Critics at Time, Rolling Stone, and MTV News are pissing themselves over Eminem’s new rapid-fire, six-minute tribute to himself, “”Rap God.” The song itself is brilliant in its way, I suppose (the bit from 4:55 to 5:15 is particularly mind-blowing), but what seems to be lost in the mountains of praise is the often violently homophobic lyrics.
In the first verse, Eminem says he’s “still be able to break a motherfucker’s table over the back of a couple faggots and crack it in half.” Then in the second verse, he goes off on the following rant: “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 / You take a thumbs up, pat on the back, the way you go from your label every day-looking boy.”
Read all the lyrics here, and weigh in. Does he get a pass because, as The Week points out, he’s pretty much built his career on the notoriety of his deliberately offensive lyrics? And like, say, Family Guy or South Park, he pretty much bashes everybody without regard to political correctness? Or is it just hateful garbage that needs to be stopped? The Week goes on to note that since Eminem’s heyday, rap has made quite a few strides when it comes to homophobia and hate speech (the rise of Frank Ocean; Russell Simmons, Jay-Z, and Kanye West speaking out in favor of marriage equality etc), and maybe it’s time to just kick this relic from a by-gone era to the curb. “Don’t download Eminem’s new single,” they admonish, “and don’t buy his new album. We’ve heard this all before, and there’s no reason any of us should be subjected to it again.