Grammy-winning rapper Eminem recently discussed the controversy surrounding his rap lyrics and why he won’t clean them up to satisfy critics.
Despite the massive backlash Em’s sparked courtesy of tracks like his new “Rap God,” the 41-year-old said there’s no point in going PG-13 now.
“A bad reaction is better than no reaction… I would rather have some kind of reaction,” he added. “If my music sparks debates and conversations or whatever — be it right, be it wrong or whatever — I would rather have it get a reaction — a bad reaction — than no reaction. ‘Cause no reaction sucks.” Eminem has certainly evolved as an artist over the past decade, but some things may never change, including his tendency toward controversial lyrics and a penchant for creating off-the-wall characters in his music. “Since I’ve been rapping and since I got signed with Dre, I always weaved in and out of characters, things like that, that I play on the album. It just is what it is.” (MTV)
This week, Em revealed his pre-fame days as a battle rapper were largely the reason behind him using offensive terms on records.
“I don’t know how to say this without saying it how I’ve said it a million times. But that word, those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin’ or whatever, I never really equated those words,” Em said in an interview. “Yeah. It was more like calling someone a b*tch or a punk or a**hole. 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. And, not saying it’s wrong or it’s right, but at this point in my career – man, I say so much sh*t that’s tongue-in-cheek. 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.” (Rolling Stone)
Marshall Mathers also said he believed fans could tell the difference between his music alias and real self.
“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. … Well, look, I’ve been doing this sh*t for, what, 14 years now? 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.” (Rolling Stone)
Music veteran Boy George recently hopped onto his Twitter page to cite Em’s instances of gay-bashing.
“Yeah, let’s all think the same and buy another album! http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/ ‘you-fags-all-think-same’-claims-eminem-new-rap-god-single161013,” George tweeted October 17.
“.@Eminem Fag? Is this really recovery talk or are you running your own program these days?”
“We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
“My comment about ‘Eminem’s use of ‘Fag’ was not a call to my followers to post further abuse! Really unhelpful!”
“Isn’t it sad how the media just accepts abuse of gay people? #f*cked” (Boy George’s Twitter)
In a Wall Street Journal article published last month by writer Eric Sasson, heavy emphasis was placed on Em’s obsession with slamming the gay community.
“Little gay-looking boy / 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.” By now, we know the drill, and so does Eminem. He’s aiming for a comeback in a world of hip-hop which has now embraced artists like singer-songwriter Frank Ocean. Macklemore’s single “Same Love,” about as forceful a defense of gay marriage ever committed to verse, is one of the most popular songs on his wildly successful album. So what better way for Eminem to stir up controversy than to hark back to the repulsive homophobic lyrics that garnered so much attention last time? (Wall Street Journal)
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