Eminem recently addressed critics of his lyrical content. Some have questioned the lyrics on several songs by Eminem throughout his career, calling them homophobic.
Eminem was recently asked about specific lyrics on “Rap God,” a song off his upcoming The Marshall Mathers LP 2 album that includes slurs about people who are gay.
“I don’t know how to say this without saying it how I’ve said it a million times,” Eminem says in an interview with Rolling Stone. “But that word, those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin’ or whatever, I never really equated those words [to mean homosexual]…It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole. So that word was just thrown around so freely back then. It goes back to that battle, back and forth in my head, of wanting to feel free to say what I want to say, and then [worrying about] what may or may not affect people.
“Not saying it’s wrong or it’s right, but at this point in my career – man, I say so much shit that’s tongue-in-cheek,” Eminem adds. “I poke fun at other people, myself. But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all. I’m glad we live in a time where it’s really starting to feel like people can live their lives and express themselves. And I don’t know how else to say this, I still look at myself the same way that I did when I was battling and broke.”
During the interview, Eminem also says that he may never change some peoples’ opinions regarding this topic.
“I’ve been doing this shit for, what, 14 years now?” Eminem says. “And I think people know my personal stance on things and the personas that I create in my music. And if someone doesn’t understand that by now, I don’t think there’s anything I can do to change their mind about it.”
Eminem’s work on “Rap God” was criticized by some for lyrics that include insults about people who are gay.
“I’ll still be able to break a motherfuckin’ table over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half,” Eminem says on the track. “You fags are all the same.”
Eminem continues with additional insults about people who are gay.
“Little gay-looking boy,” Eminem raps on the song. “So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy / You witnessing massacre like you watching a church gathering taking place-looking boy / ‘Oy vey, that boy’s gay,’ that’s all they say looking-boy / You take a thumbs up, pat on the back, the way you go from your label every day-looking boy.”
One of Eminem’s critics was Boy George, an openly gay singer-songwriter.
“Fag?” Boy George tweeted soon after the song was released. “Is this really recovery talk or are you running your own program these days? Really unhelpful.”
In 2001, Eminem performed “Stan” off 2000’s The Marshall Mathers LP, at the Grammys with Elton John, an openly gay singer. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) issued a statement about the performance, calling Eminem’s music “hateful.”
Eminem addressed criticism of his lyrics with The New York Times Magazine in 2010.
“I think if two people love each other, then what the hell?” Eminem said in the interview. “I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want.”
Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is set to be released tomorrow (November 5).