Eminem drops controversial 11-minute freestyle referencing Ariana Grande's Manchester concert bombing
Oscar-winning rapper and man who never smiles, Eminem, has never pulled punches in his music. On 2000's Marshall Mathers LP, he gleefully rapped about killing his girlfriend, stabbing gay people, and shooting bullies at Columbine High School. Of course, Slim Shady wasn't serious. He was trolling before trolling was a verb, outraging parents with his offensive lyrics and loving every minute.
Eighteen years later, Eminem's still making controversial music, but now it's the young generation that's offended by his lyrics. Funny how things change, isn't it? In today's hyper-PC climate, the I Don't Give A F*** rapper gets a polarizing reception. Yes, Marshall Mathers is considered a great lyricist, and his early albums are praised, but his new material has been more divisive than The Last Jedi. Just look at his tenth album, Kamikaze: Fans hailed it as a fiery comeback; critics slammed it as a musical misfire, with homophobic lyrics about Tyler, The Creator.
Eminem started out as a battle rapper, and after all these years, it's still in his DNA. Recently he released the 11-minute Kick Off freestyle, inspired by the rap battle movie Bodied. "The release of BODIED has me feeling nostalgic about battle rap so I headed down to my old stomping grounds," he tweeted. The video was shot in Detroit’s St. Andrews Hall, where a young Marshall used to take on opponents. "I’ve always looked at battle rap as competition or war, and the main objective is to destroy, completely fucking obliterate your opponent by saying anything and everything, whatever the f*** you can, to get a reaction from the crowd," he explains in the intro. "So nothing’s off limits."
Slim Shady goes on to rap about a multitude of topics. Love: "Gettin' head in the sand like an embarrassed ostrich." The Beebz: "Justin Bieber in a Catholic school / Selling dust and reefer when your back is to him." Reese Witherspoon: "Villainous smooth criminal / livin' room, with the nude Reese Witherspoon / Who was bruised, beat with a broom." His greatness: "I'd have to be stomped by forty men to suffer a defeat (eighty feet)." Chivalry: "It's impossible like rapin' a slut / We stay butt-naked and f*** / You're close? Wait for you, what? /My idea of you comin' too (to) is waking you up / With smelling salts after I quaalude your cup." Always a gentleman!
Eminem also references the suicide bombing attack at Ariana Grande's Manchester concert which killed 22 people. He raps, "Positive clean thoughts intervene / But they're all either altered and mean / Assault and demean, tossed and they're being lost in the scheme / Squashed in between a brainwashing machine / Like an Islamic regime, a jihadist extreme / Radical suicide bomber that’s seeing / Ariana Grande sing her last song of the evening / And as the audience from the damn concert is leaving / Detonates the device strapped to his abdominal region / I’m not gonna finish that, for obvious reasons."
Ariana Grande did not respond, but some of her fans tweeted outrage over the Manchester bombing lyrics, believing Eminem was "making fun" of the attack. That doesn't appear to be the case, as, according to the lyrics, he's using the tragedy as a metaphor for his explosive thoughts. Also, in 2017, he actually helped raise more than two million dollars for the victims of of the attack.
But hey, not everyone likes battle rap. Some Twitter users mocked Eminem for his stop-and-go acapella flow, tweeted the hilarious video of comedian Chris D'Elia's viral impersonation. But like the rap or not, it's got over 3 million views on YouTube in just a few days. At 46 years old, Eminem's still the king of controversy.