With the release of The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem has once again come under scrutiny for his word choice, specifically usage of the word “faggot.” Like Tyler, the Creator, Eminem has taken the “words only mean what you take them to mean” defense. Discussing his song “Rap God” — which includes the line “I’m still be able to break a motherfuckin’ table over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half / You fags are all the same” — Matthers told Rolling Stone that he “never really equated those words” to actually mean homosexual.
He continued: “It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole. So that word was just thrown around so freely back then. It goes back to that battle, back and forth in my head, of wanting to feel free to say what I want to say, and then [worrying about] what may or may not affect people. And, not saying it’s wrong or it’s right, but at this point in my career – man, I say so much shit that’s tongue-in-cheek. I poke fun at other people, myself. But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all.”
Sia, who appears on The Marshall Mathers LP 2, identifies herself as a queer. This week, she came out in defense of Eminem, writing in a statement, “I know personally that he is not homophobic, but a performance artist. I would never work with someone I believed to be homophobic.” Still, Sia has announced that all royalties from their collaboration, “Beautiful Pain”, will be donated to the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.
Listen to “Beautiful Pain” below.