Eminem came up through Detroit's underground rap battle scene, where MC's who spit the funniest, wildest rhymes reigned victorious. After his debut album Infinite flopped, he concocted the 'crazy' Slim Shady persona, who evokes the 'anything goes' battle rap mentality. Under an alias, Em playfully took shots at the biggest pop stars of the 90's, like the Spice Girls, N'Sync and Britney Spears.
Ironically, that tactic turned Marshall Mathers into one of the biggest musical artists in the world. Today he still crafts cheeky bars about pop stars, but he's just as likely to collaborate with them. In the 2010's, Em worked with Rihanna, Ed Sheeran and Pink, just to name a few. I wonder what the old Slim Shady would think about that?
Last November, Eminem released Kickoff Freestyle, eleven minutes of filthy braggadocio performed in the style of contemporary battle rap (i.e., no beat). Predictably, some critics clutched their pearls over the supposedly offensive lyrics. (Gasp! He referenced the Ariana Grande Manchester concert bombing! I never expected that from the guy who referenced the Columbine High School massacre in 2000.)
However, one lyric in particular from this aggressive bar-fest caught the eye of several media outlets (5:05):
"F**k Christina with a plastic spoon / While I bump some G-Funk and blast some Snoop / 'Cause her double G-cups are massive, huge! / It's fun for me just to grab a boob!"
In response, Twitter users praised Eminem for crafting an impressive eight syllable rhyme scheme for a 23-bar verse. Nah, just kidding! They expressed outrage that Eminem appeared to savagely diss Christina Aguilera, resurrecting a 20-year-old beef.
It all started in 1999, when Xtina appeared on MTV and spread the rumor that Eminem was married to Kim, an ex he famously fantasized about murdering on The Slim Shady LP. So, on the smash single The Real Slim Shady, Eminem clapped back by sharing unflattering rumors about her:
"Shit, Christina Aguilera better switch me chairs / So I can sit next to Carson Daly and Fred Durst / And hear 'em argue over who she gave head to first / Little bitch put me on blast on MTV / 'Yeah, he's cute, but I think he's married to Kim, hee-hee.' / I should download her audio in MP3 / And show the whole world how you gave Eminem VD!"
At the time, Christina responded by calling Eminem's lyrics "disgusting" and "completely untrue." She added that she wasn't sure exactly what she had done to disturb him so much. However, flash forward to 2019, and she's got some a theory why Shady keeps slinging insults her way. On Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen asked the Genie in a Bottle singer why Eminem "held on to this beef for so long" (00:45).
"That's a question for him," Christina replied. "I don't know. I don't know what's going on there. I mean, that's real thirsty. That's real in the past. What's thirsty then is thirsty now. It's not nice to go after anybody - especially a female. And in this business, and now what we're looking at and seeing, and things that are coming to the forefront. It's just, get a new gig. Have something else to talk about."
Well, there you have it. Stop being so thirsty, Eminem! And find something else to talk about! For example, instead of throwing shade at Xtina, have you tried rhyming about Icelandic volcanoes? Like Eyjafjallajökull, Hrómundartindur and Theistareykjarbunga? I think that would be dope.