The critique by the Lost cocreator is the briefest and bluntest: "I love how we're all deftly finding ways to NOT say that Eminem sold out. But he did. So there."
But he didn't. So there.
Sorry, but you can't sell out on Super Bowl Sunday when (a) you've been accused of selling out since the day you sold your first record, (b) Kim Basinger played your mom in a movie almost 10 years ago and (c) you did Family Guy almost two years ago.
The argument here is not that Eminem has been a sellout all along, it's that he has been mainstream all along.
The commercials are neither good nor bad nor great; they're commercials—commercials starring a mainstream artist.
If one of the ads happened to make residents of a downtrodden city happy, then fantastic. If one of the ads happened to cast its star in cartoon form, then lighten up and enjoy the fact that the li'l rapper managed to drop in a "damn."
The idea that Eminem himself lightened up on Super Bowl Sunday is, frankly, what made both commercials so appealing. For once, he wasn't tortured. For once, he was Diddy, pitching away in the name of civic pride, fun and, yes, canned iced tea. (Hey, did you ever consider that maybe he really likes the stuff?)
This is what mainstream artists do: They sell. Not sell out.