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Is Eminem Getting a Free Pass for the Homophobic Lyrics in His New Track 'Rap God'?


Scott Meslow at The Week wonders why the homophobic lyrics in Eminem's new single "Rap God" are being overlooked:

"Rap God" is Eminem's rapid-fire, six-minute anthem to himself, and it's peppered with brazenly and violently homophobic rhetoric. In the first verse, Eminem boasts of his ability to "break a motherf----r's table over the back of a couple f-ggots and crack it in half." In the second verse, Eminem goes off on a bizarre, homophobic rant: "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."

The song is bad enough — but even more disheartening has been the way that so many websites have praised Eminem's rapping on "Rap God" while ignoring the song's problematic lyrics entirely. Time called the single "divine." Rolling Stone analyzed the song's influences without commenting on its content. MTV News took the time to collect Eminem's array of pop-cultural references without noting his homophobia.

Listen to the track, AFTER THE JUMP...

What would Eminem say about the lyrics?

In 2010 he talked to Anderson Cooper about his lyrics on 60 Minutes:

Eminem explains that he's always heard the word, and that it's not necessarily tied to homosexuality, "That word was thrown around so much, you know? Faggot was, like, it was thrown around constantly, to each other, like in battling, you know what I mean?" he asked, before insisting that he doesn't hate gay people. "I don't have any problem with nobody, you know what I mean. Like, I'm just whatever." Asked whether he needs to take responsibility for his words, Eminem puts the onus on parents to censor their children's lives.

As for criticism that's he a homophobe, brought up most often by the gay group GLAAD? Eminem plays the victim: "I felt like I was being attacked," he said. "I was being singled out. And I felt like, is it because of the color of my skin? Is it because that, you're paying more attention? Is it because there's certain rappers that do and say the same things that I'm saying. And I don't hear no one saying anything about that. I didn't just invent saying offensive things."

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  1. Have only heard "of" Eminem. Would never (knowingly) listen to - or buy anything remotely connected with the creature. Oh well.

    Posted by: Geoff | Oct 15, 2013 3:29:01 PM

  2. Cool people always get a free pass. Let Paula Deen just read the lyrics once and all hell would break loose. Why, they'd throw her off an interstate bridge head-first for the way she read Eminem's lyrics.

    Maybe he wants rewarded with an MSNBC show like Alec got?

    Posted by: MIke | Oct 15, 2013 3:29:46 PM

  3. regardless of the lyrics, it's a terrible track.

    it's homophobic, melophobic, chorophobic and agathophobic.

    Posted by: KEVolution! | Oct 15, 2013 3:33:07 PM

  4. His excuses are a joke and we need to put pressure on companies not to offer his songs that have homophobic slurs in them.

    I grew up around racists relatives who would use the n-word and f*ggot/q*uer but I do not use those today.

    He's not 6 years old. He needs to put his big boy britches on and act like a human being.

    Posted by: chris | Oct 15, 2013 3:33:59 PM

  5. Well not so much a pass, as no one knew he has new music out because he's pretty irrelevant these days.

    Posted by: RayJacksonMS | Oct 15, 2013 3:35:31 PM

  6. No class jerk with money. Rotten scum.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Oct 15, 2013 3:36:20 PM

  7. "i felt like i was being attacked...i was being singled out. and i felt like, is it because of the color of my skin?"

    i don't necessarily look to artists for deep insight about social issues, but is this creep for real? he must belong to the tea party...

    Posted by: northalabama | Oct 15, 2013 3:37:40 PM

  8. @ "Let Paula Deen just read the lyrics once and all hell would break loose. Why, they'd throw her off an interstate bridge head-first..."

    What wonderful imagery, Mike. And on the way down she'd be screaming, "All I wanted was for you to dress up like Aunt Jemima!!"

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 15, 2013 3:38:10 PM

  9. Look for Elton to be in the video!

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Oct 15, 2013 3:42:38 PM

  10. When is he going to grow up?

    Posted by: toof | Oct 15, 2013 3:46:43 PM

  11. He has always gotten away with it. In fact, roughly all anti-gay lyrics are gotten away with.

    I mean, remember when this happened before? Everyone picking sides as to weather he is "in on it" or exploiting it, Korn was putting anti-gay lyrics in every song, nobody cared or noticed.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 15, 2013 3:57:15 PM

  12. WHO???

    Posted by: johnosahon | Oct 15, 2013 3:59:53 PM

  13. Ahhhhh this song is so good.

    Posted by: chris | Oct 15, 2013 4:00:34 PM

  14. Ahhhh this song is so good.

    Posted by: chris | Oct 15, 2013 4:00:50 PM

  15. Dollah bills y'all...Hmmm, a white boy appropriates a black musical idiom and sees riches beyond wildest dreams. Familiar trope in American pop culture? The quizzical "why is every1 looking at me?"
    pouty, hurt puppy stance just gets him more publicity. I remember Elvis and Nixon hanging tight in the Oval Office back in the day.

    Posted by: starquisha | Oct 15, 2013 4:07:57 PM

  16. Writers and Composers should be able to right what they want. See Grammy Winner-Two Against Nature: "We'd like to thank Eminem for taking the heat," Steely Dan's Donald Fagen said backstage, given that about 100 protestors were criticizing the rapper outside L.A.'s Staples Center as the Grammys took place. "Two Against Nature" also dealt with controversial topics -- incest, statutory rape, sexual threesomes and drugs -- but managed to avoid calls for censorship.

    Posted by: JV | Oct 15, 2013 4:08:42 PM

  17. Eminem is a 40 year old man who acts/thinks like a 12 year old boy. Some serious down-syndrome happening with his genetics.

    Posted by: Kev C | Oct 15, 2013 4:13:20 PM

  18. Not from me. But then I consider him to be a talent-free creep.

    Posted by: TomTallis | Oct 15, 2013 4:29:09 PM

  19. Chris. It's not a song.

    Posted by: TomTallis | Oct 15, 2013 4:30:25 PM

  20. Eminem is a straight supremacist. Violently so. He has this really wierd eroticism about doing violence onto gay people. It's very nazi-ish.

    This Eminem lyric will one day be studied alongside the most violently white supremicist lyrics ever--lyrics with a wierd eroticism about doing violence onto black people.

    As for now...well, at least TR still stands up and publishes the truth. But we shouldn't too quickly imagine that we can trust mainstream allies to have our back yet.

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Oct 15, 2013 4:30:31 PM

  21. The liberal media hast always given a pass to Eminem. Remember this about liberals: they are opposed to malei homosexuality. They only CLAIM to be pro-gayo so as to keep us on their ide in the culture war.

    MTV and Rolling Stone are very homophobic media.

    Posted by: Adrenan P | Oct 15, 2013 4:35:57 PM

  22. his target demo will think its just fine, radio will play it no problem then crow about playing gay artists once a year on their on line service, for no-bully day then go back to the same old same old.

    Posted by: LW | Oct 15, 2013 4:37:43 PM

  23. RayJacksonMS: Not true, he is not as relevant as he was but he still sells records, and the song is number one on itunes right now, and he has other song in top 10 and other in top 15.
    Probably it won't last and Lorde will regain her number one soon, but he is very far from being irrelevant (unfortunately)

    Posted by: jjose712 | Oct 15, 2013 4:37:55 PM

  24. This is gay-bashing, not singing.

    Posted by: Adrenan P | Oct 15, 2013 4:38:18 PM

  25. Eminem is a typical Democrat, so it's no surprise that he's an anti-gay slob.

    Posted by: Kev C | Oct 15, 2013 4:40:45 PM

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