‘Rolling Stone’ Asks Eminem Why He’s Still Using the Word ‘Faggot’ in 2013

Rolling Stone has excerpted an upcoming cover story on Eminem, a portion of the interview in which they ask the rapper why he still uses the word "faggot" in his lyrics and uses "gay-looking" as an insult.

EminemSays Eminem:

"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 [to actually mean 'homosexual']…It was more like calling someone a bitch 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 s–t that's tongue-in-cheek. I poke fun at other people, myself."

He adds that he personally has no issues with LGBT people:

"…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.

Furthermore, if people don't understand his music by now "I don't think there's anything I can do to change their mind about it."

Comments

  1. Jack M says

    Rap is just a trashy genre of music where rappers can use any type of language they want to and say, well it’s street talk, so it’s cool. Guess you gotta either take it or leave it.

  2. woodroad34 says

    I remember this bar DJ from the Seventies who used to live in West Hollywood that we nicknamed “Disco Teddy”, because he never got out of that 70’s mind set–it was so weird to see this old man going around in roller skates with hot pants, mid-riffs and various 70’s accoutrement. Emminen is like that. He’s a man without the ability to grow. He’s stuck in a bygone era. You can still be angry without hurting people who have nothing to do with your anger. Find new and interesting ways to be angry. Grow up. Boooooring.

  3. Kev C says

    Ask him why he uses the N-word in his lyrics and he’ll say the exact thing .. because growin up we all said it yaddayada. Rap really is brain-dead stupid.

  4. alguien says

    it seems to me, that if you’re aware that a particular word upsets a wide range of people, then you might want to consider letting good manners dictate what you say rather than try justifying by saying that you continue to use it because you’ve always used it.

    that’s a poor reason to continue making that slur.

  5. Kevin G says

    @ WOODROAD34 Are you talking about the old man that roller skates around the Sheriff’s station driveway exit on SM Blvd? He’s in his own world with his headphones on and roller skating in circles

  6. Ricco says

    Why is it that someone like M&M, an accomplished lyricist and poet, a man who has made his fortune, and name by crafting words pretends that words have no meaning?

    Could there be anything more disengenuous, than to be thought of as an highly intelligent, articulate man on the one hand, than act like a total clueless idiot on the other.

    Frankly, I do not know why people even bother talking to an emotional idiot who, clearly, who is no more evolved now at the age of 41 than he was at 24 when he released his first album Infinite.

    The man is 41, middle-aged, and he has not grown as man, or as an artist. People, and publications, like Rolling Stone, give him way to much credit as a thinking person, by even bothering to ask him why he does anything.

  7. rjinva says

    Not good enough – off by a mile (or even 8). The man crafts battle poetry with intent and then says- oh that’s not how I think, it’s just a generic insult. Even IF he actually believes that many in his audience do not. Course its ironic that he says of people who don’t understand his music, “I don’t think there’s anything I can do to change their mind about it.” Apparently that’ true of him too. So, buh-bye M, you don’t need us, we don’t need you

  8. Francis #1 says

    Except that LGBT cannot “live their lives and express themselves” without being called f*gs, Eminem. And that’s due to people like you. Congratulations.

    He knows the word offends many and is an offensive word, he uses it intentionally. That’s my issue. There is no claim to ignorance. It’s intentionally going out of his way to including anti-gay slurs in his songs. Eminem is a jackass.

  9. says

    I don’t understand the argument that you use the word like the word a**hole. Why not just use a**hole? Why use words that you know are going to offend people when you can just use a more commonly accepted word and get your point across better?

    Also I need to say this because it’s been bothering me for a long time. I acknowledge the fact that at one point in his life he was probably considered by most to be less than. But at the same point he has to understand that he he’s still a heterosexual white male. He sees making it into the rap game as a big feat but let’s be honest, as a white man he’s going to get respected by mainstream society a lot more than if he were a stuggling black guy trying to make it into the business so it kind of bothers me when he tries to play it like it was some uphill battle. It’s 2013 and white rappers may not be common, they aren’t quite unheard of. I think it’s time to stop acting like he’s still trying to make it through some rap glass ceiling.

  10. Fenrox says

    “I still look at myself the same way that I did when I was battling and broke”

    This says it all, you moron.

    Rap is great, if you hate rap, you are an idiot. Only an idiot would choose to hate something he can just ignore.

  11. will says

    I kind of get what he’s saying now. The words f*g & gay are becoming unconnected with sexuality in the rap world. Word meanings change constantly through history. We must not get insulted. The slurs are not about gay sex.

  12. Den says

    And perhaps it also needs to be said for the millionth time that it is nonsense for anyone to try and claim that there use of the word faggot is not meant with homophobic intent. The word is slang for homosexual and does not in terms of calling it out mean anything else. When someone shouts faggot they may not do so with the intention of seriously believing the target is actually gay, but they want to insult them by claiming so – the implication remains that calling someone homosexual is shameful and insulting. The word faggot when used in ‘battle’ only means that and Eminem should at least admit so.

