Gay rights charity attacks 'outdated and offensive' lyrics in Eminem's Rap God
The rapper has previously said he supports gay marriage, but Rap God contains the words 'faggots' and 'gay-looking boy'
Wednesday 16 October 2013
Eminem's new single "Rap God" has been praised as a sign that the rapper is still relevant in today's music industry, but its lyrics appear to be a bizarre throwback to the homophobic lyrics sung by an alter ego in one of his earlier releases.
Gay rights charity Stonewall said the song's content was "outdated and deeply offensive", and claimed the rapper was "stuck in the last century".
"Rap God" is currently top of the UK and US iTunes charts, and has earned positive write-ups from esteemed publications such as Time and Rolling Stone. MTV lauded its "expertly laid verses".
It is not as though the homophobic phrases in question are particularly subtle. The first verse contains lyrics about breaking "a mother******* table over the back of a couple faggots and crack it in half," and, "You fags think it’s all a game."
The second verse continues: "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."
The rapper is aware that the lyrics would be controversial, saying in one part of the song that he wouldn't have gotten away with saying, "I'd take seven kids from Columbine, put 'em all in a line, get an AK-47 a revolver and a nine," when his fame was at its height.
Richard Lane, media manager at Stonewall, said: "Compared to inspirational modern artists like Frank Ocean and Macklemore, who have vocally supported tackling homophobia, Eminem seems stuck in the last century with these outdated and deeply offensive lyrics."
"Rap God" is one of the songs on Eminem's new album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. It deliberately harks back to his third studio album, released in 2000, which while controversial, was a critical and commercial success.
However, the lyrics to the song "Criminal" provoked a storm of criticism. He sang, as one of his many rap personas: "My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge / That’ll stab you in the head / Whether you’re a fag or a lez."
He later performed with Elton John at the Grammys, which outraged the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
In 2010, Eminem made it clear that he did not personally condone homophobia. He told the New York Times Magazine that he was in favour of gay marriage, saying: "Everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable."
He added: "I think I've calmed down a bit. My overall look on things is a lot more mature than it used to be."
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
- 2 Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
This house and dental clinic 'piled up like bricks on the brink of collapsing' is why Japan wins at architecture
Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Bollywood actress Veena Malik sentenced to 26 years in jail for blasphemy after appearing in mock TV wedding scene