Today saw Eminem, 45, surprise-drop his 10th studio album Kamikaze. While fans of the irreverent rapper may be rejoicing, the Eminem Kamikaze album includes a song entitled “Fall” that contains a homophobic insult towards openly queer rapper Tyler the Creator. Ugh. Really, Eminem?
While many gay news sites have claimed the Eminem Kamikaze album calls Tyler the Creator a “faggot,” the word in question is actually censored. The line goes, “Tyler create nothing, I see why you called yourself a f——, bitch, it’s not just ’cause you lack attention, it’s ’cause you worship D12’s balls, you’re sack-religious.”
To be clear, Tyler the Creator hasn’t referred to himself as a “faggot” in his albums, although he did use the slur 213 times in his 2011 album Goblin, often in connection with him taking pictures of his own penis. Since he hadn’t come out yet when Goblin first hit, Tyler initially defended himself from critics by saying that his gay fans “don’t really take it offensive.”
The mention of “D12” refers to the Detroit hip-hop group The Dirty Dozen, a rap group that Eminem used to belong to.
As for the “sack-religious” double-entendre, Tyler once praised Eminem as “my atheist God.”
Despite the use of a slur in the new Eminem Kamikaze album, in a 2013 Rolling Stone interview, Eminem said he didn’t equate the word “faggot” with being gay but said he sees it “more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole.” He added that he struggles between wanting to say whatever he wants in a “tongue-in-cheek” way and worrying about how it will affect people.
“The real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all,” he said. “I’m glad we live in a time where it’s really starting to feel like people can live their lives and express themselves.”
Of course, no matter how Eminem personally sees the word, using gay sex as a way to insult a contemporary is homophobic and tired. That he continues to equate the slur with sexually subservient, “weak” men shows that his view of the word isn’t different from any other homophobe’s. His lyrical skills also show he’s quite capable of coming up with more novel ways to insult his rivals than resorting to homophobia.
If you’re looking for new music out today that isn’t queerphobic, we say opt for the new Troye Sivan.