Rappers have a long history of using American Sign Language interpreters at their concerts and shows. In some newly-earthed footage from an Eminem concert, the emcee appears to have tapped noted performer Holly Maniatty for an impressive performance of his chart-topping 2013 hit “Rap God.”
The ASL interpreter worked fast as the Detroit lyricist performed the lengthy, provocative track off the esteemed LP, ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2′ at the 2018 Firefly Festival. Humorously enough, it’s unclear whether the crowd is cheering for Em or Holly during the 43-second clip.
Eminem faced scrutiny for his Bonnaroo performance in early June. Some fans were left triggered after what they believed to be gunshot sounds during his performance of “Kill You.” In response to the critics, the Revival rapper aired a message at the Firefly Festival stating, “If you are easily frightened by loud noises or offended by explicit lyrics you shouldn’t be here.”
Holly Maniatty is recognizable for her work dozens of hip-hop shows in the past, particularly for her interpretation of Wu-Tang Clan’s “Bring Da Ruckus” at Bonnaroo in 2013. During an interview with CBC Radio last year, Holly noted it as one of her most memorable performances. “I’d have to say at the Wu-Tang show it was one of those moments where I saw the deaf patrons like, bouncing with everybody; the beat was dropping and they were in it,” she described. “They were having a great time and just that experience of them accessing it at the same time as everybody else was definitely one of my favorite moments.” She’s also worked with Snoop Dogg at New Orleans’ Jazz Fest last year.
“Rap God” spent 26 weeks on Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, peaking at No. 1 on November 2. The track debuted in the top 10 at No. 2 in October, with over 1.4 million U.S. streams.
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