  13. will says

    The kids who support us and listen to Eminem don’t see f*g as deragatory for gya people. Maybe the gay community doesn’t need to hold onto f*g as a slur. It’s meaning has changed. It means something else now.

  14. Tiresome says

    Not buyin’ it. And given his advanced age, it’s time he tried to reinvent himself to remain relevant.

    Next.

  15. says

    How about this? When homophobes and bigots stop using the word while they are bashing one of us, we’ll agree that the meaning has changed, until then if you really don’t have anything against the community stop using the damn word.

  16. Kev C says

    Indeed, Derrick. The reason they used that word when he was rapping in his youth, is because they were bigots who bashed gays. This is not debateable, this is a fact. I was one of them getting bashed by his fans.

  17. Kelly says

    He will stop using the word faggot, when rappers stop using the words niggas and bitches.I find all three words offensive and dehumazing.They shoudn’t be used to refer to a person EVER.

  18. Jack says

    First of all, Eminem has publicly said he supports marriage equality. So no, I don’t believe he’s at all homophobic. Do I think he should be using the word? Perhaps not. But I do understand what he’s saying, even if I don’t agree with it. Have any of you ever used the word “retarded” as an insult? If you have, shut the f up because you’re an equally terrible human being.

    And it’s hilarious to hear people saying he’s not relevant, why is anyone listening to him, yadda yadda. He’s still enormously successful, popular, and relevant. Trying to pretend otherwise so you don’t get as butthurt is pretty silly.

  19. will says

    Jack: You said “butthurt”. A slur! You are not recognizing the dignity of my gay anal sex in that remark!

    Just kidding. :)

  20. ASam says

    Oh, please,, this man Eminem is as fake as a three dollar bill. He has no demons whatsoever. Making millions by growling to dis-jointed lyrics is his stock in trrade. He uses homophobic slurs as a marketing ploy.

    Rolling Stone has aided and abetted his homophobic marketing from day one.

  21. ASam says

    Why does Andy Towle keep posting these completely non-critical pieces that are simply reproduced from other media sources? You need to become a bit more critical, Towle. Put your thinking caps on.

  22. Kev C says

    I’m more concerned that he represents a generation of socially and mentally retarded people who function at a high school level. A grown ass man reliving his youth, acting like a teenager, never learning anything new, not listening to society, ignoring everything, because he’s literally a mental retard stuck in the past. I’d almost feel sorry for Eminem if he wasn’t such an a-hole.

  23. ASam says

    At 41 years of age, Eminem has no reason to abandon the marketing strategy that made him millions. Of course, he looks like an aging fool but there are still suckers out there buying his carefully manufactured image.

  24. bobbyjoe says

    As usual, the mainstream press doesn’t know what even a basic follow-up question is. Like, shouldn’t the interviewer have immediately followed up with: So, Eminem, if the lyrics aren’t about gays, then why do the lyrics continue like this:

    “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.”

    Yeah, he’s not selling homophobia. Right.

  25. ASam says

    BobbyJoe,

    You hit the nail on on the head regarding the lack of follow-up questions from the mainstream media. The media is basically enabling his marketing of his homophobic slurs.

    Andy Towle doesn’t help things in his failure to criticize Rolling Stonehenge.

  26. JackFknTwist says

    Seriously Eminem,

    Get with the programme;
    talk to Macklemore; “We got to change us”..as he says.
    It’s not good enough any more to tell us that’s the troglodite society you grew up in.
    Grow up.

  27. JackFknTwist says

    @ ASAM :
    What ?
    He’s 41 ?
    So he’s going to be hanging out with his jaded slurs for the rest of his life.
    It’s not that he has anything new to say; au contraire, he’s just admitted that he’s stuck in an old era.

  28. jonvincent says

    Please don’t use the word poet and Eminem in the same sentence. People who say that have never heard artists such as Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell or other rappers like Lupe Fiasco. Eminem’s lyrics are crap.

  29. Jerry says

    He’s probably right. I didn’t like his music eight years ago, and I don’t like it now, gay slurs notwithstanding.

  30. cyndi says

    Ok…I don’t agree with his definitions of the words he uses, times have changed. I’m a straight woman who turned 21 in the 80’s, going to the gay bar with my friends. Back then, the words gay, faggot, queer, etc. were thrown out constantly- straight AND gays used them. Myself included.
    Over time, equal rights for LGBT started to see light, more people were/are fighting for it, and the vernacular has changed. At least in a lot of people. Some I guess, not so much.
    Some won’t change unless something happens to them or their family that makes them have a “light bulb” moment. Hopefully, his light bulb will brighten before he HAS to see what/where he’s been wrong.

