Manchester, UK – An Eminem album wouldn’t be complete with a little controversy.
Shortly after Slim Shady surprised his fans with Music To Be Murdered By, his 11th studio album, Twitter lit up with reactions to the song “Unaccommodating,” which includes the line, “I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting,” a reference to the deadly 2017 bombing.
The lyrics are followed with the sound of an explosion. Now, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is joining the public outcry.
Burnham said in a statement to BBC, “This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected.”
The mother of Martyn Hett, who died in the attack, weighed in on Twitter.
“Feels like he is piggybacking on the fame of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities,” Figen Murray wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “Not clever. Totally pointless. And before all Eminem fans pounce on me, I am not interested and will not engage.”
Russell Hayward, Hett’s former partner, also expressed his disappointment with the song via Twitter.
“It’s disappointing but not surprising that #Eminem would use controversial lyrics about the Manchester bomb, dragging the victims’ families & Ariana back into a very dark time,” he said. “Not sure how popular he is these days but I hope any success he gets from the back of this is worth it.”
It’s disappointing but not surprising that #Eminem would use controversial lyrics about the Manchester bomb, dragging the victims’ families & Ariana back into a very dark time. Not sure how popular he is these days but I hope any success he gets from the back of this is worth it.
— 🥃Russell (@RussellHayward) January 17, 2020
Despite the lyric, another song on Music To Be Murdered By called “Darkness” finds Em advocating for gun control. He also encouraged people to donate to the victims and victims’ family of the Manchester bombings in May 2017.
“Join me in helping Manchester victims & their families,” he wrote on Twitter. “Make a donation to the @BritishRedCross and @MENnewsdesk.”
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) May 25, 2017