At the end of last month, Eminem surprise-dropped his new album ‘Kamikaze’, which features plenty of digs at President Trump, as well as a number of his detractors.
One such critic was Tyler, The Creator, who was the subject of a diss on the song ‘Fall’, on which Eminem raps: “Tyler create nothin’, I see why you called yourself a f****t, bitch.”
The inclusion of the homophobic slur - which is censored on the track, but still intelligible - was heavily criticised on social media, particularly as Tyler’s most recent album, ‘Flower Boy’, contains several lyrics perceived by many to be references to the fact he identifies as LGBTQ.
Two weeks on from the album’s release, Eminem sat down for an interview with Sway Calloway, in which they discussed the slur.
Claiming he was pushed to fire back when Tyler suggested his Beyoncé collaboration ‘Walk On Water’ was “horrible”, Eminem explained on his YouTube channel: “I’m not going to let everyone… I’m not going to be America’s punching bag, and have motherfuckers think it’s cool to say whatever the fuck they want about me.
“But with the Tyler, The Creator thing, man, I… I… I realise now, and I realised when I said it, but I wasn’t, like, in the mindframe of… I was angry, when I said that shit about Tyler.
“The fact of… every time I saw this kid, always so cool with you. I loved his energy… he was a funny dude, super charismatic and shit, but I’m sitting back, like… man, at what point do I have to say something, just to defend myself?
“And I think the word that I called him, on that album, on that song, was one of the things where I felt like, ‘this might be too far’. Because in my quest to hurt him, I realise that I was hurting a lot of other people by saying it.”
Eminem went on to say he “kept going back” to the track because he “didn’t feel right”, which led to the slur being reversed on the track.
However, he added: “Now I realise people can hear what I’m saying anyways.”
Throughout his career, Eminem has repeatedly taken heat for the homophobic language used in his music, as well as sexist lyrics and references to violence towards women, particularly his mother and ex-partner.
Interestingly, Tyler, The Creator revealed in 2015 that he was banned from entering the UK for “three to five years” due to his own use of the word “f****t” in song lyrics in 2009.
Tyler suggested in an interview with The Guardian shortly after the ban that it was a decision he felt was racially-motivated.
Although the Home Office (at that point led by current Prime Minister Theresa May) didn’t comment on the specific case, they told the newspaper in a statement: “Coming to the UK is a privilege, and we expect those who come here to respect our shared values.”
Eminem played two headlining shows in London as part of his ‘Revival’ tour earlier this year.
Watch Eminem’s interview below: