing songs on stage. So this, at least, really livens it up and it shows that both of them have a sense of humor and I think that's great.

SYDNEY: Now, whether Eminem takes home a statue or not this evening, what is the future of his music going to be?

SANNEH: Well, frankly, I'm not sure the future of his music will be much affected by what happens tonight. Unlike the Oscars, the Grammys don't necessarily make or break a career. But I think whatever happens tonight, it'll give him one more thing to rap about and that's always going to be entertaining.

SYDNEY: OK, well, you were very entertaining and knowledgeable. Thank you very much.

SANNEH: Thank you.

SYDNEY: We'll talk about it again sometime.

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