Eminem has said a lot of controversial things throughout his decades-long career — from using homophobic slurs to rapping about killing fellow celebrities. But this latest drama might be his biggest one yet.
In a newly leaked snippet from what appears to be an old Eminem song, the “Lose Yourself” rapper seems to side with Chris Brown after he assaulted Rihanna in 2009. The news prompted a barrage of reactions on social media, and they’re as heated as you can imagine.
A quick recap of Brown’s assault on Rihanna
In case you need a refresher, it happened in February of 2009. Brown and Rihanna were driving away from a Grammy Award party when they got into an argument over text messages Brown had received from another woman.
“I caught him in a lie and he wouldn’t tell the truth,” Rihanna later told Diane Sawyer. “I wouldn’t drop it. I kept saying—I couldn’t take that he kept lying to me. And he couldn’t take that I wouldn’t drop it. Because obviously his back was up against the wall. It’s, the truth is right here in the text message. So it escalated into him being violent towards me and it was ugly.”
But Brown gave a slightly different version of events. He claimed in his 2017 documentary, Welcome to My Life, that Rihanna had started “fighting” him first after discovering the text messages. When she allegedly refused to stop, he “really hit her, with a closed fist.”
“I punched her,” Brown continued (via The Guardian). “When I saw it, I was in shock, I was like, f*ck, why did I hit her. She spit blood in my face – and it raised me even more … She grabbed my nuts, and I bit her arm.”
Photos would later leak showing that the attack left Rihanna bloodied and bruised. In the end, Brown received five years of probation for the assault. Yet, they reunited in 2012 before breaking up for good the following year.
What did Eminem say about the assault?
On the song, which Insider reports was created during the recording sessions for 2009’s Relapse, the rapper allegedly says: “Of course I side with Chris Brown, I’d beat a b*tch down too.” The snippet was recently posted to Reddit as “(SNIPPET) Eminem – Things Get Worse (Rihanna Diss).”
The song never made it to the album, but a different version of it later turned into B.o.B.’s 2011 track “Things Get Worse.”
The revised version is just as controversial, though. It includes lines about Dakota Fanning being raped and murdered, and Natasha Bedingfield being put “in a washer.” Eminem also rapped about Angelina Jolie, Carmen Electra, Jessica Simpson, and his mother, who sued him for defamation in 1999 over lyrics on The Slim Shady LP.
Twitter reacts to the snippet
Fans were quick to criticize the “Stan” rapper on Twitter, with one person tweeting, “He needs some serious help. no doubt about it.”
Many couldn’t believe that he allegedly said such a thing, only to go on to collaborate with Rihanna on several songs, including 2010’s “Love the Way You Lie” and 2013’s “Monster.”
“Eminem grown a**really glorifying abuse for a damn song after my fav lend her vocals to numerous songs for him is disgusting,” one person tweeted.
But others aren’t surprised.
“He’s been openly homophobic and misogynistic for the past 10 years, what’s new,” one man tweeted.
“Are we all shocked at this opinion? Really? Eminem has been casually rapping about killing his ex his entire career,” one woman tweeted, referencing the rapper’s ex-wife, Kim Scott. Eminem has rapped about her murder on various records such as “97 Bonnie & Clyde” and 2000’s “Kim.”
Another added, “Why is this news? It’s Eminem. Nothing new. Part of his professional character. Still love him lol.”
As of writing, Eminem has not responded to the drama. But he has defended his art in the past. In a 2010 interview on 60 Minutes, the Recovery rapper suggested that he’s actually been victimized by his critics.
“I felt like I was being attacked. I was being singled out,” he explained (via CBS News). “Is it because of the color of my skin? Is it because of that you’re paying more attention because there are 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 invent saying offensive things.”