Eminem opens up about controversial Rihanna lyrics after apologising on new album: ‘I said it cause it rhymed’

Comments come after rapper offered Rihanna an apology over the lyrics of a decade-old song

Annabel Nugent
Tuesday 05 January 2021 10:30
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Eminem has said that he has “zero recollection” of recording controversial lyrics about Rihanna, for which he has since apologised.

On his recently released surprise album Music to Be Murdered By – Side B, Eminem apologised to the singer for a decade-old song that leaked in 2019 on which he said that “sided with Chris Brown” over his ex-girlfriend Rihanna after Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in 2009.

On the track “Zeus”, he raps: “And wholeheartedly apologies Rihanna for that song that leaked / I’m sorry, Rih, it wasn’t meant to cause you grief / But regardless it was wrong of me.”

The rapper, real name Marshall Mathers, opened up further about the lyrics and apology during an appearance on Sirius XM’s Shade 45 programme.

He told host Gray Rizzy that he did not know how the decade-old song – which featured the lyrics about Rihanna – had leaked, and stated that he had “zero recollection” of recording the verse in question.

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“I don’t know how somebody got it,” he said. “I have no, zero recollection of even remembering doing that verse. The rhyme scheme didn’t even sound familiar to me.

“So I was caught off-guard, too. I was like, ‘What the f***, I said that?’”

The 48-year-old went on to reveal that the lyrics had been recorded during the early stages of making his 2009 album Relapse, adding that he had been “learning how to rap again” after a “drug situation that I went through”.

The Grammy-winner clarified that he was “not making excuses” for his actions. 

“I said it and I was wrong for saying that, it was f***ing stupid,” he said. “That was one of those things that it was like, well if it rhymes, say it.”

He added: “That’s not an excuse, but I’m just saying that there was a phase I was going through with that Relapse record. It was one of those things, I think I just said it cause it rhymed.

“Looking back now, I should have thought better of it”.

A year later, Eminem and Rihanna collaborated on the 2010 smash hit “Love the Way You Lie”.

Rihanna has yet to publicly acknowledge Eminem’s new album or the apology made to her.

You can read The Independent’s review of Music to Be Murdered By – Side B here

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