  31. RoxysDad says

    His excuse is… “So that word was just thrown around so freely back then.”

    If I’m not mistaken, Paula Deen used a similar excuse, and nobody bought that one either.

    Language evolves…he & Paula should too.

  32. mododavid says

    He is unambiguously referencing gay men in his songs. Not “queeny” men like Baldwin says…who is also referencing gay men in his bigotry. And – “Furthermore, if people don’t understand his music by now ‘I don’t think there’s anything I can do to change their mind about it.'” – are you giving him a pass on this too Towleroad? His I-don’t-know-how-many-times-I-have-to-say-this response is BS. And reporters’ we-are-going-to-ask-you-about-this-because-you-are-SO-OBVIOUSLY-referencing-gay-men questions are justified. When will someone quote back to him what he is saying and ask him to explain how his lyrics aren’t referencing gay men since then he cannot hide behind his lies about those lyrics?

  33. fern says

    I agree, he’s using the f word to impress his audience while getting a pass from the mainstream media by saying its not about disrespecting gays.

    He’d never use the n word. Guess gays are easier targets, and that’s what bullies do, pick on easy targets.

  34. litper says

    People who listen to his songs still use that word to degrade gay people so he knows what he’s doing and is just disgusting sick homophobe!

  35. Really? says

    For you d*ck starved fans who are trying to protect this moron, you’re just as stupid as he is. He’s practically calling you B*ITCHES AND PUNKS TO YOUR FACE AND YOU STILL TRY AND DEFEND HIM!!! He’s too old to lie about something like this and much too young to be a seasoned politician.

  36. Betty Treacle says

    He uses the word because it makes him money. When it stops making him money he will stop using the word. He might even decide to become an advocate for gay rights.

    That’s all he and the people who surround him, and take percentages of his profits are driven by. Money. Money. And more money.

    So – don’t buy his records. Don’t give him attention. But don’t be surprised if he changes his mind suddenly.

  37. Travis says

    WHO CARES if people want to use the word faggot?
    It’s a free country.
    I’m way more offended by all the religion that surrounds me daily.
    Libs need to stop being so hung up on political correctness & fight the real enemy:religion.
    That’s where all the hate & ignorance is rooted.

  38. Rich says

    1. Eminem doesn’t get to decide whether the word “faggot” is an insult or not, any more than a white person gets to decide if it is ok to say “N…” Only the group that slurs are aimed at – and make no mistake, that word was always meant as a weapon – gets to decide IF and WHEN it is ok to use. I have heard no such pronouncement. An individual may not be insulted, but the community has not accepted it.

    2. Eminem keeps insisting that he is “ok” with LGBT people. I don’t know whether I believe him or not. But the point is that children and even child-like adults aren’t going to stop and ask, “What are Eminem’s REAL feelings about gay people?” They are going to simply “sing” along. So the words will be in the heads and the mouths of his fans, and when the words are there, the thoughts and feelings, in too many cases, are inevitable.

    3. I don’t accept any artist’s position that they “have the right” to express themselves, without any responsibility about who is listening. An individual can decide whether to listen or not. But in our electronic, wifi world, it is not the same as the old days when parents could stop their children from buying an album: there is no real way for us to keep our children from being exposed to this filth. Sure, it is always our responsibility to discuss with our children what they are doing and how they feel about it… But my son was listening to this pig, and when I pointed out that Eminem’s lyrics were homophobic and mean, my son (who has two dads) said, “Well, I don’t really like that song, I listen to his other songs.” So this loud-mouthed bigot has hooked my more enlightened son, and made his money, so industry-wise, what he is doing and saying is not just accepted, but celebrated. Disgusting.

  39. Michaluk says

    No ANKERICH, we just don’t hate ourselves like you. You should get a life outside of the closet.

  40. Martha says

    Let’s see. Don’t Care. Don’t Care. And yes, don’t Care.

    Don’t approve, don’t buy it.

  41. LastMonth says

    @JACK M

    Have you heard songs like “Inspiration” By Classified. Or Sunshine by Atmosphere.
    Or Dear Mama by 2pac
    Or even caught in a hustle by Immortal Technique
    Or Yesterday by Atmosphere.

    The list goes on. What you are referring to is mainstream hip hop on the radio. Listen to some underground hip hop or old school. Rap has become a economically violable and has turned into a ugly cooperate business. Conscious rappers and emotional rappers do not get played on radio or top charts. Listen to those tracks, you will not be disappointed.

  42. Natalie Rains says

    Personally, I dont understand why so many people are upset about this? I have been an open lesbian for now 6 years, and I love Eminem’s music. just like every other genre, Eminem will always offend someone, no matter who they are or their background. If you are not gay, you shouldnt associate yourself with these issues. I know many people who are gay and love Eminem, myself including. He is a poet and an artist, he is free to express himself the way that he wants.