Eminem calls out a number of artists on his surprise new album Kamikaze, but he may have gone too far in one case.
On the song “Fall”, featuring Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Eminem references rapper Tyler, The Creator using a homophobic slur.
“Tyler create nothin’, I see why you called yourself a f****t, b***h / It’s not just ’cause you lack attention / It’s ’cause you worship D12’s b***s, you’re sack-religious / If you’re gonna critique me, you better at least be as good or better,” the rapper says on the track.
On Friday, Vernon distanced himself from the song, responding to a fan by explaining that he was not there Eminem’s recording, did not condone its “message” and had asked to remove the slur.
The singer followed up with another tweet clarifying his admiration for Eminem as a rapper.
Finally, in a more cryptic tweet, Vernon said that he was “wrong” and that “we are gonna kill this track.”
When Vernon meant was unclear given that the album has already been released, but it suggests the track itself may soon be scrubbed from streaming services.
Imagine Dragons’ frontman also took exception with Eminem’s lyrics. “It’s never okay to say a word that is filled with hate. I don’t care what year you were born in or what meaning it has to you,” Dan Reynolds tweeted. “If it contributes to hate and bigotry then it is hateful. period. there is never an ok time to say the word f****t. I don’t care who you are.”
Tyler himself has been criticized for his use of homophobic slurs, though lyrics on his 2017 album Flower Boy have been read by many as his coming out as gay.
Meanwhile, fans on social media have taken issue with Eminem’s use of the slur on his song. Other fans, however, defended Slim Shady, noting the slur is the only word bleeped out on the album and arguing he was quoting Tyler.